This is the Third 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.
JEWELRY: 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 1 minute to take not more than 5 warmup pitches between innings. Upon completion the catcher usually throws down to second base and the ball is eventually returned to the pitcher. Once returned to the pitcher she has 20 seconds to start the pitch. 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.
RESTRICTION TO DUGOUT: Umpires should use this penalty instead of ejection when possible. However, if ejection is warranted use it. When a coach is restricted to the dugout he cannot be on the field nor make defensive visits. He can still coach his team. He can tell players where to position, call pitches, etc. Recently an umpire admonished a coach he restricted to the dugout and threatened to remove him because he was still coaching his team from the dugout. This umpire was incorrect in keeping the coach from coaching the team. DO NOT MAKE UP YOUR OWN RULES JUST ENFORCE WHAT IS IN THE BOOK. You have enough problems as it is do not create any by not knowing the rules.