ID Organization Name Type
104484 SUP Other
Search   Search
News and Announcements
  • 8/17/2021

    Please click the link to view 2022 and 2023 Major Rules Changes.

  • 8/3/2021

    The NCAA is requesting applications from interested individuals to serve as the NCAA Softball National Coordinator of Umpires. The position is the NCAA’s commitment to improving the overall quality and consistency of officiating throughout softball. The position will help promote better communication between officials, coaches and the NCAA, and help provide consistency in the interpretation of NCAA softball officiating mechanics. Additionally, the national coordinator will assist the NCAA Divisions I, II and III Softball Committees in the identification, training, selection and evaluation of officials for each of the NCAA softball championships.

    Click here for a full description of the position. To apply for the open position, please submit a cover letter, resume and list of references no later than Aug. 30, 2021, to Liz Suscha via email at Hard copies of this information will not be accepted.

  • 7/12/2021

    The umpire “mechanics and manual committee” are fully engaged into improving officiating accuracy and we would like to have your proposals for new mechanics or tweaks to current mechanics asap.  This applies to two, three and four person systems.  Also, updates or edits including typos are requested for the 2022 manual.
    Please use the documents under the Forms tab for your submission.

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires

  • 7/6/2021

    NCAA Umpires,

    I recently informed the NCAA of my intent to resign the position of NCAA National Coordinator of Softball Umpires effective the end of my contract term— August 31, 2021.  I will continue to serve until that date and plan to help transition my successor into the role.

    Thank you for your support over the last four years!  With your help and many others who selflessly served the cause, we have made great strides in modernizing the umpire experience and improving the level of officiating for the NCAA softball student-athlete.

    We have stressed fundamentals, teamwork and communication as our foundation, and I’m confident that will continue in the future.

    My plan is to continue serving the student-athlete in a new role beginning with the 2021-2022 season; I hope to see you all again on the diamond one day soon.

    Yours in umpiring,

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires

  • 6/30/2021

    Please click the link to view Update on Uniform Patches.

  • 2/24/2021

    Please click the link to view NCAA Officials Health Dashboard.

  • 2/17/2021

    Hello Umpires,

    We have a couple of weeks under our belt and I have some observations & guidance. 

    First, I am pleased with the overall strike zone calls—the variety of differing zones are really narrowing down to the defined zone in our rule book.  Keep the focus and determination of calling pitches accurately.  The athletes on offense and defense train for accuracy, and that’s what we need to deliver.

    Secondly, I am seeing good signaling and have reports that verbal communication among our crews is improving— stay the course and continue the “good talk” on the field.

    COVID-19 procedures are a new wrinkle for us.  I can only stress that we all need to be cooperative, understanding and vigilant with all guidelines put in place by the conference or assigning group.  In some areas of the country, the ball rotation is coming from the dugouts and balls are being sanitized before returning to the game.  We will allow this until asked to intervene.  If asked to inspect or change out a game ball, we can discard & put in a different ball – balls may be slick, cut or have foreign substance on them.  We can also ask game personnel to clean and/or “rub them up”.  

    Fourthly, our “Get The Call Right” procedures work really well for us when we have a single play where we can either have an out or safe on runner or batter-runner.  It becomes tricky when we have baserunners and there is a ball in the air that is ruled either a “catch” or “no catch.”  In general, we have to make a call initially because baserunners need to know what to do on the bases. 

    The guidance is:  Slow down on close plays, observe the reaction of the fielder and make the call.  If you cannot see and determine the result – make eye contact with the umpire who would have the best look with a “give me help” non-verbal. The helping umpire Should make the call strongly and loudly.  This is not a “GTCR” play unless all else fails— then, we may have to place baserunners based on the most logical play that would have been made – not an ideal situation for us.

    In closing, the rules and mechanics test will close this Thursday at 5:00 PM EST.  I know it has been challenging, and I appreciate your efforts in continuing your education through this process.

    On your team,

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires

  • 1/14/2021

    Hello Umpires,

    I want to make you aware of changes to the 2021 Rules and Mechanics test.

    1.  We are extending the deadline to 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, February 18, 2021.
    2.  We are posting a study guide that has reference directions for all 124 questions.
    3.  We are adding a third attempt for achieving a successful percentage.
    4.  If you have spent the time and effort to complete the test with a successful percentage, congratulations and thank you.  

    The guideline document will be posted under the Testing screen on the front page of the Central Hub.

    My hope is that the test experience will further your knowledge of the rules and mechanics of our great game.

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires

  • 1/7/2021

    Officials and referees may operate in proximity to student-athletes and school personnel during or as part of competition events. As a result, they may create risk for these individuals and may also be at risk for contracting COVID-19 from student-athletes. Beginning on page 26 of the NCAA Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standard for Practice and Competition, the NCAA provides examples of testing and masking strategies for officials and information about officials’ proximity to competitors. Please review this information as you officiate NCAA competition this season.

    NOTE - The CDC guidelines related to gaiters have been updated. When wearing a one-layer gaiter, like the one officials may have received as part of the welcome packet process, it should be folded over to make two layers to be compliant with CDC guidelines. Other masks or face coverings that are in compliance with CDC recommendations also may be worn.

  • 1/4/2021

    Hello Umpires,

    Happy New Year!  And welcome back!  To say the least it has been an unusual ten months – like you I have missed our collegiate softball.  I look forward to working with you and seeing you again on the field in 2021.

    The 2021 Rules and Mechanics test is now available under the Testing tab on the Arbiter Central Hub.  The test is designed to refresh and further your knowledge of NCAA rules and mechanics.  All test answers are in the 2020/21 rule book, the umpire manual, on the Arbiter Central Hub (Rules interpretations and mechanics updates) or in the published case book.

