This is the sixth in a series of 2019 season weekly softball umpire bulletins. We will cover issues pertinent to softball including, but not limited to, game issues, rule interpretations, etc. This issue will cover items of importance.
GAME MANAGER: GHSA by-law 2.22 states: "The administrative head of each school shall operate all interscholastic contests and activities under direct and complete control of the school administration or designated school personnel. These responsibilities are not to be delegated by the board of education, superintendent, or principal to any person or persons who are not a part of the school’s professional staff." Upon arrival at the site the umpire must inquire as t0 whom the game manager is and ensure he/she can be reached if needed. The can be a single game manager for multiple events, as long as he or she can be contacted if the need arises. The game manager cannot be the coach of the team currently playing and must be a member of the school staff. If there is no game manager assigned or the game manager refuses to act when requested you are required to notify GHSA.
WRISTBANDS: Wristbands are considered part of the uniform and equipment. They MUST be a single solid color and cannot be optic yellow. See Rule 3-2-8 Exception. We have seen teams wearing camouflaged wristbands and no action was taken by the umpires to correct the issue. Whether or not you agree with the rule it is your responsibility to enforce. Do your job and enforce rules. Failure to do so is a disservice to the teams.
UNREPORTED SUBSTITUTE: We recently had a situation where the flex was entered as a pinch runner for the DP and was properly reported. Later in the game the DP came to bat and reached base. The opposing coach appealed that it was an illegal substation and the player should be declared out. The umpire just responded that coach could do it. This resulted in a continue disagreement. What he should have told the coach was that it was an unreported substitute and it was just a warning (if the first offense) and no one is declared out. See Rule 3-3-4, 3-6-7 Penalty. You need to be able to explain your decision and not just say the coach can do it.
1st & 2nd ROUND SERIES – Effective immediately during the 1st & 2nd rounds of the State Tournament the host school, by virtue of being the higher seed, will be the HOME team during the first and third games (if necessary) of each series, and the visiting school will be the HOME team during the 2nd game.