GHSA SOFTBALL WEEKLY BLAST #7
EACH WEEK THE “WEEKLY BLAST” WILL ADDRESS CONCERNS/ISSUES AS POINTS OF EMPHASIS OBSERVED IN GAMES DURING THE REGULAR SEASON. THE FOLLOWING HAVE BEEN OBSERVED THIS PAST WEEK:
PITCHER PRE-GAME WARMUPS – Rule 1-7-3 States; “Any non-adult warming up a pitcher at any location within the confines of the field shall wear an approved catcher’s helmet and mask combination and throat protector.” On numerous occasions warm up catcher has been seen not wearing the required protection or wearing just a simple face guard. This needs to be addressed when seen. It is the responsibility of both the umpires and coaches to ensure proper safety equipment is worn.
FOUL BALL – Rule 2-25 lists the definition of a foul ball. Plate umpires have been observed calling a foul ball before it meets the definition. A batted ball is not foul just because it is rolling up the baseline in foul territory – it may kick fair before it reaches 1B or 3B. Umpires need to wait until it is touched or stops rolling in foul territory before calling it a foul ball.
TEAM DUGOUTS – Per GHSA Policy, team dugouts are restricted areas for “team essential personnel” ONLY. Scorekeepers (if not an approved school coach), reporters, photographers, etc. are NOT allowed in the team dugout nor in the playing area. It is the umpires responsibility to remove unauthorized individuals from these restricted areas.
ELECTRONIC DEVICES – Rule 1-8-6 provides “The use of electronic devices by team personnel to transmit or record information pertaining to their players or team’s performance shall be permitted within the team’s dugout/bench area only. Information obtained from an electronic device may be used for coaching purposes during the game.” This means they can record from the dugout and use in the dugout. They cannot transmit the information to the players electronically. Also see Rule 3-6-11.
OBSTRUCTION (CLARIFICATION) – Keys to interpret obstruction:
- A defensive may NOT block the base/plate without the ball.
- An obstructed rummer will be give the base she would have achieved in the judgement of the umpire had obstruction not occurred.
- An obstructed runner cannot be put out between the two bases where the obstruction occurred.
- If a runner obtains the base they would have reached without the obstruction the delayed dead ball signal may be dropped and the runner subject to be put out.
Keep in mind obstruction is a “judgment call”, and is based on a decision concerning a runner’s movement that was impeded, altered, or stopped due to a defender’s actions. These should be the only factors in considering whether obstruction occurred. (If any defender stands on a base and forces a runner to alter her path and go around the defensive play that is obstruction. Umpires have been observed ignoring this, IT MUST BE CALLED.