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News and Announcements
  • 6/18/2017

    The position of coordinator of umpires is the NCAA’s commitment to improving the overall quality and consistency of umpiring through collegiate softball. The position will help promote better communication between umpires, conference coordinators, coaches and the NCAA, and help provide consistency in the interpretation of NCAA softball rules (in conjunction with the Softball Secretary Rules Editor) and umpiring mechanics.  The intent is to work with Division I, II and III softball committees in the identification, training, selection and evaluation of umpires for each championship. Please click here for a full listing of expectations, duties, and responsibilities.

    To apply for the position, please submit a cover letter, resume and list of references no later than June 30 to Sharon Cessna via email at scessna@ncaa.org.  Hard copy of this information will not be accepted.
  • 6/18/2017

    Good Afternoon:
     
    This is to follow-up the recent announcement regarding the retirement of Softball Umpire Program National Coordinator, Donna Vavrinec.  I want to thank Donna for the hard work and tireless hours she has devoted to the Softball Umpire Program.  I appreciate everything Donna has done to advance the program and in fact, we will all benefit from the many accomplishments attributed to her time, effort and dedication. Thank you, Donna.
     
    The process of hiring a national coordinator will begin very soon.  There is a great deal that must be accomplished with the first NCAA Umpire Institute occurring September 8-10 in Oklahoma City (be looking for more details in July).  I will be working on an aggressive timeline as to not miss a beat.  The job description will be available June 22 (via the HomePlate and ncaa.org) and materials will be due to me June 30.
     
    We will be looking for a person who will lead the SUP forward in meeting the goals and objectives of the NCAA.  A person who will not only continue the good work established by others but will also provide a unified, consistent and cohesive program that will benefit all softball constituents. 
     
    The exact program structure is still to be determined but since the program sets umpire expectations, identifies, observes, trains and selects umpires for postseason competition you can anticipate a national SUP will utilize advisors and observers at the regional or local levels.  There is no doubt that many of the same observers and evaluators will once again be asked to assist with this program, however those details will not be ironed out until a later date.
     
    I appreciate the network that exists within the umpire community so although I have tried to be inclusive please do not hesitate to pass this on to others.  I value your support and with your help, look forward to taking this program to the next level.  The state of the game is currently at a crossroads and we must all work together to maintain the integrity and continue the aggressive momentum of college softball. While we navigate through the transition and changes are made, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns or issues.
     
    All the best!
     
    Sharon
     
    scessna@ncaa.org
    317/917-6519 (office)
    317/966-6451 (cell) 
  • 6/19/2017

    “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven”

    Ecclesiastes 3:1
     
    It seems like only yesterday I was introduced as the new NCAA Softball National Coordinator. I was excited about the many challenges that lie ahead and knew that with your support we could be a force for positive change.

    Together we not only met but exceeded our goals, and the time is right to move forward. I would like to announce my retirement as the NCAA Softball National Coordinator.  

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank my staff, Sally and Jim, the NCAA staff, all of the coaches but most importantly all of the umpires whose efforts on and off the field truly did make a difference for the athlete.

    Best wishes in all your endeavors and remember to:

    Work hard on every pitch on every play every time.

    Thank you,

    Donna Vavrinec
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires 

  • 5/4/2017

    We are quickly approaching the last few games of the 2017 regular season and a lot is at stake for everyone. Teams are fighting for postseason opportunities and coaches for their jobs. We must be at our best on every pitch and every play of the game. Our strike zones must be accurate and consistent throughout, our rule knowledge and enforcement must be by the book and our game management must be at a season high. We MUST be on top of our game!

    In order to stay on top of very game for the rest of the season you need to:

    ·  Before the game         

    o  Read the rule book and the Rule Interpretations

    - Copy the rule interpretations into your rulebook.

    o  Pre-game with your partners. Discuss all coverage’s and difficult situations.

    o  Understand that teams and coaches are working to make postseason or more importantly keep their job for the future.

    o  Discuss how to handle warnings.

    ·  During the game

    o  Stay calm and focused on each play. Call in your area but be ready to help in all areas.

    o  Listen to the coach’s question.

    o  Use the rulebook when the coach wants to protest. It will calm the situation and allow you to make the right call.

    ·  Post game

    o  Discuss all plays and be honest with each other. Discuss strike zone accuracy. Help each other get better.

    o  Talk about plays that happened in the game, get the rulebook out and review your decisions.

    o  Review all game film available.

    o  Take ownership of your achievements and well as your mistakes.