    The parameters of the test are:

    1. Test opened this morning at 8:00 AM EST.
    2. Answer 80 questions out of a possible 124.
    3. Passing score is 90%.
    4. Test will close at 5:00PM EST on Thursday, January 28, 2021.

    IMPORTANT:  I do not recommend completing this exam without researching each question in the books.  It is our hope that this exam will encourage you to be a student of our rules, mechanics, and interpretations.  Discuss the questions with your colleagues just like you would in a “get the call right” situation.

    The 2021 Umpire clinic will be conducted Sunday, January 17 starting at 1:00 PM EST.  The clinic could last as long as three hours based on the quantity of questions and responses (extra innings).  The clinic will be performed virtually using Microsoft Teams – instructions to follow.  Please make every effort to join us live on that day.

    I look forward to seeing you soon.

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires

  • 12/1/2020

    Registration for the 2021 NCAA Softball Season is now open.  Umpires from all levels are invited to register by clicking on the REGISTRATION Tab and are encouraged to take advantage of all that is offered on the NCAA Softball central hub.  Discounted registration fees are $112 for Division I, $97 for Division II, and $90 for Division III. 

    Coordinators, Coaches and Administrators are also welcome and encouraged to register with no fees.

    Those who register will receive access to the high-powered content successful umpires have come to expect and rely on, including the annual NCAA online preseason rules and mechanics test, web-based video delivery, rule interpretations, and current educational material from the NCAA.

    The ArbiterMobile app is again available at no cost to NCAA registered officials. To download the app, please click here.

    Umpires will receive a Welcome Packet that includes the 2020 and 2021 NCAA Softball Rules and Interpretations book and 2021 CCA Softball Umpires Manual. 

    The 2021 NCAA Softball Rules and Mechanics Test will be available on January 4.  You'll receive an email when the test is open.  An online clinic will also be conducted virtually on January 17.

    We believe your membership in Home Plate will provide a significant and positive effect for your collegiate experience.  We sincerely thank you for taking part and I look forward to seeing you on the field again in 2021.

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires 

  • 7/30/2020

    During its July 22 videoconference, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel acted on several items.  Please click here to read the memorandum from Jeff Hurd, NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel.

  • 5/1/2020

    Please click the link to view Offseason Updates, also posted under the VIDEOS tab.

    Additionally, National Coordinator Craig Hyde and Video Services & Training Coordinator Marty Abezetian will be joining the Officially Connected program this Sunday, May 3rd at 7PM ET/6PM CT on Facebook Live for a softball officiating discussion.   

    The Facebook event can be found at

  • 4/13/2020

    Dear NCAA Official,

    The NCAA has engaged The PICTOR Group to conduct a National Review of the State of Collegiate Officiating. As an NCAA official, your voice is central to this review. Below is a link to a confidential survey designed to help identify general as well as divisional issues across 15 sports in NCAA Divisions I, II and III. The survey is estimated to take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will remain open for three weeks. Since there is no central location to connect with all NCAA officials, you may receive more than one request to participate. Please complete only one survey for each sport that you officiate.

    Officials who complete the survey and provide contact information, will be entered to win an NCAA Gift Pack to include items such as free Arbiter Central Hub registration, NCAA apparel or gift cards to purchase sport-specific officiating equipment and apparel. Please complete the survey at your earliest convenience.

    Click here to access the NCAA Officials Survey.

    The over-arching goal of the National Review is two-fold: a) identify general and divisional issues that are affecting NCAA sports as a result of the decline in the officiating pool, and b) to present strategic recommendations to meet the officiating needs of the membership. Click here should you wish to learn more about the project scope:  National Review of Collegiate Officiating

    Thank you in advance for your participation and thoughtful contribution. Should you have any questions about or problems accessing the survey, please contact Mary Struckhoff at


    Anthony Holman

    Anthony Holman
    Managing Director, NCAA Championships & Alliances

  • 4/9/2020

    Hello umpires,

    Well, we have taken a 70 mph rise ball square to the mask from the COVID-19 virus we did not see coming.  This pandemic arose in a hurry and ended our season as we looked around at each other in disbelief.

    After a month or so, we are beginning to see some hope as the wicked curve ball is flattening out.  I am feeling some excitement knowing that eventually our student athletes will have an opportunity to compete again in our great game of collegiate softball.

    I would like to say that I am proud to be a part of the NCAA umpiring community.  At the clinics in January, we stressed that one of the core tenets we look for is “being a good citizen.”  I have read and viewed some incredibly uplifting pictures, thoughts & stories on social media showcasing the quality of citizens we have on staff.   Continue to be your umpire brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.  Many of us are serving the communities through our chosen professions as first responders and medical professionals, while others are volunteering in any way the social distancing requirements allow.  The main concern today is staying safe and keeping your families safe and healthy.

    Sharon, Vickie, Joanne, Sally, Marty and I talk regularly concerning plans going forward.  We plan to continue training in Arbiter for our registered officials during the rest of April and into mid-May, then pick up the pace when our student-athletes are given the go-ahead to begin practicing as teams– hoping for the fall season.  Here are a few of the subjects we are reviewing:

    1.    Rules committee meeting.

    2.    Mechanics.

    3.    Experimental rule for “Video Review”.

    4.    Coordinator’s meeting (virtual) – August 2020.

    5.    Future Institute scheduling (September 2020 Institute canceled).

    Also, I would like to commend the NCAA medical staff who were out in front of this, aiding in a difficult and unprecedented decision to halt the spring seasons, and were instrumental in slowing the spread of this virus to participants of all NCAA games— special thanks to those individuals.

