Notes from the Training Staff – April 2017

NCAA Softball 2017 Rules Survey:

There are some very interesting questions in this year’s NCAA Softball Rules Survey.  Here are some of the questions.  A more complete list will be in the May Newsletter

  • Change the obstruction rule to requiring the fielder to have possession of the ball in her hand or glove?
  • Change the illegal pitch penalty to a ball on the batter only (runners are not awarded a base)?
  • Limit the number of player-to-player meetings in an inning?
  • Require batters to keep one foot in the box between pitches?
  • Limit the time between innings to 90 seconds?
  • Require the pitcher to have only her pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate?

Is this a harbinger of the new rule book for 2018-2019?

Removed bats procedure

Both umpires must agree before a bat is removed during the pre-game bat inspection.  If any umpire disagrees with pulling the bat, the bat should be left in the game.  The plate umpire should note in the Game Report that there was a bat in question but not removed.  No comments should be made to any team personnel during or after the bat inspection regarding anything about the bats.

When does an umpire issue a warning on an obstruction call?

This question came out of a brisk discussion during a study group.  Apparently one of the veteran umpires was adamant that there was always a warning issued anytime there was an obstruction.  Find the rules which cover this!  Or, to make your life easier, here is the link (scroll down to the second article which is directly below the red wording).  Use the browser Back button to return to the News & Notes for April.

Social Media

Despite multiple warnings from our Assignors, there are a number of umpires actively using Facebook and other social media websites with coaches and players as friends. REMINDER: this practice could result in their being dropped as college umpires. Talking to players seems to be on the rise as well. With playoffs on the horizon, Professionalism is a high priority!.

Notes from our Observers

Our umpires need to do the little things and do them every time. Whether it’s your movement to a primary or secondary calling position, shadowing a base runner back to their base, chasing fly balls, working between pitches or even your signal mechanics you need to finish each and every movement as dictated in the CCA Umpires Manual.  The accomplished, top level, umpires do this religiously.