     

    We are all being scrutinized with each call we make or not. We need to do what is right to get the call right and what we can defend within the playing rules. The rest of the season will be incredibly intense and the pressure to win will be limitless.

    Umpires buckle down and work to get every call right the rest of the season!

  • 4/10/2017

    As we begin to enter into the heart of the season it is imperative that we continue to stress the importance of being the best we can in every game.

    We know that during the game a call may be missed but what is important to stress is that umpires must know the rules and be in the correct position to make the right call.

    Many games are either televised or live-streamed allowing the viewer to follow their favorite team. Coaching staffs also review game film and note when an umpire has an accurate zone or if they are missing pitches. Someone is always watching and we need to stay focused and prepared for every possible action in the game.

    -Umpires need to continuously study the rulebook. There have been occurrences where rules have been misapplied which resulted in either a warning or an ejection. As a crew you have an obligation to get the call right and not allow your partner to misapply a rule. You are a team and should be able to come together and correct a call that is allowed by rule.

    -We have rules and protocols for officiating the game. They need to be followed. The student athlete deserves to know that the umpiring crew is matching their effort.

    -Strike zones. We all need to be on the same page. There is only one strike zone in the rulebook and it needs to be followed game to game. Too many pitches that are off the plate are being called strikes.

    “The zone is the area above home plate between the bottom of the batter’s sternum and the top of her knees when she assumes her natural batting stance. The top of the ball must be on or within the horizontal plane, and either side of the ball must be on or within the vertical plane of the strike zone to be a strike unless the ball touches the ground before reaching home plate.” Rule:11.3.1

    Are you adjusting your height to each batter? Are your eyes at the top of the strike zone? Are you in the slot? Are you in a heal-toe relationship to allow you to see the outside corner of the plate?

    -Umpires need to pause, read react and slow down especially with possible obstruction or interference calls.

    Many umpires are working hard every game continuing to improve. We cannot afford to become complacent. As teams draw nearer to Championship weekend they will be working even harder to meet their goals. You must do the same! Use your tools: read the rulebook, study game film and follow the protocols outlined on the Central Hub.

    Thank you,

    Donna Vavrinec
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires    

  • 3/31/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Quiz 3 - Answers.

  • 3/30/2017

    Please click here to read Thursday Morning Updates.

  • 3/28/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Quiz 3.

  • 3/24/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Quiz 2 - Answers.

  • 3/21/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Quiz 2.

  • 3/17/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Quiz 1 - Answers.

  • 3/16/2017

    Who are you when you think no one is watching?

    First, lets dispel the idea that no one is watching. Someone, somewhere is always watching and maybe even recording your game. Parents, friends, coordinators and fellow umpires may have some interest in the game, so…

    I ask again who are you when everyone is watching?

    Consider these three questions:

    -Are you following the approved CCA mechanics?

    -Do you have an understanding of the NCAA rules?

    -Are you approachable?

    The first should be easy. The CCA manual outlines the approved mechanics that the SUP expects all umpires to follow. These are the nuts and bolts on how you arrive at the ideal position to render an accurate decision. The SUP was designed to have continuity across the US and in all Divisions. The manual is based upon knowledge from many sources that are game and time tested. It is expected that all umpires adhere to the concepts within the manual.  Using alternate non-approved mechanics can have consequences on accuracy of calls and future assignments.

    Second, how can an NCAA umpire not have a complete understanding and working knowledge of the rules?  The rulebook, the interpretations and all of the information on the Central Hub should be read and reviewed throughout the week in order to keep you current. Umpires should know how to apply the rules as they occur throughout the game. Example, you cannot make a foul ball a live ball. If your partners did not call a batted ball foul and you called it fair, you cannot call time to ask if the ball went off the batter. If they saw it, they would have called it foul. Rules and mechanics were designed to work together; you need both to be a top tier umpire.

    Finally are you approachable?  Coaches feel that umpires are no longer willing to listen to their concerns. We lost a piece of the puzzle when the rule changed to warn coaches when they questioned judgment.  There is a difference when a coach is constantly questioning your strike zone, or your judgment on the bases. There are times when a coach or player can ask you to go for help on a call; examples checked swing, pulled foot and pick-off. These are easy, but it is the game management piece that is hard to define. Do you go into the game knowing that at some point you might be questioned about a call or non-call? Are you confident in your rule knowledge and mechanics so you are prepared to answer the coach in a respectful manner? Are you willing to listen to appropriate questions and then decide if it really needs a warning or is a warning automatic? We need to do a better job of making that decision. 

