Notes from the Training Staff – September 2020

From our Chairperson, Rich Kollen:

Our world sure has changed since March due to COVID-19. It has affected sports at all levels. We lost the 2020 collegiate softball season as well as all summer tournaments and games. Opportunities for student athletes to be evaluated by college coaches for scholarships were lost. As I write this, we are still in limbo, hoping for a vaccine or protocol so we can continue doing what we love, umpiring softball.

CCSUA has done what we can to keep everyone updated. I hope it has been helpful. It looks like October 1 might become the date community colleges will be making a decision on playing in the spring. I believe the NCAA and NAIA will be making their decision around the same time. John Bennett will continue with his excellent training program in order to be ready to service our colleges when we get the go-ahead to return to play. Your management staff of Joanne Terry, Martin, John, and I have worked hard during this period of time to keep the wheels turning. Thanks to all of you for your continued interest in improving your skills by working hard on rules and video. I am sure we are hoping the 2021 will be a great year of softball for everyone.

From our Assignors:

Officials who normally work Community College should especially take advantage of the monthly tests. With no fall ball this year to shake out the cobwebs, you are going to be expected to hit the field ready to go. Now is time to review your notes from last season’s games to see where you came up short and what corrective actions were taken. You are taking notes on your games, aren’t you? If not, you should be. With a shortened season for the CC’s all games will be important to them. Let’s be ready.

From our Training Staff – Important reading!

CCSUA training staff members- Hal Van Ryswyk and Tony Cooper -recently held the Fall Clinic for our potential new umpires and second-year umpires (2021 season). It was a face-to-face meeting with eleven attendees following all social distancing and mask requirements at a shaded park in Claremont. It was an abbreviated meeting (three hours) and we covered the usual topics (college rules, mechanics, game management and protocols).

The meeting was recorded, and the presentations will be posted to our Locker Room. We recorded the meeting because the assignors want us to make these presentations available to everybody as part of a review process for all CCSUA umpires before the start of the 2021 season. You will be expected to watch each of the videos, then take the accompanying test and get a passing grade. If you do not get the required passing grade of 60%, you can reset the test and do it again, until you pass it.

There are four presentations – Protocols, Rules, Mechanics, and Game Management. We will start with the Protocols video presentation and test, which are now posted. We will post the remaining three videos and tests over the next few weeks. The handout which goes with the presentations is also posted. The presentation videos and the handout are in the Training Information (blue box on the Dashboard page) and the tests are in the Training Courses section.

Contact John Bennett via email if you have any questions.

Thoughts from our resident umpire philosopher, Jim Sanderson:

Fellow officials in pandemic waiting,
First, I hope that all of you are safe and I hope that you and your family have not been affected too much by this global situation. I have been silent for the past few months, but I must speak out to you, the officials that miss the game probably much more than I do. I know that you have been financially impacted, but the emotional impact has probably been greater. Not being able to freely participate in a part of our life that we have great passion for is devastating.

Due to a recent retirement from 35 years of High School teaching, I was looking forward to the 2020 season. I would be able to commit 100% of my efforts to softball and its officials. We got in 4 weeks of the season then the world stopped turning as a microscopic DNA cell invader took hold of our world, changing or halting our softball world. I, like you, have hopes that we can soon return to some sense of “normal.”

Postings since last month’s News & Notes (post this in September 2020)

New articles
Rules Corner/Batting/Regulations – Infield Fly and Intentional Drop Rules
Rules Corner/Defense/Obstruction – as part of the reorganization of this section mentioned in last month’s post, two new articles are now posted – Obstruction between bases and Verbal and Visual obstruction.
Mechanics Corner/Plate/Pitches – Left-handed catchers

Revised articles
Game Management Corner/Arguments – Managing Arguments Effectively; added two new sections at the end: The Four-point Volley and Proper Authority Behavior.
Protocols Corner/Professionalism – What it takes to be an Excellent umpire. There will be a strong emphasis on professionalism by college umpires in the 2021 season. This article now has an introductory paragraph which needs to be read by all. Read the rest of the article, take notes, examine your game, and see if you quality 100% as being an Excellent umpire.

New Videos
Rules/Batting/Batter Regulations – Infield Fly Intentional drop or neither, and Bat hits ball or ball hits bat
Mechanics/General Mechanics – Strike Calls (Nielsen)
Training Information – Fall Clinic Protocols presentation video and handout document.