Notes from the Training Staff – August 2016

Fall Ball is approaching.  The next two monthly tests – August and September – will have questions regarding the Nonchampionship Segment of NCAA softball.  We call it Fall Ball but it covers from the end of the regular season in 2016 to the beginning of the 2017 season.

  • Make sure you study page 15 of the 2016-2017 NCAA Softball Rule Book.
  • Read the first two A.R.s on page 1 of the August 2015 Interpretations document – still posted on the SUP website under the link Current Rule Interpretations (As of August 2015)
  • Teams must play by these rules until the official beginning of the 2017 season.

This time of the year is also a time to reflect on the previous season.  Jim Sanderson offers these thoughtful words, with the theme…

Missed Opportunities:

  • Umpires miss opportunities to shine when they give a bad first impression – arrival time and arrival attire, game uniform, off color language.
  • Umpires that shine give a polished, business-like first impression, arrive early (“…on time is late”-Lombardi), dressed casual yet professionally, game uniform is correct-clean-all equipment is present and ready, use appropriate language.
  • After play, between plays and between inning movement and focus needs to show an attitude that I want to be here and do the best job possible.
  • Umpire movement needs to show proper hustle and purpose.
  •  Each play presents opportunities to practice correct mechanics, set, slot, head height, angle, and distance.
  • Conversations with coaches need to show respect and a raised level of listening.  Listen for the question and ignore the emotion.  If the comments or body language of a coach is inappropriate then deal with it.  Ignoring it will only encourage future and worse behavior.
  • Share goals before and after the game.
    • Have a plan; communicate the plan; evaluate performance of the plan/goals.
    • Develop a crew and team of peers.
    • Did you personally and the crew serve the game, players, coaches and fans this game.  What could have been done better.  Celebrate the good, learn from the bad and make sure the ugly does not happen again.
Umpires take risks.  Learn a different way of getting the job done, but better.   Are you a winner today or a learner, only losers quit.