    We appreciate you and we need you.  Please be safe– our staff cannot wait to see each of you calling balls and strikes again! 

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires

  • 3/31/2020


    NCAA Registered Officials:

    As you are aware, on March 12, 2020 the NCAA made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining winter and spring championships due to the public health threat COVID-19. 

    As a result of this unforeseen event, ArbiterSports is providing all 2019-20 registered officials in NCAA Baseball, Softball, Men’s Lacrosse, and Women’s Lacrosse a 25 percent discount when you complete a 2020-21 registration fee in these four sports.  This discount will be applied automatically when you complete your 2020-21 registration.

    Thank you for playing such an important role in NCAA sports, and please keep yourself and your family healthy and safe.

    We look forward to seeing you on the field next season!


  • 3/5/2020

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2020 Training Tape - Week 2.

  • 2/27/2020

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2020 Training Tape - Week 1.

  • 2/6/2020


    Enclosed are the 2020 NCAA Softball Rules Exam correct answers along with all Rules Book, Case Book, CCA Manual and interpretations references along with additional commentary if needed.

    Use this document to review your test answers for a better understanding of our rules.

    Vickie Van Kleeck
    NCAA Softball Secretary-Rules Editor

  • 1/8/2020

    The NCAA has engaged The PICTOR Group to lead a comprehensive review of the state of collegiate officiating for 15 NCAA sports across all three divisions. A national review is underway and involves significant data collection, with commissioners representing Divisions I, II, and III comprising an Officiating Review Steering Committee. The final report will be submitted to the NCAA in August 2020. 

    Please click the following link for an overview of the NCAA Officiating Review Project.

  • 1/2/2020

    Hello Umpires,

    Happy New Year!  Now let’s get ready for some NCAA softball!

    The 2020 Rules and Mechanics test is available now under the Testing tab on the Arbiter Central Hub. The test will close on January 30 at 5:00 EST.  The test is designed to refresh and further your knowledge of NCAA rules and mechanics.  All test answers are in the 2020/21 rule book, the umpire manual, on the Arbiter Central Hub (Rules interpretations and mechanics updates) or in the published case book with one exception:

    Three person mechanics: Multiple baserunners with two outs, Ball hit to outfield – base umpire goes out for coverage.  Plate umpire reads play going to third base and has final out at third base on a trailing runner.  The remaining base umpire must rule on lead runner touching home plate in relation to the timing of the third out and must move in toward the plate and be big and vocal signal with a point “run scores” or signal arms crossing above head “run does not score”.  The umpire that went out should also observe the action and be prepared to provide assistance if needed.

    IMPORTANT:  I do not recommend completing this exam without researching each question in the books.  It is our hope that this exam will encourage you to be a student of our rules, mechanics, and interpretations.  Discuss the questions with your colleagues just like you would in a “get the call right” situation.

    Our umpire clinics begin this Saturday in Atlanta.  The other two clinics are scheduled for San Jose on January 11 and Indianapolis on January 25.  The daily schedule is:

    Registration - 7:00 AM

    Clinic - 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

    I look forward to seeing you soon.

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires

  • 12/2/2019

    Registration for the 2019-20 NCAA Softball Season is now open.  Umpires from all levels are invited to register by clicking on the REGISTRATION Tab and are encouraged to take advantage of all that is offered on the NCAA Softball central hub.  Registration fees are $150 for Division I, $130 for Division II, and $120 for Division III. 

    Coordinators, Coaches and Administrators are also welcome and encouraged to register with no fees.

    Those who register will receive access to the high-powered content successful umpires have come to expect and rely on, including the annual NCAA online preseason rules test, web-based video delivery, rule interpretations, and current educational material from the NCAA.  You may also download the free ArbiterMobile app by clicking here.

    Umpires will receive a Welcome Packet that includes the 2020 and 2021 NCAA Softball Rules and Interpretations book and 2020 CCA Softball Umpires Manual. 

    The 2020 NCAA Softball Rules and Mechanics Test will be available on January 2.  You'll receive an email when the test is open.  An online clinic will also be published in January.

    We believe your membership in Home Plate will provide a significant and positive effect for your collegiate experience.  We sincerely thank you for taking part.

    Craig Hyde
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires

  • 10/31/2019

    Click the link below to be directed to this year’s sports wagering educational video for officials.  The video is approximately 20 minutes in length and includes sports wagering information with which you should be familiar. 

    2019 NCAA Integrity Education Video


    Best regards,

    Dan Calandro
    NCAA, Director of Championships and Alliances


  • 10/30/2019

    Please join me in congratulating and welcoming our two new regional advisors; Joanne Venditto and Sally Walker.

    In addition to giving us great coverage of the country,  Joanne and Sally bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program.  We look forward to their contributions to improving collegiate officiating during 2020 and beyond.


  • 10/3/2019


    NCAA Officials: 

    This document was developed as part of the NCAA’s continued review of its risk management program.  Please note that this document summarizes information that may render an official ineligible to officiate any rounds of any of the NCAA championships.    

    Also, please note that one or more of the components of the “Notifications and Determinations” section may not be in place until the 2020-21 academic year. 

    Best regards,

    Dan Calandro
    NCAA, Director of Championships and Alliances

  • 9/20/2019

    Hello Umpires,

    The registration link for our January clinics is attached.  Please register for one clinic only.


  • 9/4/2019

    Hello Umpires and Coordinators,

    Hope everybody had a great summer.  The fall season is getting started and the new rules are in effect.  Please work with the teams during the non-competitive season sharing new rule knowledge and our umpire mechanics as appropriate – we are transparent with our approach “to get the call right”.

