Softball Umpires Corner

This section contains a combination of mechanics and techniques for umpiring softball. All information provided in this section were obtained from Referee Magazine and NASO. The right sidebar has a combination list of techniques and mechanics, click any of interest and the information will appear in the middle section of the page. Enjoy!

Rules, Mechanics, Techniques That Go Beyond the Books - Not everything can be found in the rulebook or casebook and some instructors and seasoned umpires just do not offer solid guidelines unless it is supported somewhere in print.

UNNECESSARY SIGNALS GIVE THE HEAVE-HO - Officials in other sports like football, volleyball, and basketball use "meaningful" signals to convey the message of a penalty as appropriate to their respective manual.

INFIELD FLY BASICS - Nothing on the field other than illegal pitching causes more confusion, chaos and consternation than the infield fly.

VOICE LESSONS - What You Say and How Enhances Presence. The difference between announcing and calling.

Was that interference? If a play looks like interference, but you judge that interference did not occur, extend both arms horizontally like in a safe signal. Do not make a verbal call but hold your signal for all to see. That signal tells everyone you saw the play but interference did not occur. So if you are an umpire who has been having problems recognizing interference, and you are not sure, at least give the safe signal to inform everyone that you saw the play. That technique will prevent many onfield arguments.

If the play can be construed as possible interference, you should either assertively call interference or give a convincing safe signal. That is the first lesson toward eliminating the dreaded freeze mode. For more information on intereference that is within reach click here

To Score or Not Score the Run - The last thing umpires want to do is "freeze" on interference and obstruction calls and fail to communicate important information at critical points of a game. Have you ever heard the words "Hey ump, did the run score?" If you have ever heard those words, you have not done your job. After all, runs scored are important events in softball games.

FIVE STEPS TOWARD BEING GREAT - Let us assume you are a good umpire, even an exceptional umpire. You do well on association exams and know your mechanics. Nevertheless, do you think you are doing all you can to be a truly great umpire? Find out what it takes.

ONE AT A TIME - If you have any qualms at all about making a mistake when umpiring, you can have nightmares worrying about one of the worst things that can happen between two umpires.