    The art of umpiring includes decision-making skills that should also include listening skills. Don't be afraid to answer questions. Answer all reasonable questions with reasonable answers. Lets work together to create a positive atmosphere for the good of the student athlete.

    Who are you when everyone is watching? 

    -Will you rise to the occasion and be prepared before you walk onto the softball field?

    -Will you have the confidence to listen and do your job as defined in the rulebook and manual? 

    -Will you use common sense and the spirit of the rules and interpretations correctly?

    -Will you expect that anything can happen in the game and be ready on every pitch on every play, every time?

    Donna Vavrinec
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 3/13/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Quiz 1.

  • 3/10/2017

    Please click here to read Important Updates #2.

  • 3/7/2017

    To: Umpires and Coordinators: 
     
    From: Donna Vavrinec 
     
    Re: NCAA In-Person Clinic 
     
    You might have not received credit for attending the clinic for the following reasons: 
     
    1. You did not swipe your nametag.
    2. You used a different address other than your Arbiter e-mail. 
     
    The following directions were posted on the SUP page and should have been followed to receive credit. 
     
    PLEASE READ BEFORE REGISTERING 
     
    When registering for the clinic, use the SAME EMAIL ADDRESS to register for the clinic that you use to complete the NCAA registration. 
     
    If you use a different email address, YOU WILL NOT SHOW as having completed the clinic in your Central Hub Eligibility center. 
     
    If you used a different e-mail address send me the email address you used to register for the clinic and the email address you used to register on the Central Hub. 
  • 2/27/2017

    "New month. New beginning.
    New mindset. 
    New focus. New start. New intentions.
    New results.”

    The 2017 season is off to a good start!  We have over 1500 umpires registered so far this year!

    Mother nature caused some concern this year at our Indiana In-Person Officiating Clinic and we were still able to have over 500 umpires attending one of the three clinics. I would also like to thank all the volunteers who helped with registration. It truly was a team effort!  More...

  • 2/23/2017
     
    Due to some confusion regarding the closing time, the 2017 NCAA Softball Rules and Mechanics Test will reopen today from 7pm to 11 pm EST. When it's available, please access it by clicking the TESTING Tab.
  • 1/30/2017
     
    Please click here to read 10 Step Preseason Season Check List, by Regional Advisor Sally Walker.
  • 1/18/2017

    “Today I close the door to the past, open the door to the future, take a deep breath, and step on through and start a new chapter in my life." 
    Unknown author

    Greetings,

    The new season is about to begin and it is time for you to take a deep breath and focus your energy on all the possibilities that lie ahead. Take the next step by investing your time in determining your personal and professional goals. Develop an action plan that will keep you focused on your goals and prepare you to step into the 2017 season.  More...

  • 1/17/2017


    MEMORANDUM

    January 17, 2017

    TO: Softball Coordinators and Umpires.

    FROM:   Rich Calvert
                 Chair, Softball Rules Committee

                 Vickie Van Kleeck
                 Secretary-Rules Editor, Softball Rules Committee.

    SUBJECT: Call for Proposals.

    The Softball Rules Committee is now accepting your rules change proposals to be considered for the rules survey and discussion at its annual meeting in June. The committee is interested in your ideas and concerns relative to playing rules you think need to be changed.

    Please use this link to record your proposal and rationale. This form must be fully completed in order for the proposal to be accepted. All proposals must be received by February 24, 2017.

    If you have any questions about the proposal process, please contact Ashlee Ferguson at aferguson@ncaa.org

  • 1/17/2017

    Please click the TESTING Tab to take the 2017 NCAA Softball Rules and Mechanics Test, which will close on Friday, February 17 at 5PM ET.

  • 12/20/2016

    One of the real joys of the Holiday Season is the opportunity to say
    Thank You
    and to wish you the very best for the
    New Year!

    Happy Holiday,

    As the holiday season approaches I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and a Wonderful New Year!

    Many of you have already started the process of REGISTERING for the 2017 season. You will receive a Welcome Packet that includes the 2016-2017 NCAA Softball Rule Book and a copy of the new 2017 CCA Softball Umpires Manual. If you do not receive the books within one week of registering please contact: Dave Yeast at Dave.Yeast@arbitersports.com

    The NCAA Preseason Rules Test will open on the TESTING tab January 17 through February 17, 2017. The test will close at 11:59pm EST on February 17, 2017. All umpires who wish to be considered for post season must pass the test with a score of 90.

