Notes from the Training Staff – June 2016 (Updated)

Another great resource.

Are you capitalizing on another great resource available to CCSUA umpires – watching the umpiring at top-level games on TV? If you watched any of the D1 postseason you saw a lot of good training material.  Here are some musings on these postseason games, with additional details and comments.

  • Announcers still struggle to accurately cite rules and use the correct terms.
    • There were instances of “catcher’s interference” instead of catcher’s obstruction.
    • There were “foul tips” which went directly from the bat to hitting the umpire.
    • “Must have been out of the box” when a batter obviously had her foot on home plate when she contacted the pitch.
    • Batter-runner was obstructed as she overran 1b and made a slight move to 2bm colliding with F3 while both were in foul territory. The overthrow came back almost directly to F3 who was now standing within 10 feet of the runner.  There was no possible way that the BR could have advanced to 2b safely.  But the comment was: “Obstruction at 1b, umpire should give her 2b.”
  • Even at the highest levels some coaches do not know the interference/obstruction rules, as evidenced by the play above. Offense wanted BR to be awarded 2b.  Defense insisted that obstruction could not be called if the defensive player and runner are in foul territory.
  • Pitcher violations
    • There were way too many pitchers who were not pausing long enough when the hands came together.
    • There was one pitcher who had her hands together for at least 7 seconds on almost every pitch before delivering the pitch
  • There were some great rulings
    • Runner running out of base path between 1b and 2b as F4 tried to tag her.
    • Coach physically assisting a BR back toward 1b when she had obviously abandoned her base.
    • BR called out for removing her helmet after she overran 1b – she must have thought she was out or there were 3 outs.
    • Batters looking back at the plate umpire after a strike call with looks of disbelief and/or disgust. These action sometimes included hand gestures or indications of arguing the ball – is this a growing trend, now that it has been observed during these TV games?  Let’s put a quick stop to it if it starts happening next year.
    • PU called 3 batters out late in the game for being out of the box on contact – great job, especially when the last one caused the third out in the bottom of the 7th inning negating the batter’s base hit which would have scored the winning run.
  • Batters hit by pitch
    • Some good calls on batters intentionally getting hit with pitch in the box or the pitch was in the river and the batter did not attempt to avoid.
    • A few bad calls when the batter got hit with a pitch in the river and never moved, allowing the pitch to hit her.
  • One team was shown with their players standing outside the dugout on field watching a new pitcher warm up in the middle of an inning. Didn’t we just have an interpretation about this!!
  • Overall there were great mechanics but there were some glitches
    • U1 pointing toward foul territory when he meant to point fair. Major confusion and an argument that continued for way too long.
    • Plate umpire calls ball 2 when catcher thinks it is strike 3. F2 throws the ball to 1b and F3 throws the ball back to the pitcher. Umpire gives a 2-2 count and just before the next pitch the opposing coach questions the count. Umpires huddle multiple times including talking to someone from the press.  Then the PU motions for batter to go to 1b.  The other coach argues.  PU brings both coaches together to explain, then brings batter back from 1b to the plate and gives a 3-2 count.  This took almost 5 minutes to resolve an issue for which the rule is clear.  PU could have stepped out, declared “that’s a ball on the batter”, stepped back behind the plate and gave a firm verbal/signal “3 balls, 2 strikes.”  This would have taken 20-30 seconds!
    • PU signaled illegal pitch, then stepped out from behind the plate as the pitcher was starting her windup. Why did he stop play?


CCSUA will be working with the SoCal ASA organization (thanks, Chris Drumm) again to conduct a mini-camp during the Champions Cup Games.  We will be observing ASA umpires who are interested in becoming college umpires.  If you know of any umpires who are ready for college ball, let us know.

Early CCSUA Registration

Reminder that CCSUA registration dates for the CCSUA 2016-2017 season are July 1, 2016 to August 15, 2016.  These fees are due earlier this year as we are moving our “season” from the calendar year to our training cycle year and to match up better with our NASO Advantage membership.