This article discusses only the rules related to ejections. There are articles in the other Corners which cover the how to deal with ejections:
Mechanics – The Mechanics for Ejections
Game Management – Handling Ejections
Protocols Corner – The Protocols for Ejections
Types of ejections
There are two categories of ejections in college softball:
• An administrative ejection is given for rule violations regarding equipment, lineup management, conferences, and warmup activities.
• A behavioral ejection is given for rule violations relating to play, including all violations of the Misconduct rule in the Rule Book and actions of batters, runners, pitchers, and fielders.
In addition, the college rules allow a post-game ejection for unsporting behavior that occurs after the last out of the game – the details are in the Misconduct rule of the NCAA Softball Rules Book
Effects of ejections
An ejected player may remain in the dugout but shall not be on the playing field or communicate with opponents or umpires.
Ejected nonplaying personnel must leave the playing field, dugout and other team areas and be out of sight and sound until the umpires’ jurisdiction ends. Out of sight and sound means:
• Unable to view the remainder of the game and the umpires cannot hear any additional comments.
• May not communicate (visually, electronically, or verbally) further with the teams or umpires. The only exception- an ejected head coach may be called to the field and participate in a limited capacity to attend to an injured or ill player or to ensure the safety of players when their safety is in question.
DISCUSSION POINT FOR ROUNDTABLES: When does the umpire crew’s jurisdiction end – after the last out, when the players have left live ball territory, when the players have entered the dugout? When the umpires have ALL left the field?
When a head coach is ejected, an umpire shall ask the departing coach to identify an acting head coach. This may not be the logical thing to do if the head coach is extremely upset. If it is obvious who the new head coach will be, confirm it with the remaining coaching staff. If the other coaches decline to do so or no institutional representative is available, the umpires shall initiate forfeit proceedings.
Team personnel and players are not allowed to continue to argue, express themselves excessively, use offensive language, or taunt the umpires after an ejection. The order for the removal of the ejected person must be obeyed in a timely manner. If the directive is not obeyed in a timely manner, the umpire shall issue a one-minute forfeit warning to the head coach (or the acting head coach).
Important: there are two actions which require the ejecting umpire to immediately notify the head coach and on-site administrator that the reason for the ejection is for one of these two rules (use the exact words in the bullets below):
• Physical contact with an umpire or opponent
• Leaving a team area or coach’s box in order to join a brawl or potential fight.
Rule violations which, after a warning, result in an ejection for a second violation are:
• Removing lines on the field
• Using illegal equipment or not using required protective equipment (bats, gloves, helmet, etc.).
• The use of artificial noisemakers, musical instruments, air horns and electronic amplifiers by student-athletes and team personnel in team areas.
• Offensive team personnel in live-ball area during a live ball.
• Fielder positions herself in the batter’s line of vision or act in a manner to distract the batter.
• Player or coach commits an act for the obvious purpose of trying to cause an illegal pitch.
• Player or team personnel applies moisture or any substance to the ball or into a glove or do anything else to deface the ball (pitcher ejected).
• Pitcher intentionally attempts to hit the batter with a pitch (future violations – ejection of pitcher, catcher, and head coach). Note: see below if the umpire judges the situation warrants drastic action.
• Catcher does not return the ball directly to the pitcher when required by rule (all subsequent violations).
• Pitcher or catcher violate the Time Allowed Between Pitches rule intentionally to walk the batter.
• Player other than the pitcher of record throws a warmup pitch (head coach ejected on subsequent offenses).
• Batter leaves position in batter’s box in a deliberate attempt to create an illegal pitch (any subsequent violation by that team causes the offender to be ejected).
• Equipment misuse or abuse.
• Continually questioning the umpire’s judgment, including the strike zone.
DISCUSSION POINT FOR ROUNDTABLES: The above are listed in rule sequence. Select the five you think most likely to happen? Find each of these five rules.
Rule violations which cause an ejection if not complying immediately with an umpire’s request are:
• Not correcting or removing defective equipment.
• Failure to wear a legal helmet by a student-athlete base coach.
• Not complying with uniform rules.
• Using prohibited electronic equipment (head coach ejected).
• Coaches or uniformed team members not vacating the area near or behind home plate or behind the backstop while the pitcher is throwing warmup pitches or pitching to a batter.
• Offensive team personnel on the field during a live ball
• Defensive team personnel, not including the fielders, on the field during a live ball.
• Pitcher not removing an item which the umpire considers distracting.
DISCUSSION POINT FOR ROUNDTABLES: The above are listed in rule sequence. Select the three you think most likely to happen? Find each of these three rules.
The rule violations which cause an immediate ejection are:
• Using an inappropriate bat
• Failure to present a bat for pregame inspection that is later discovered in the team’s possession or dugout.
• After the third offense by the defensive team for not complying with the rules for warmups between half innings or during pitching changes (head coach ejected).
• Team representative or player who initiates an unallowed charged conference.
• Runners leaving the vicinity of their bases during a defensive time-out if their team has already had an offensive conference in that half-inning (head coach ejected).
• Refusal to play (head coach ejected).
• Player who illegally entered or reentered the game.
• Illegal player competes in the game in a way in which they are not entitled to play.
• Runner flagrantly collides with a defensive player with or without the ball (multiple rules include this).
• Fielder attempts to put out a runner occupying a base by using excessive force.
• Pitcher intentionally attempts to hit the batter with a pitch and the umpire judges the situation warrants drastic action (pitcher and catcher ejected; head coach may be ejected).
• An umpire judges the pitcher intentionally attempted to hit an umpire with a pitch (pitcher, catcher and head coach ejected).
• Base runners switch bases after a conference (head coach also ejected).
• Runner(s) slide in a manner which the umpire judges as malicious (e.g spikes up)
• Runner slides out of baseline or outside her reach of the base in order to slide directly at a fielder.
• Flagrant equipment misuse.
• Making disparaging or insulting remarks to or about opposing players or umpires or question the integrity of an umpire during a game or after a game while still under the jurisdiction of the umpires.
• Making a verbal threat of physical harm to an opponent or umpire.
• Inciting or attempting to incite, by word or sign, a demonstration by spectators.
• Using tobacco during the game.
DISCUSSION POINT FOR ROUNDTABLES : The above are listed in rule sequence. Select the five you think most likely to happen? Find each of these five rules.
Note: the bullet items above are a quick summary of the rule. See the rule book for a complete understanding of the rule and the Effect.
On-site Administrator duties and Misconduct rules
The on-site administrator is directed, by rule, to assist umpires with ejections by escorting the ejected person(s) to an allowable area. Whether a warning is issued or not, umpires have the authority to eject players and/or other team personnel for rule violations, unsporting acts, or behavioral or verbal misconduct.
The requirements for the ejecting umpire after the game and the related paperwork is discussed in the last lesson in this edition of Umpire University.