    The 2017 NCAA In-Person Officiating Clinic Registration is still open. I would like to thank everyone who has already registered and remind those who have not it is required for all Division I umpires who wish to be considered for post-season and highly recommended for all Division II and III umpires. If you have not registered for one of the three clinics registration please do so today.

    Also in February, the 2017 version of the Online Clinic will be available on the ONLINE CLINIC tab. All Division II and III umpires, who did not attend the In-Person Clinic who wish to be considered for postseason selection, must view the clinic.

    Please take the time this holiday season to thank your family and friends for their continued support and understanding as you dedicate a great deal of time and energy into a profession that you truly love. Their support is vital. Recharge your batteries; prepare yourself both mentally and physically the 2017 season is just around the corner!

    Thank you for making this past year a great success. I look forward to an exciting New Year working with you to make this season the best for all involved!

    Donna Vavrinec
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 11/30/2016

    Registration for the 2017 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.  Please note there is an increase in this year's officials' registration fees, which are $140 for Division I and $120 for Divisions II and III.

    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.

    New this year, the NCAA is initiating a basic level background check on all officials registered in the following NCAA sports:  Baseball, Softball, Water Polo, Wresting, and Ice Hockey.  You will authorize a background check as part of this year’s officials’ registration process.  Basic level background checks for the remaining NCAA sports will begin in the 2017-18 season.  

    Registrants will receive a Welcome Packet that includes the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Softball Rules and Interpretations book and 2017 CCA Softball Umpires Manual. 

    The 2017 NCAA Softball Rules and Mechanics Test will be open on the TESTING Tab January 17 - February 17, 2017 with the test review available beginning on February 18, 2017.

    Also in January, look on the Central Hub for the locations and times of the 2017 NCAA In-Person Officiating Clinic. The online clinic will open in February.

    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.

    Donna Vavrinec
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires  

  • 11/7/2016

    "Each morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most."

    Buddha

    Greetings,

    The registration for the 2017 Central Hub will open on December 1, 2016.  

    2016-2017 Registration Fees:
    Division I umpire:  $140.00
    Division II and III umpires:  $120.00

    The fee increase is warranted based on improved technology available on the ArbiterSports website, including being able to use iPhones and Android apps to access the CCA Manual.  FULL ARTICLE

  • 10/3/2016

    Dates and Sites

    January 7—Los Angeles, Concourse Hotel at Los Angeles Airport, A Hyatt Affiliated Hotel

    January 14—Indianapolis, Fairfield Inn

    January 28—Philadelphia, Philadelphia Airport Marriott

    CLINIC REGISTRATION INFORMATION

  • 4/21/2016

    NCAA softball is pleased to inform you that Jim Sanderson has been selected as the newest member of the SUP regional advisor staff. Jim is from Calimesa, California and brings a wealth of knowledge to the SUP. Jim is currently the chairman of the California Collegiate Softball Umpires Association where he facilitates umpire training and evaluations. Jim has also served as a UIC for the NCAA Division I softball regionals.

  • 4/12/2016

    Please click the link under GENERAL UMPIRING INFORMATION to read Top 9 Questions.

  • 3/24/2016

    The last day to view the 2016 NCAA Softball Online Clinic for eligibility credit is Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

    As previously noted in the Eligibility Update information, any umpire who wishes to be eligible for Division II or Division III postseason assignment must watch the entire clinic.  If you attended one of the regional clinics, you have satisfied this requirement and do not need to view the online clinic. You cannot view the clinic on a mobile device.

    PLEASE NOTE:  If you believe you've viewed the clinic in its entirety but did not receive your certificate of completion and a green checkmark in your Eligibility Center, you must sign back into the clinic to ensure you've viewed 100 percent of the video slides and listened to 100 percent of the audio.  Any percentage less than 100 will not prompt the completion certificate or green check mark in your Eligibility Center.

    Postseason letters will be sent out on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

  • 3/14/2016

    Please note that if you attended an In-Person Clinic, your "2016 In-Person Clinic Attendance" has been updated in your central hub Eligibility Center with a green check mark.

    You will not have a green check mark for the Division II and III "2016 NCAA Softball Online Clinic" requirement if you fulfilled the clinic requirement by attending the In-Person clinic, but did not watch the Online Clinic. 

