Notes from the Training Staff – February 2018

Our monthly Notes from the Training Staff will be a bit longer, as we are now using this News & Notes section of the Locker Room to replace the monthly Newsletter.
 The Season Has Started
  • DO NOT WAIT to take your test.  If you need help or a question or two is stumping you, contact a veteran umpire.  We all need to be on the same page when it comes to any situation.
  • Suggestions from one of our veteran umpires: take your own supply of nutrients.  DO NOT rely on others or institutions to supply you with food and water/drinks.
  • It’s Game/Showtime!  Have Fun, Work Hard, and Enjoy the Season.
Rule interpretation
Play 1: Team A has #14 pinch-run for #4.  #14 gets thrown out attempting to steal for the second out of the inning.  Immediately, not waiting for the end of the offensive half-inning, the coach for Team A wants to re-enter #4.
Play 2: The flex is running for the DP and scores a run.  The coach wants to re-enter the DP immediately, so as not to forget at the end of the inning. .
Ruling from Vickie Van Kleeck, Softball Rules Editor
“I do not view either of these situations as permissible by the projected substitution rule. The only way the coach can make these substitutions right after the player is thrown out on the attempted steal is if this is the third out of the inning.”
Getting It Right
This is a Focus Item for this year.  Make sure you read page 13 in the CCA Manual for the guidelines to do this, and the specific situations, and only those, for which a partner may approach unsolicited and alert the calling umpire about additional information on a play.
Play: it looks like obvious contact and interference on F4 by R1 running toward 2b. U1, close to the play, signals no violation.  R1 reaches 2b safely and the BR attains 1b.  The defensive coach argues with the calling umpire and asks that umpire to go for help.  The base umpire does not.
Should the plate umpire, who had a good look at the play and feels strongly that R1 committed interference, approach U1 when it is obvious that U1 will not go for help? You decide, is this one of the situations for which that is allowed?  Then discuss this with other umpires.
Comments from the Assignors
Before the game
  • Plan your arrival and meeting place with your partner(s); always take possible bad traffic into consideration
  • Check in with the home coach or administrator and inspect the playing area
  • Allow yourself sufficient dressing time and a thorough pregame
  • During this early part of the season, allow extra time for the bat check. This requires you to be checking bats at least 20 minutes prior to game time
  • There is NO EXCUSE to not start a game on time. If there are circumstances that don’t allow you to do so, include them in your Game Report on Arbiter so the assignor can work with the school to eliminate the issue.
  • We should not be the hold up to games beginning on time or the turnaround between games.
  • Please be professional in your approach to the game, the coaches, the players, and the school staff.
  • Let’s all work together to have a wonderful 2018 season.
Bat model number must be readable
Some bat manufacturers are offering the option of custom painting bats.  We have already encountered two bats whose paint/graphic schemes make the model number unreadable. Here is a report we received after a game:
  • On a black/red Demarini bat you can barely see some writing and possible numbers near the end but they are not clear and legible.
  • On the other Demarini bat we could not find any sort of model number or writing.
So, the coach shows you the invoice for the bats which shows a model number which is on the bat list.  What do you do?
Here is the answer we received from Dee Abrahamson, NCAA Software Equipment Consultant:
“I know that the users can order the custom bats in the colors they want and maybe asking for a black shell with grey writing is problematic, but the rule says the number stenciled on the bat must exactly match the model on the current NCAA Approved Bat List.  So, the umpire must be able to do so.  Having an invoice for a legal bat does not verify that the bat being presented is the bat on the invoice which is why it does not satisfy the rule. The model info must be legible for the coach to be sure the bat is appropriate and for the umpire to verify same. I know these bats are expensive but for the sake of the integrity of the game and safety, we cannot let a questionable bat be used.”