    I have several announcements:

    1)  Registration in Arbiter for the 2020 season opens on December 2.

    2)  The in-person clinics are being held in Atlanta, GA January 4, San Jose, CA January 11 and Indianapolis, IN January 25, 2020.

    3)  Two regional advisor positions are open and applications are available until September 9. The postings are on the NCAA site at

    Have a great fall season.


  • 9/4/2019

    The position of regional advisor for NCAA softball shall provide assistance to the National Coordinator for NCAA softball umpiring (and, ultimately, the NCAA Softball Committees) to further the NCAA’s ongoing commitment to improving the overall quality and consistency of umpiring throughout collegiate softball.

    To apply for one of the two open positions, please submit a cover letter, resume and list of references no later than September 9, 2019, to Sharon Cessna via email at Hard copies of this information will not be accepted.

    Click here for a full description of the position.

  • 9/1/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view Taking the Signal Clarification - September 2019.

  • 6/21/2019

    Hello Folks,

    Thank you for your support of the Softball Umpire Improvement Program. We are looking forward to the 2019 Fall and 2020 Spring seasons.

    The Softball Umpire Institute will be scheduled for the Fall of 2020 - more information to follow.

    The 2020 Clinics will be held during January, 2020 - we will have three clinics around the country - more information to follow.

    Hope you have a great rest of the summer.


  • 5/14/2019

    Hello Umpires,

    This past weekend, multiple conference championships used the NCAA 4-Umpire System with success.  Please go to the forms section and download the latest updated version. It includes simplifications on pages 22 and 31 where two of the two-out modifications were removed. 

    The system is now simple to use. I encourage you to study the manual in detail this week, pregame continuously with your partners, and communicate with your crew with every new batter in your games.

    The following basic tips should bring new light into the concept of the system:

    -If a runner starts on 3B, the plate umpire stays home. Simply put.  All umpires should key off of this.  This is when the plate umpire uses the "I'm staying home signal."

    -If a runner starts on 3B, U2 must be thinking, "if U3 chases, I have to go cover plays at 3B." 

    -If U2 needs to cover 3B, we recommend that U2 start on the 1B side of 2B so that they can move across the diamond without crossing running lanes.

    -If a runner starts on 2B or 3B, U3 must be thinking, "I'm staying at 3B unless I have to chase."

    With each new batter, or after runners advance, base umpires should look to each other and communicate. Simple hand gestures and words such as "me and you" or "I've got your base" or "I'm not going anywhere" greatly simplify the movements once the ball is hit.

    Be a great crewmate!


  • 5/6/2019

    Hello umpires—As the Division I regular season comes to a close, many conference championships have opted to use the new 4-Person Mechanics in their tournaments, and beginning next week, the Division I NCAA Tournament will use the 4-Person system for the first time.

    Preparation is the key to success!  Continue to review the 4-Person Mechanics document found under the “CCA App” tab on the Central Hub.  

    Also, in addition to the study guide & diagram pages at the end of that document, we have developed an online training tool to aid in the review, study, and pre-gaming of the 4-Person System using ‘smart flash cards.’  We are utilizing Brainscape, a simple and intuitive platform that will allow umpires to study via any web browser, or on most any phone or tablet via their free iOS and Android apps. 

    The link below will take you directly to the 4-Person Mechanics Flashcards module.  Within it, there are four decks—one for each position on the field.  As you prepare individually and with your crews, simply select the position you want to study, and you’ll be shown different flashcards with a situation and/or graphic.  Then, you’ll be able to tap the card to “flip” it over to the correct answer(s).   You’ll then be able to tag that card with a number, 1 to 5, based on how comfortable you were knowing the material.  Cards you’ve tagged with lower numbers will shuffle back to you more frequently in that deck than cards you know well.  The Brainscape tool isn’t timed or graded, so use it as much as you like at your own pace as you continue to prepare for the Postseason.


    4-Person Mechanics Flashcard Tool:

    Brainscape free iOS app in the AppStore:

    Brainscape free Android app in the Google Play store:

  • 4/18/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 10.

  • 4/11/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 9.

  • 4/4/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 8.

  • 3/28/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 7.

  • 3/22/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 6.

  • 3/15/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 5.

  • 3/11/2019

    This is a reminder that the online clinic closes today at 5 p.m. Eastern Time for Postseason Eligibility.  To view the clinic, please click here.

  • 3/8/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 4.

  • 3/1/2019


    Please click the following links to view 2019 Topic Tape #2 - Retired Runner Interference, and A.R. 12-60, which contains the new language for A.R. 12-60 in the case book.  The NCAA softball case book has been amended, and the new versions are live on the ArbiterSports Central Hub, as well as the NCAA Publications website, but this PDF outlines the change made, and is referenced in the video.

  • 2/22/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 2.

  • 2/13/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 1.

  • 2/13/2019


    NCAA Softball Rule states, “The knob may be solid or hollowed out to house an embedded metric sensor.”  We do not allow players to attach an external sensor of any type to the end of the knob.

    If a player comes to bat with any device attached to the knob, it must be removed before she is permitted to enter the batter’s box. Rule 3.4 EFFECT outlines the penalty for use of an inappropriate bat.


    Pitchers are permitted to use grip towels during the game. The towel is only available for use with the pitching hand prior to starting the pitch.  However, if, in your judgment, the ball feels sticky/tacky after the pitcher uses the grip towel, you need to inform the head coach and pitcher that they cannot use this towel/substance.