    The attendance at an In-Person Clinic, under the "2015-16 Division I Postseason Eligibility" will count as your eligibility for all three divisions.

  • 2/22/2016

    The 2016 NCAA Rules and Mechanics test is closed. This year, 1,416 umpires completed the test. Congratulations to everyone who passed the test! Great Job!

    There were some umpires who were not able to view the test due to glitches in the system. These umpires have been identified and will receive further instructions from ArbiterSports.

    After reviewing the test questions and answers we have determined that three questions will be re-scored from the test.  Only adjustments will be made if you scored them incorrectly.  You will not get another email with your corrected score, but it will show up on your dashboard.

    Test scores will reflect the deletion of these questions.

    •  On a play at first base, the throw bounces and the first baseman securely controls the ball between her arm and her body just before the batter-runner touches the base. The batter–runner out. The correct answer should be False.

    •  The fielder blocks the base as she is about to receive the thrown ball but is not yet in the act of catching it as the runner alters her path. This is not obstruction. More information is needed before a judgment can be made.

    •  Only starting players must be present in the dugout when the game starts. The question is partially correct, the questions should read: All players listed in the starting line-up must be in uniform, in the dugout area and available to play at the start of the game. Rule 5.6.3.notes 2.

  • 2/2/2016

    Please click the link to read Notes from WCWS Umpires.

  • 1/4/2016

    The Collegiate Commissioners Association and ArbiterSports, in partnership with Referee Enterprises, the publishers of Referee magazine and the CCA Mechanics Manuals, are pleased to announce the digital edition of the 2016 CCA manual for all NCAA registered softball umpires is now available for download on the iTunes Store and on Google Play.  It will work with any Apple or Android device. Through the app, registered umpires will be able to download their CCA manual for free as part of their annual NCAA dues.

    The digital CCA manual will be available in addition to the printed CCA manual that the NCAA currently provides to registered umpires. Click the Softball CCA Manual APP link when logged onto the hub for instructions to download the app.

  • 1/3/2016

    Dates and Sites

    January 9 - Student Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

    January 17 - Crowne Plaza Cabana Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA

    January 30 - NCAA National Office, Indianapolis, IN

    Register for a Clinic

  • 12/17/2015

    Celebrate!

    Family, Friends and Traditions.
     
    Happy Holidays,
     
    As the holiday season approaches I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year!
     
    Many of you have already started the process of REGISTERING for the 2016 season. You will receive a Welcome Packet that includes the 2016-2017 NCAA Softball Rule Book and a copy of the new 2016 CCA Softball Umpires Manual.
     
    The digital CCA manual app for all registered softball umpires is available as a free download on the iTunes Store and on Google Play.  It will work with any Apple or Android device.
     
    The NCAA Preseason Rules test will open on the TESTING tab January 18 through February 18, 2016. The test will close at 11:59pm EST on February 18, 2016. All umpires who wish to be considered for post season must pass the test with a score of 90.
     
    The 2016 NCAA In-Person Officiating Clinic registration is still open. I would like to thank everyone who have already registered and remind those who have not it is required for all Division I umpires who wish to be considered for post-season and highly recommended for all Division II and III umpires. If you have not already registered for one of the three clinics registration please do so today.
     
    Also in February, the 2016 version of the Online Clinic will be available on the ONLINE CLINIC tab. All Division II and III umpires, who did not attend the In-Person Clinic who wish to be considered for postseason selection, must view the clinic.
     
    The Central Hub continues to be enhanced with the ONLINE SEARCHABLE RULES database, interpretations and video training segments aimed to assist all umpires.
     
    I ask that you begin your preparation for the 2016 season by not only reviewing the rules and mechanics but prepare yourself physically by addressing your fitness and health. Please do not neglect this aspect of your preparation. The student-athlete is getting faster and stronger each year, and as umpires we must be able to respond to the improved level of play.
     
    Please take the time this holiday season to thank your family and friends for their continued support and understanding as you dedicate a great deal of time and energy into a profession that you truly love. Their support is vital. Recharge your batteries; prepare yourself both mentally and physically the 2016 season is just around the corner!
     
    Thank you for making this past year a great success. I look forward to an exciting New Year working with you to make this season the best for all involved!
     
    Donna Vavrinec
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 11/30/2015

    Registration for the 2015-16 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.

    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.

