Umpire Crew Pre-Game

A “Pre-Game” meeting is an important discussion for all officiating crews working a collegiate contest. The Crew chief sets the tone for the single game or weekend series. Veteran crew chiefs should include the entire crew in their discussions and ask for honest feedback during these meetings. If you are unsure what topics and questions to discuss use this list of suggested “Pre-Game Topics with Partners” located in the CCA Softball Umpires Manual in Section 3 (make a copy for yourself and address these issues with your crew):
• New rules and rule interpretations
• New mechanics and points of emphasis
• Unusual situations and mechanics
• Run rule
• Tiebreaker
• Halted game
• Drop-dead time
• Weather conditions
• Fly ball coverage
• Fair/foul coverage
• Leadoff responsibilities
• Tag up responsibilities
• Check swings
• Between play coverage
• Between inning mechanics
• Fairly common situations (obstruction, etc.) and mechanics
• illegal pitches, hit by pitch, hit by batted ball
• Warnings – required: record
• Going for help – how, when, when required
• Umpire huddles – when, how to conduct
• Umpire verbal and non-verbal communication
• Confrontations and role of non-involved umpires
• Ejections
• Exiting the field
Always give yourselves plenty of time to meet with the crew; have a thorough discussion; review the two opponents and any past game notes that you or one of your crew member(s) would like to address.
Remember that a thorough pre-game will set the tone for the entire crew with the upcoming game and or series at hand. Be sharp and be ready!