    10.13 Substance on the Ball/Items on Pitcher

    10.13.1 Under the supervision and within view of the umpire, a resin (a drying agent) may be used on the pitcher’s hand/fingers. Any substance (including resin, dirt or saliva) applied to the pitcher’s hands and fingers must be wiped off if it would transfer to the ball.

    10.13.2 No player or other team personnel may apply moisture or any substance to the ball or into a glove that will then contact the ball or do anything else to deface the ball. Exception: All new game balls shall be sufficiently rubbed up so as to remove the manufacturer’s gloss before being put in play by the umpire.

    EFFECT—(10.13.1 and 10.13.2)—For the first offense, an illegal pitch shall be called as soon as the substance comes in contact with the ball. (See Rule 10.8.) On the second offense, the pitcher shall be ejected. (Behavioral ejection; see Rule 13.2.1.)

  • 2/6/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Training Tape - Week 0.

  • 1/28/2019

    The 2019 NCAA Softball Umpires Online Clinic (Eligibility Version) is now available and is an eligibility requirement for Division I, Division II, and Division III umpires who wish to work postseason assignments.

    To view the clinic, click the ELIGIBILITY Tab.  After reading all information and testing your system for compatibility, click the Eligibility Center link at the bottom of the page.

    The deadline to view the clinic is March 11 at 5 PM Eastern time.

  • 1/3/2019

    Dear Umpires,

    Happy New Year and welcome to the 2019 season. 

    Here we go:

    1.  The two mechanics we tested in the fall are approved: a. U3 rotated can be positioned on the (SS) left side of 2B or the normal position on the right side, b. all umpires are jointly responsible for illegally batted balls – keep in mind you must be absolutely sure that the foot or knee is out of batters box at the time of bat ball contact to make this call from any of the umpire positions.

    2.  The umpire test opens January 8 and closes February 23 at 8:00 EST.  There will be 50 questions and a score of 90 is required for postseason eligibility. There will be no exceptions to these dates.  Please make sure you complete well in advance of the deadline.

    3.  We will release the four-person mechanics manual soon– please study and know this system as we approach the season – as noted earlier, this system will be used in Division I NCAA postseason for 2019.  Also, there will be various opportunities to work this system during the 2019 regular season.

    4.  Also, although there are no NCAA in-person clinics this year, we will present an online clinic for yourreview and for postseason eligibility.  We will notify you when the online clinic is posted.

    Looking forward to a great year and remember...

    Be a great crewmate,


  • 10/5/2018

    The four-person umpire crew has been approved for use during the 2019 NCAA Division I softball postseason.  This includes all games during the regionals, super regionals and the Women’s College World Series.

    This is a positive step in the advancement of collegiate softball.  We are very excited about the additional coverage for accurate play calling and the opportunity for additional umpires to be involved in the postseason.

    Stay tuned for more information and updates.


  • 10/4/2018

    As the 2019 softball season approaches, this is to let you know that the Softball Umpiring Home Plate Central Hub will open for registration December 1. Please know that the registration fee for this season is $150 (DI), $130 (DII) and $120 (DIII), which is an increase from the past two seasons. As a reminder, umpires are required to register on Home Plate in order to be considered for postseason assignment. You will receive an email notification on December 1 when registration officially opens.   

    Thank you for your past interest in registering as an NCAA softball umpire, and we look forward to the upcoming season. 

    Craig Hyde
    National Coordinator of Softball Umpires

  • 8/31/2018

    Hello Folks,

    Hope your summer has been great – fall season is kicking off and it is a great time to improve your skills. The umpire institute is September 7 – 9 and we will be introducing some new mechanics and test mechanics for fall games – I will publish via the central hub by September 12.

    Staff changes:

    Kelie Sturgis and John Bennett are no longer in their roles as Regional Advisor and Video and Training Coordinator. We really appreciate their dedication and outstanding work this past year. We wish them the best in the future.

    Jim Sanderson continues in his role as regional advisor and Marty Abezetian begins his service to the staff as the Video Services Coordinator.  We look forward to working with each of you the remainder of 2018 and the 2019 season.

    Be a great crewmate,


  • 7/25/2018

    The Softball Rules Committee and Playing Rules Oversight Panel have approved one rules change for the 2019 season. The rules change can be found here.

  • 7/19/2018

    The second annual Softball Umpire Institute will be held at the USA Softball Complex in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 7-9, 2018. 

    Please click here for more information.

  • 5/9/2018

    Dear Umpires,

    We begin our postseason journey in earnest today. Many D1 conference championships are throwing first pitches today, DII and DIII regionals begin tomorrow, and some conferences are completing last conference series games this weekend.  Our rhythm, focus and mechanics are grooved at this point of the season; do not try to change mechanics at this point – prepare your body and minds for the game today and just naturally – go umpire.

    We want to thank you for your dedication to the softball umpire program and whether you are or are not umpiring in the days ahead – please support our team of officials that are representing our community in the postseason.  This is a team approach and we want every umpire to be successful in our continued pursuit of excellence.

    We continue to work diligently and thoroughly on postseason selections for all divisions.  We plan to post assignments for next week games as follows: DII and DIII super regionals on Sunday and D1 regionals’ selections on Monday.  We plan to complete assignments in Arbiter sports by 6:00 EST Monday, May 14.  If assigned, please accept within the hour.

    Be a great crewmate!

    SUP Staff

  • 5/2/2018

    Dear Umpires,

    Week thirteen is in the books and we are in the home stretch.  Now is the time to reinvigorate, take stock in how we have performed during the season so far and work at our highest level throughout the remaining regular season and postseason.  We love the month of May and we know why – “heightened competition!”  Rise to the occasion – compete!  We will continue our focus on an accurate strike zone, crewmanship and getting the calls right.