    Registrants will receive a Welcome Packet that includes the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Softball Rules and Interpretations book and 2016 CCA Softball Umpires Manual

    The 2016 NCAA Softball Rules and Mechanics Test will be open on the TESTING Tab January 18 - February 18, 2016 with the test review available beginning on February 19, 2016.

    Also in January, look on the Central Hub for the locations and times of the 2016 NCAA In-Person Officiating Clinic. The online clinic will open in February.

    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.

    Donna Vavrinec
    NCAA National Coordinator for Softball Umpires  

  • 11/17/2015

    Please click here to read NCAA Sports Wagering Policy, a memorandum from Mark Lewis, Executive Vice President, Championships and Alliances, and Dan Calandro, Director, Championships and Alliances.

  • 11/2/2015

    The NCAA seeks a qualified independent contractor to further the NCAA's ongoing commitment to improving the overall quality and consistency of umpiring throughout collegiate softball. The positions 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.  Please click here to view the requirements and responsibilities.

  • 10/2/2015

    The 2015 NCAA Fall Softball Quiz #1 is posted under the testing tab. The quiz is OPTIONAL and does not count toward postseason eligibility. You will be able to review your quiz after submitting it by returning to the testing dashboard and selecting "Review Your Test."

  • 8/13/2015

    After hearing concerns from the membership, the NCAA Softball Rules Committee and NCAA Playing Rules Overisght Panel (PROP) voted to delay implementation of new Rules 5.9.3 – 5.9.8, which were previously approved and sent to the membership. In addition, the committee and PROP approved the use of these rules on an optional, experimental basis for the Fall 2015 nonchampionship segment.More...

  • 4/9/2015

    2015 NCAA Softball Quiz #6 is now available under the TESTING tab. The quiz is OPTIONAL and does not count toward postseason eligibility.  You will be able to review your quiz after submitting it by returning to the testing dashboard and selecting "Review Your Test."

  • 3/25/2015

    2015 NCAA Softball Quiz #5 is now available under the TESTING tab. The quiz is OPTIONAL and does not count toward postseason eligibility.  You will be able to review your quiz after submitting it by returning to the testing dashboard and selecting "Review Your Test."

  • 3/12/2015

    2015 NCAA Softball Quiz #4 is now available under the TESTING tab. The quiz is OPTIONAL and does not count toward postseason eligibility. The quiz contains 10 questions. You will be able to review your quiz after submitting it by returning to the testing dashboard and selecting "Review Your Test."

  • 3/10/2015

    Please go to GENERAL UMPIRING INFORMATION or click the link to read Mechanics Review #4.

  • 3/3/2015

    The 2015 NCAA Softball Quiz #3 is posted under the testing tab. The quiz is OPTIONAL and does not count toward postseason eligibility. The quiz contains 5 questions. You will be able to review your quiz after submitting it by returning to the testing dashboard and selecting "Review Your Test."

  • 2/27/2015

    Please click here to read Call for Proposals.  All proposals must be received by April 17, 2015.

  • 2/26/2015

    Please go to GENERAL UMPIRING INFORMATION or click the links to read Mechanics Review #2 and Protocol for Administering Option Plays.

  • 2/20/2015

    Please go to GENERAL UMPIRING INFORMATION or click the links to read Hit by a Pitch and CCA Manual Mechanics Review.

  • 2/16/2015

    The 2015 NCAA Softball Quiz #2 is posted under the testing tab. The quiz is OPTIONAL and does not count toward postseason eligibility. The quiz contains 10 questions. You will be able to review your quiz after submitting it by returning to the testing dashboard and selecting "Review Your Test."

  • 2/13/2015

    Please click here to read Top Plays of the Week, which includes rules book questions, and then answers from Dee Abrahamson, Secretary-Rules Editor.

  • 2/10/2015

    Please go to GENERAL UMPIRING INFORMATION or click the links to read Hand Shake and Line-Up Card Management.

  • 2/2/2015

    The 2015 NCAA Softball Quiz #1 is posted under the testing tab. The quiz is OPTIONAL and does not count toward postseason eligibility. The quiz contains 10 questions. You will be able to review your quiz after submitting it by returning to the testing dashboard and selecting "Review Your Test."

  • 3/26/2014

    Conference games have begun and now more than ever there needs to be a renewed focus on game management.  Teams are working hard to qualify for postseason and every game is more important than the last one played.

