GCCOA Sports

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Softball Visitors

Welcome to GCCOA Softball Site

The GCCOA Softball Site contains an extensive collection of high shcool umpiriing collateral to assist our umpires in getting started, improve and stay current with the art of softball umpiring. This includes the latest in positioning, mechanics, and rules as well as videos demonstrating proper mechanics and positioning (provided by ArbiterSports).

Please be sure to subscribe to the GCCOA Newsletters in order to receive updates and informative emails from our GCCOA Board of Directors and Officers.

Softball Documents

Preseason Guide 2018
Preseason Guide 2015
Softball Rules Changes 2015
MHSAA Softball 2015 Exam

Softball Rules Changes 2014
Preseason Guide 2014

Pitching Plate Relocation
Softball Field Diagram
Softball Signal Chart

Quick Tips

Umpires must always keep the look-back rule in mind when the ball is live, the batter-runner has touched first base, there are one or more baserunners, and the pitcher has possession and control of the ball within the pitcher circle. To better monitor the baserunners, the plate umpire should wait and allow the base umpire(s) time to get into position, make eye contact, and then return to his or her position behind the catcher. With at least one pair of eyes on the runner(s), it prevents the crew from missing any look-back rule violation.

It is best to confer with your partner away from an irate coach when determining whether or not to change a call.

Catchers will sometimes rise a little out of their stance prior to the pitcher delivery to adjust to a high pitch or position themselves for a possible steal or pickoff attempt. If you find yourself behind a catch who is rising from her stance frequently and setting up inside, and it affects how you see the plate while working the slot position, tell the catcher, "if you set up a little lower I can call the inside pitch better." Most catchers will gladly oblige.

A second or two after a ball is called, the catcher is still holding the ball, over-displaying it before reluctantly tossing it back to the pitcher. Sometimes when they do that, your internal instant replay proves you did kick a call. The next time that happens, offer to talk it over with her but only after she throws the ball back to the pitcher. Now, if she thinks you missed a pitch, she can hardly wait to get the ball back to her teammate.

It is best for plate and base umpires during a play to stop, stand tall and deliver the signal and hold it for an extra second. In the photo, this umpire projects a greater display of confidence and presence while making a signal.

If you find yourself out of position or farther away from a play then you would like before making a call, move a little closer to the play, stop and make your signal. All eyes of coaches, players, and fans are usually focused on the ball so it is where you end up on the play that counts. Your credibility will improve with each step you get closer to the action and make a ruling.

Base umpires working around second base in a two or three-person system should treat a play the same as if a plate umpire would the point-of-plate. The point-of-plate is the area just behind home plate from which an umpire assesses the action and chooses a calling position for an impending play at the plate. Make an adjustment around second base depending on where the throw originated, just like a plate umpire adjusts around the plate. Be patient, see the throw and move, if needed.