    Feedback – Adjustments – Guidance:

    1.  Review the first twelve posts and all the videos.

    2.  At this point of the year, we feel the grind, take a deep breath – plan your road trips with some buffer, make sure you have adequate time to sleep. Prepare like an athlete.

    3.  Consider and pre-pitch this situation as the PU: “Runner on third less than two outs”, squeeze play or ground ball to infield occurs with throw to the plate – quickly move to a position to umpire the catchers position ahead of receiving the ball – consider the wedge as your choice and judge obstruction or not obstruction, umpire the tag play and consider the collision rule if circumstances occur.  These plays happen in seconds and we need to prepare our minds and subsequent movements.

    4.  Consider and pregame this situation/rotation adjustment: “Runner on first base who is running on the release of the pitch and a ground ball to the 3B or catcher, the ball is overthrown at first base” – the next likely play is a throw from the right fielder to the catcher at the plate for a play on U1.  As the PU reads the play, considering the position of U1 and R1, then verbalizes to U1- “I’ve got the plate!” PU then takes the play at plate on R1 – U3 takes batter runner into 2nd and possibly into third. U1 backs off his movement towards the plate, stays at first and observes as another set of eyes.  We need great verbal communication and eye contact for this adjusted rotation.

    5.  Consider and pregame this situation/rotation adjustment: “Runner on first base and a bunt or slow roller along first or third base line, R1 is running on the release of the pitch”. The PU stays with fair/foul call on the line, U3 takes R1 into 2B and 3B verbalizing “I’ve got third!”  U1 stays with batter runner at 1B and possibly into 2B. PU remains at the plate for any play on R1 or batter runner.

    We are working diligently and thoroughly on postseason selections for all divisions.  The DII and DIII regionals begin May 10 and we plan to have those assignments posted in Arbiter sports by 6:00 EST Monday, May 7.  If assigned, please accept within the hour.

    Be a great crewmate!

    SUP Staff

  • 4/25/2018

    Dear Umpires,

    Week twelve is in the books and teams are playing for regional seeds, conference standings and championships.  Let’s continue our focus and dedication to an accurate strike zone and getting the calls right.

    Feedback – Adjustments – Guidance:

    Coach umpire conversation considerations:

    1.  Don’t anticipate – listen, listen, listen.
    2.  Stand shoulder to shoulder if possible.
    3.  Be aware of your non-verbal presentation - show approachability.
    4.  Remove sunglasses and have eye contact with the coach.
    5.  If exchange is emotional, attempt to bring it down to a conversation by asking a question, “Coach, what did you see?  Then, you can briefly talk through what you had on the play.
    6.  Use the warnings appropriately, many times they can escalate a situation or they can end a conversation.  Be prudent and unemotional when issuing warnings.

    Set position calls:

    1.  Be in a set position whenever possible for standard force plays, catch/no catch plays and fair/foul calls.
    2.  On chases, break your momentum into steps: set before the action takes place, not as the action occurs (this also applies to force plays on the infield).
    3.  On balls beyond the fence and near the foul line, move to and straddle the line (do not run down the line), pick up the flight of the ball and rule as the ball crosses the fence in relation to the foul pole – signal appropriately and soon after the ball crosses the fence.
    4.  On hard hit balls near the line, give up the distance in order to come to a complete stop, head still, eyes set and locked in on first contact of batted ball with ground or player.

    Be a great crewmate!

    SUP Staff

  • 4/18/2018

    Dear Umpires,

    Week eleven is in the books and the regular season is down to three or four weeks.  Stay focused, be prepared and continue to work hard as a crew as we move into week twelve.

    Feedback – Adjustments – Guidance:

    Sometimes, the pace of the game can be significantly impacted by the amount of time that a coach takes during a defensive conference. This is an area for the plate umpire to professionally and respectfully maintain a reasonable flow in the game.

    Here are some pointers when there is a visit to the pitcher:

    1)  When the coach goes to the circle, position yourself on that team's foul line while you document the conference. This allows you to non-verbally communicate the charge as she/he returns to the dugout. (NOTE: if the game is contentious, stand on the other foul line.)

    2) How long should the visit last?  It is your judgement; however, consider these unwritten rules of thumb:  If the head coach goes to the circle, count to approximately 20. If an assistant goes, count to approximately 15. If a player goes, count to approximately 5.  These are not hard-fast times, but they generally work most of the time.

    3) When you decide to go to the circle, walk with your head up and with a steady purpose. This is not time to look timid, nor is it a time to look aggressive. You have a job to do, so walk directly to the circle. Position yourself on the outer ring of the huddle in the coach's line of vision. If the coach does not break it up shortly, then ask, "Are you about ready to play?"   Manage this situation respectfully but without reservation.

    4) If the coach makes a pitching change, be mindful of the potential delay caused by the relief pitcher continuing to throw in the bullpen before reporting to the field. If you notice the new pitcher is not headed to the field, ask the nearest base umpire to summon her.  The base umpire should jog toward the bullpen and when within earshot, say something like "Number 47, come to the mound." 

    5) Coaches often use the charged conference as a chance to complain about balls and strikes. Manage this behavior the same as you would if they complained elsewhere.

    Also, Quiz 3 has been posted, please take advantage of this learning opportunity.

    Be a great crewmate!

    SUP Staff

  • 4/10/2018

    Dear Umpires,

    Week ten is in the books.  Stay focused and continue thorough pre-game and post-game discussions every game – these procedures are just as important now as they were early in the year.