    Good game management and attention to detail is a way to prevent unexpected things from happening in the game. It is beyond the calling of outs and safes it is the manner in which you approach all of the other situations that may occur in a game. Umpires need to listen and address all game issues in a professional manner

    Game administration:  As a crew, you need to have a thorough pre-game.  Review the pregame checklist within the CCA manual.  It should guide your discussion.  

    Sportsmanship:  It is an In Focus Topic this year. It is important that we have a clear understanding of good sportsmanship. If a coach or any game personnel exhibits poor sportsmanship it is your responsibility to address the issue.  If the behavior warrants a warning then it is your responsibility to make sure the crew is aware that a warning had been issued and the reason for the warning.  If there is an ejection, then follow the protocol in the manual. It clearly states each umpires responsibility.

    On the field:  Partner communication is extremely important.  Umpire to umpire signals and verbal communication are two methods to convey information between umpires.

    Line-up cards:  Good line-up card management begins at the pre-game conference with the coaches, crew and should continue until the last out of the game.  When a change occurs in the line-up inform each coach and confirm that they have the change.  This will alleviate any possible line-up change protests.   Take your time.

    Before you accept any line-up card change(s) look to make sure that the pitcher has the ball in the pitcher’s circle and then call time to accept the change(s).

    Preventable and common sense situations that arise in the game:  When possible be proactive in preventing violations. If the coach is about to take their second charged defensive conference in an inning, make sure they know they already used one.  This could prevent an administrative ejection.

    Home run:  New this year, rule 9.6.3.2 states that offensive team personnel shall congregate only in foul territory around home plate to congratulate the runner(s). If the on deck batter or bat girl moves into fair territory to move a bat during an out-of-the park home run this is not a team warning.  She is preventing a possible injury and this does not warrant a team warning.  The restriction is only in effect until the final runner touches home plate.

    Finally, be alert and constantly vigilant to all of the actions on the field and within the dugout area. Work as a team.  Communicate with each other. Know your responsibilities as well as your partners.  Work together to conduct the game in accordance of the 2014-2015 NCAA Softball Rulebooks and 2014 CCA manual.

    Donna Vavrinec
    National Coordinator

  • 3/19/2013

    Please click below to view the Base Running PowerPoint presentation.
     

  • 3/12/2013

    Now, more than ever the accuracy of the strike zone is of ultimate importance.  With the increasing number of collegiate games being televised each year, current technology is capable of showing fallacies in judgment far more than ever imagined.  Because of this, the strike zone is constantly the hot topic of conversations of the SUP, college coaches, conference coordinators, umpires, players and the fans.

    So, the question is; “What steps can umpires take to help be more accurate calling a consistent strike zone?” Several umpire development camps across the country offer tools to help umpires have a better understanding of the zone.  One tool is the use of instant replay for each pitch at different angles to confirm the ball’s location as it crosses the plate.  This allows the plate umpire to evaluate the call.  These tools are impressive because they allow umpires to practice seeing an accurate strike zone, but they do not take into account game situations and pitchers’ inconsistencies.

    In many other aspects of the game, umpires have opened themselves up to being thinking umpires by using progressive mechanics to become more accurate.  On force plays, umpires no longer go to an arbitrary “X” on the ball field and make the call.  Umpires find an angle to the throw that allows for the best chance to observe all elements of the play as they come together.  Umpires no longer choose a static position on tag plays and remain in one place while the play happens.  Now when necessary, umpires move with the play and dynamically find the best place to observe all the elements of the play.  Umpires have a better chance of seeing the field by not moving into the infield on every play, but rather choosing a position either inside the diamond or outside the diamond that allows for the best chance to observe how the whole play develops.

    In that vein of progressive thinking, umpires have a better chance of seeing and calling an accurate strike zone.  In the past it was taught to establish a stance that places the umpire off the inside corner, above and outside the zone.  This is a great position because it allows the plate umpire to see the outside corner and the entire plate.  The only downside of this position is that it places the plate umpire a foot and a half away from a pitch on the outside corner which is probably the most difficult pitch to call.

    So why stay where you are not in position to make the best call?  In certain situations, umpires have to adjust away from the norm.  When a batter is legally crowding the plate and the catcher is legally setting up inside, umpires must adjust to get a good look at the pitch.  When the catcher is setting up high, umpires adjust from the norm to allow a view of the plate.  So in the situations when the catcher sets up on the outside corner or further out, why shouldn’t the plate umpire move closer to see all they need to see?  The answer is, “We should move to get a better look.”

