This is the eighth 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 issue will cover items observed during games.
ILLEGAL PITCH: This is the FIFTH time in seven weeks this issue has come up. This time an umpire that saw an illegal pitch decided not to call it. Instead he told the shortstop to talk to the pitcher. He did this twice. On a third consecutive illegal pitch he went and told the pitcher she was leaping. Finally, on the fourth consecutive illegal pitch (leap) he called it. This led to an argument with the coach and ended in an ejection. IF YOU SEE AN ILLEGAL PITCH CALL IT. THERE ARE NO WARNINGS. THIS SITUATION WAS CLEARLY HANDLED IMPROPERLY. ENFORCE THE RULES.
WRIST/ARM BANDS: Wrist/arm bands MUST be worn on the wrist or forearm. They cannot be worn on the belt. GHSA was at a Region Playoff game and players were wearing them on their belts. This is illegal. Again, your job is to enforce the rules. Do what you are supposed to do. This was a POE in the NFHS Rules Clinic.
POST SEASON: Post season is starting. District Coordinators are reminded of the following:
2. The dates for Round 1 are Oct. 9, 10, 11, 12 and for Round 2 Oct. 16, 17, 18, 19. Make sure you notify host schools that they may not be able to get the dates they want because of umpire availability and they may have to change dates. There is no other option. DO NOT PUT UNQUALIFIED UMPIRES ON THE FIELD JUST TO MEET A COACH”S REQUEST. Remember there is a difference between being post season eligible and being qualified to call that level game.
3. A coach’s comment that “we’ve been doing it all year, or no one has called that all year” has no bearing on administering the rules correctly. It is merely an indictment that some umpires have chosen to ignore the rules/policies.