    As you are aware, the post season availability and affiliation form has been posted by link. If you are post season eligible, please complete this form by the deadline, 11:59 PM Thursday April 12, 2018.  You will not receive a confirmation email; however, at moment of submittal you will receive a note stating “Thank You. Your information has been received.” All umpires who met the postseason requirements for a division are under consideration for postseason assignments in the appropriate division.

    Feedback – Adjustments – Guidance:

    Checked Swings:

    Review the rule and procedures for 11.10 Checked Swing on page 96 of the rule book. In addition to rule book procedures, consider the following:

    1.  PU needs to work hard to make this judgement. If a swing is judged, a strike is called.  If the pitch is in the strike zone and the swing is marginal, call the pitch a strike rather than addressing the check swing action.

    2.  If PU is unsure of attempted swing – go for help before being asked by catcher.

    3.  PU should have a consistent and emotionless mechanic when asking for help.  The urgency of the request may vary considering the circumstances of the game, but the tone and emotion should remain constant.  The preferred method is to quickly remove your mask, take one step to the side and in the direction of the open umpire, point with your right hand and ask “Did she go?”.

    4.  If possible third strike is dropped and situation allows batter runner to attempt to advance to 1B and PU is not sure of swing – quickly ask the base umpire “Did she go?” Base umpire responds promptly.

    5.  As a base umpire: pre-pitch check swing responsibility, if responsible and after pitched ball is released, “focus your eyes on the bat for possible swing”, if no bat movement, refocus on other help responsibilities at the plate. Give appropriate answer “Yes” or “No” and signal an out or a safe.

    6.  Base umpires, even when in a rotated or counter rotated position our check swing responsibilities remain – our prospective is more challenging from this position; however, we must be aware and focused to see and judge this action accurately.

    Be a great crewmate!

    SUP Staff  

  • 4/9/2018


    If you have met all eligibility requirements for NCAA softball postseason (all divisions), please go to the link below and complete the availability/affiliation form.  All eligible umpires must complete this form. 

    Go to the Postseason Availability and Affiliation form.

  • 4/4/2018

    Dear Umpires,

    Week nine is over and we are in the middle of conference and important regional games.  As we move along, we would like to share a few thoughts for your consideration.   Overall, we have taken on some major rule changes this year and sometimes we get overloaded with “we have to make this new call.”  Please just relax and do what you do best – make good sound decisions.  An old saying applies, “Let the game come to us, don’t go get the game.”  In other words, slow down (slow-motion), let the whole play complete itself, render a decision and then make your signal.

    Feedback – Adjustments – Guidance:

    Accurate Strike Zone:  We are seeing an improvement in this area – stay the course.  Call the entire vertical zone as defined in the Rules Book: the area from top of the ball below the sternum to 3.82” below the top of knee.  Make the ball touch the white horizontally (24.64”).  This is the NCAA strike zone.

    More on Obstruction: 

    1)  Consider the timing of the play – allow the catcher or defensive player time to adjust their position from blocking the plate/base/base path ahead of the action of the play.  If she camps there and stays there, then call obstruction.  If she is there momentarily ahead of the play and she adjust her position to a non-blocking position-allow this action.

    2)  Be prepared to explain your decision of why you called or did not call obstruction, if asked by a coach.  Do not demonstrate or allow a coach to demonstrate the actions of the play; instead, verbalize, “Coach, let’s just talk about this play.”

    3)  If obstruction is called and the obstructed runner is put out before reaching the base she should have reached on the play, the mechanic sequence is:

    a.  Verbalize “Obstruction” and signal Obstruction.

    b.  Immediately after the runner is tagged out, verbalize and signal “Dead Ball.”

    c.  Verbalize “The runner is safe at this base/plate” and point to the base/plate she is awarded. 

    d.  The remaining umpires must rule on the runners’ positions at the time of the suspension of play by the calling umpire (Pg. 75, Rule to, Note #1… “other runners would be awarded the next base provided they had advanced more than halfway to the next base….).

    Reminder: the second quiz has been posted and is available until April 9, 2018.

    Be a great crewmate!

    SUP Staff

  • 3/28/2018

    Dear Umpires,

    Week eight is over.  Thank you for your dedication to NCAA softball.  We appreciate you and thank your families and friends for supporting you.  Teams are adjusting playing actions concerning the new obstruction and illegally batted ball rules.  Please continue to follow guidance associated with these new rules and work angles to view and rule on these plays accurately.

    Feedback – Adjustments – Guidance:

    This week, we would like to focus on the Collision Rule 12.13 on pages 119 and 120 of our rule book.  In all cases of 12.13.1, the fielder must be in clear possession of the ball. There were several collisions this past weekend that were not called and we would like to offer some thoughts for consideration.

    On tag plays at any base/plate we are seeing runners violating the rule “The runner may not attempt to dislodge the ball from the fielder.  Contact above the waist shall be judged by the umpire as an attempt by the runner to dislodge the ball.”  The runner can prevent a deliberate crash ruling violation by being on the ground, jumping over, going around or returning to the prior base.  Even if the player is attempting to avoid the collision by slowing down or side stepping, however; in spite of the adjustment, forceful contact occurs above the waist, call the collision dead ball rule.

    On force plays at 1B, we know that runners are not expected to hit the ground or slide at first base, therefore; there is additional judgement involved concerning these collision rulings.  In considering  Did she throw her arms into fielder?  Was the defensive player waiting to apply a tag and did the runner crash into the fielder with great force? Did the throw take the fielder into or through the path and was the collision unavoidable? Depending on the play, the possible ruling is collision or that’s nothing.