    The umpire’s manual defines the “slot” as the area between the catcher’s inside shoulder and the batter.  It is in this area that the plate umpire must work to view the pitch.  If the catcher has established herself on the outside corner, by the book umpires are able to work a little closer to her to get a little closer to the pitch’s intended location.  This is a slight adjustment the plate umpire should take to see the entire plate and be far closer to the catcher’s current position. The plate umpire must actively be aware of the catcher’s movements, delayed as they may be, and use these clues to help get a better view of the zone. Remember, to be set when the pitch is released if you determine to move to the position giving you a better view.

    Over the years umpires have had basic mechanics ingrained that might suggest if we move our head, we will move our strike zone.  Is that true?  Are we using the plate as a focal point to establish our zone?  The plate never moves and we are responsible to compare the position of the ball to the static position of the plate.  If our strike zone stretches outside with the movement of our head that means that we are using our imagination to establish the zone, rather than the plate.

    Be aware that in doing this, the plate stance should remain rather consistent.  But, the truth of the matter is that even though we try to mirror our stance side to side, pitch to pitch, our stance may inevitably alter slightly as we find better positions to see the pitches.

    Every adjustment that umpires make is made solely for the purpose of giving themselves a better chance of getting the call right.  If we have an opportunity to get closer to a pitch to accurately to see the pitch, then we should seize that opportunity.  Make the best call under the best circumstances.


    By Paul Edds and Donna Vavrinec

  • 2/20/2013

    Please click below to view the Lineup Card Management PowerPoint presentation.

  • 1/23/2013

    Attention: Procedural Changes

    There are two new procedural changes:

    1.  Rule 13 Misconduct, section 13.1 effect states: “In all cases involving an ejection, the ejecting umpire is responsible for submitting in writing an incident report as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours after the incident.”  After discussion with the NCAA rules committee it was asked if umpires could submit the incident report as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours.  Umpires should also contact Dee Abrahamson as soon as possible for protests or rule violations that carry a suspension in addition to the ejection.  Take care of these administrative issues as quickly as possible.

    2.  Preventative umpiring:  Rule 10.1.3 states: “The catcher must be within the catcher’s box from the time the pitcher steps on the pitcher’s plate until the pitch is released.  No part of the catcher’s feet may be outside the lines until the pitch is released.”  Effect: Illegal pitch.  Exception: When time is called by the umpire.

    Umpires are to use preventative umpiring when the catcher stands and moves in front of the plate to signal a possible play on a steal. Umpires should suspend play by calling “time” to allow the catcher to signal her infielders.

  • 1/15/2013

    Attention:  Umpire Uniform

    There has been much discussion and many questions concerning umpire uniforms.  The NCAA softball committee and the SUP have reviewed the umpire uniform and supports the rule that umpires across the country should be dressed alike.   Rule 15.1 clearly states the approved umpire uniform.  Please review Rule 15.1 page 187 in the 2012-2013 rule book.  The standard uniform is located in section 15.1.1.1 and the only approved alternate uniform parts are detailed in 15.1.1.2. No other options are available.

    Conferences may not change the color of shirts, jackets or pants; they may have conference affiliations embroidered on the caps and /or shirts for the use in conference play.  This applies for all divisions.

    When umpiring games for a cause umpires may wear a small ribbon/commemorative pin on your hat or on your left chest pocket in support of the cause.  Alternate colored shirts, hats, ball bags, wrist bands and masks are not legal umpire uniforms and should not be worn when umpiring a collegiate softball game.

  • 1/8/2013

    Attention:  New Mechanic Changes for the 2013 season

    There are two mechanic changes that are not in the 2013 CCA manual but will be used this year.

    The change is in the umpire to umpire signals. Base umpires will now only signal to the plate umpire indicating that a third strike was not caught. It alerts all umpires to a potential play on the batter-runner. The signal is used at all times when the batter, by rule is entitled to run if the third strike is dropped.  If the batter is out by rule do not use this signal.  You no longer need to indicate that the ball was caught only if it was dropped.  Please review the signal on page 293 of the CCA manual.

    The second change is on a check swing request. The plate umpire by rule when asked to get help or if there is any doubt about a swing attempt shall ask for help from the open umpire. The open umpire must remain with the swing or action (bunt/slap) long enough to give help when asked even if a runner is attempting to steal. Please review the signal on page 295 of the CCA manual.

    These changes occurred after much discussion with umpires, coordinators and the SUP staff.

 
 
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