This is the seventh in a series of 2018 season weekly softball umpire bulletins. We will cover issues pertinent to softball including, but not limited to, game issues, rule interpretations, etc. This blast will cover items observed during games.
ILLEGAL PITCH: This is the FOURTH time in seven weeks this issue has come up. This time an umpire was asked after the game why he was not calling an illegal pitch when the pitcher was walking through every pitch. His response “I WAS NOT LOOKING FOR THAT.” If he wasn’t looking for it, what was he doing on the field? Your responsibility is to enforce every rule and not selectively look for or don’t look for rule violations. If you cannot, or will not, enforce the rules you do not need to be on the field. Failure to properly enforce every rule is a disservice to the players, coaches and fellow umpires. ENFORCE THE RULES.
ARTIFICIAL NOISEMAKERS: Artificial noisemakers are not allowed in the dugout. Players cannot use buckets as drums by hitting them with their hands or other items.
JEWELRY: This is the second time we are coving this issue. Rule 3-2-12 prohibits players from wearing any type of jewelry, including cloth and string types. Umpires have been seen allowing players to wear cloth friendship bracelets. This is considered jewelry and cannot be worn. It is your job to enforce the rule as written. There is nothing in the jewelry rule open to interpretation. The rule is clear – NO JEWELRY OF ANY TYPE. The only exceptions are religious medals and medical alert medals, both of which must be taped. You cannot wear tape over earrings. The earring must be removed or the player cannot play.
WARMUP PITCHES: Rule 6-2-5 states the pitcher has one (1) minute to take not more than five (5) warmup pitches between innings. Upon completion, the catcher usually throws down to second base and the ball is eventually returned to the pitcher. After receiving the ball back, the pitcher has 20 seconds to deliver the pitch. If the pitcher throws the ball to another player, it is considered an extra warmup pitch and a ball is awarded to the batter.