    If obstruction occurs prior to the crash on either a tag or force play regardless of what base or plate the collision occurs, then obstruction is ignored, and the collision rule must be enforced.  If the act is determined to be flagrant, the offender will be ejected without warning.  Use your best judgement on a flagrant ruling – if the act is a no doubter, then eject; however, if doubt exists do not eject immediately, bring crew together for discussion of degree of collision and the calling umpire makes final decision of disqualification ruling.

    As discussed last week, there are numerous considerations we are umpiring on each play, outs/safes, obstruction? interference? collision?  Pregame and pre-pitch these circumstances and review the tools presented in week seven.

    As the rule book states, the rules committee is concerned about unnecessary and violent collisions with the catcher at home plate and with infielders at all bases.  The intent of this rule is to encourage runners and defensive players to avoid such collisions whenever possible.

    Be a great crewmate!

    SUP Staff

  • 3/21/2018

    Hello Umpires, 

    We are now in week seven, season is moving right along.! Today we want to continue educating “umpiring the obstruction and collision rules.” Our goal is for the calling umpire to make a proper ruling on these plays and rarely have to seek help from the crew to “Get the call right.”  We have asked officials that have had positive experiences with these calls to share techniques that are working well for them – please study carefully their responses below:

    Umpiring Obstruction and Collision rules

    As the season has progressed, we’ve had many challenging situations with the revised obstruction rule on a thrown ball. As we revisit the definition of the rule, what changes do we need to make to successfully apply the rule as it is written:

    “It is obstruction if a defensive player is blocking the whole base/plate or base path without the ball and/or the runner does not have a clear path to the base/plate” and since the fielder must now be in possession of the ball when she blocks the base/plate or base path, umpires must be aware of the defender’s location relative to the base/plate and runner’s base path at all times throughout a play.

    For years, most of us would watch the flight of the ball and let it bring us to the play as we tried to determine where the tag was likely to be applied, while watching for obstruction.

    As the teaching of our craft has advanced, our positioning can be dynamic as the plays dictates, but the basic factors remain the same: we must position ourselves in such a way that we are able to get a clear view of the foot and body placement of the defender, the base/plate, the runner’s path and ultimately the tag. To borrow a long-standing adage from basketball officiating, we must “referee the defense.”  On a play at the plate, this positioning will most often NOT be in the traditional first base line extended position.  If we are able to use point of plate, our movement to obtain the best look at the fielder’s location will likely be a few steps to our right.  If we also have 3rd base responsibilities, we must move as quickly as possible to get into a position to observe the fielder’s location.  In all cases, we must continue to adjust, using the “wedge” concept, and umpire subsequent action, including the tag and the runner’s actions. The following steps are to give us a better photographic memory of reading the play as it develops:

    • Initial set up of the fielder: Is the fielder blocking the whole base/plate or base path without the ball?  If so, we need to stay attuned, but hold the obstruction call.  If she stays there and the runner is not “clearly beaten by the throw,” call obstruction (see Vickie’s Interpretation of Rule 9.5 Note 3 – Obstruction - December 15, 2017).
    • Subsequent movement of fielder: If the fielder’s initial set up is legal, but she repositions herself to catch the throw and it causes her to block the entire base/plate or base path without the ball, call obstruction. If the fielder’s initial set up is not legal, but she is able to realize it and adjust to a legal position soon enough, it is not obstruction.
    • Runner’s path: The path chosen by the runner will have some relevance when we determine if the fielder is blocking the whole base/plate or base path.  For example, if the catcher has her left foot touching the 3rd base line and her right foot in fair territory, but the runner takes a wide turn at 3rd base and heads home significantly in foul territory, her path to the plate may indeed be open.  We must recognize the fielder’s set up and look to see if the runner has a clear path to the base/plate. Again, at home, this is probably more obvious from a position somewhere between the point of plate and 3rd base line extended.
    • Subsequent actions:  If we rule obstruction, our job on the play is not over.  If the runner is apparently put out, the ball is dead, the obstructed runner is awarded the base and other runners are placed according to whether they are “halfway to the next base” (Rule 9.5.3 Note: 1).  If the runner is safe, the ball remains live.  If the runner violates Rule 12.13, the enforcement of a deliberate crash would take precedence over the obstruction.  The ball is dead, and the runner is out, possibly ejected, and runners must return to the base occupied at the time of the collision.
    • Collisions/crashes: If the runner is apparently out, or if you call obstruction and there is subsequent contact which could be ruled a deliberate crash, and you have doubt, this is a good time to bring the crew together after the ball is dead to discuss. The questions to the crew should be, “Was there a violation of the collision rule? If so, was the act a flagrant infraction?
    • Tools: Obstruction and collisions are big plays, so consider the following words to ask yourself as the play is developing: “Is she in the way? I must see the whole play.” And “If she blocks, don’t let her get clocked.”
    • Perspective of U3 when a play is made at the plate: Often,U3 is in a position to provide help for the blocking of the base/plate or base path. However, U3 should not come in unsolicited with any information.  If the Plate umpire rules obstruction, then he/she has viewed an obstruction infraction has occurred and must stay with the call.  Remember, this is an absolute call – we do not make this call unless we are 100% sure of an infraction. 
    • If the plate umpire had doubt of his call once the play is completely over, he/she may seek help from their crew to “Get the Call Right.” The discussions in the crew huddle should be, “I could not determine if obstruction occurred. During the “action of play,” where was the runner? Where was the fielder?  Was the fielder blocking the whole path ahead of possession?” If any crew member answers yes, ask “Are you absolutely sure?

    As earlier stated, we are ALL learning how to officiate the new changes and we will continue to provide as many tools as possible to help assist all of us on “Getting the Call Right.”

    Be a great crewmate!

    SUP Staff!

About | Contact | Privacy | Terms
© 2021 ArbiterSports
Server: 23