Notes from the Training Staff – February 2021

From the training staff

NCAA – Rule changes, revised rules, clarifications and interpretations for 2021
Most of these were presented during the CCSUA Annual Meeting (Zoom meeting).

Uniforms (3.10.3)
3.10.3. Commemorative/memorial patches allowed if authorized by institution or conference (e.g. names, mascots, nicknames, logos, and those intended to celebrate or memorialize persons, events or causes). See Locker Room (LR) article Player uniform regulations in the Rules Corner/The Game/Field Equipment Uniforms section. Mask or face coverings worn by players may be any solid color; does not have to be the same color among teammates; size restrictions as listed in

Video replay
5.9.5. Experimental rules for video replay (a list of 14 situations). See LR article 2021 Experimental Rule for Video Replay

Artificial crowd noise
5.11 and 5.13. Artificial crowd noise may be piped-in with five stipulations. See the Case Book A.R. 5-21.

Positions of team personnel
6.5.3, 6.6.5. Waiver for these rules; allows teams to utilize an area designated by the host team in the bleachers/stands to space uniformed team personnel.

Concussion reentry
8.6.1 and 8.6.2. Added these rules which revise the reentry rule to cover a player removed from a game due to a potential concussion. This one was not included in NCAA posted document on February 22, 2021.
Note: In a recent posting to the NCAA Central Hub, 2020-2021 Preseason Message from Craig Hyde, it was stated at about the 4:10 mark that for the second occurrence of a violation of this rule the head coach is ejected. This is a misstatement and it was corrected in the Preseason Softball Reminders memo posted on the NCAA Central Hub on 1/27/2021.

Home run celebrations Prohibits offensive team personnel from congregating anywhere outside the dugout (changed from previous “around home plate”) on an out-of-park home run. See LR Room article Team Interference – Home Run Celebration.

New Case Book
The NCAA posted a revised Case Book dated February 16, 2021 which replaces the one posted on January 27, 2021. Also posted on 1/20/21: 2020-2021 Uniform and Contest Delays FAQ.

Locker Room postings since last month’s News & Notes

New articles
Rules Corner/Batting/On the pitch – Slap-hitters Think Outside the Box.
Rules Corner/The Game/Participants – Player substitution rules. This replaces the previous Projected Substitutions article and incorporates the content from that article.

Game Management Corner/General/Coaches Game Personnel – What You Do Not Say to Coaches.

Protocols Corner/Game Preparation – Sample EMAIL to Coach 2021 (includes Covid material).
Protocols Corner/Responsibilities – GSAC Covid-19 Protocols for Game Officials – 2021 season.

Mechanics Corner/All Umpires – Corrections to CCA Manual button name has been changed to the name CCA Manual.
Mechanics Corner/All Umpires/CCA Manual – 2021 CCA Manual Major Changes. Replaced former Summary of new and changed mechanics for 2021.

Revised articles
Rules Corner/Runners/Interference Collision: Team Interference – Home Run Celebration; added information about the waiver for rule
Mechanics Corner/All Umpires/CCA Manual – Major Mechanics Differences for College vs Other Codes has been updated with the changes in the 2021 CCA Manual and has been moved from the General Mechanics section to the CCA Manual section.

Submitting Reports properly

Location of Bats Removed reports
NCAA – NCAA Central Hub
Community College – Locker Room Links button
NAIA – still waiting for a response from them on how to report this; for now, use the one for Community Colleges.

Location of Incident/Ejection reports
NCAA – NCAA Central Hub
Community College – Arbiter Lists/Forms
NAIA – still waiting for a response from them on how to report this; for now use the one for Community Colleges.

From the assigners

Availability / Accepting / Decline Games
The assignors continue to have issues with the untimely accepting and declining of games. You must accept or decline the games by the date shown in Arbiter; you must block all dates as appropriate, and do it immediately after you have accepted an assignment so all other groups have it blocked. This is a headache in any normal year, but a BIG deal this season because of COVID testing requirements. Many conferences will send us testing kits on a specific advanced timeline so we can test a specific number of days in advance. If the game remains unaccepted and the umpire has to change, the replacement umpire may not receive the test kit in time to meet the testing timeline requirements. This includes the kit shipping to the official, the test being completed, then shipped to the lab, all on a specific, non-negotiable timeline.

“Come to your game prepared” reminder
Some schools are doing same-day game site testing, or at least temperature checks. It is almost certain that someone is going to get bumped off a game at the game site 30-60 minutes before the game’s scheduled start. We must all be ready to step in and fill in for the plate assignment. Also, it seems more likely there will be short notice calls for help to fill assignments; have our gear with you (in the car) on a day when we do not have an assignment as it will probably be put into use at some point this season.

Early Season Protocol Confusion
Some coaches are not keeping up with their conferences’ Covid protocols and are asking the officiating crew to explain what the COVID protocols will be for the game. When the game is between two teams from different conferences, the messaging to each coach will most likely not be exactly the same from their respective conferences and university administrations. If you do not know the protocol for the home team/conference, it could lead to an unsafe and non-compliant adventure.

Water Supply Reminder
You should not rely of getting water from anywhere near the dugouts. Most of the players wear masks but are not consistent with it. Bring a water jug and find a place well away from a dugout entrance.