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When Fans Attack — Part I
Potentially dangerous spectators
By Adam Powell
September 26th, 2011

With the fall softball season ready to start up around the country, we umpires want to begin sharpening our skills for another "run through the fire" of handling rude spectators.

In the first of a two-part series, Adam Powell details some of the signs that will help an umpire identify fans who may be out of control.

Login to read Adam's analysis.

Keeping Them Honest
First basemen who repeatedly leave first early
By Adam Powell
September 13th, 2011

As a softball umpire, I have noticed that sometimes a first baseman will remove his foot from the bag before the ball arrives. I like to call such players "steppers."

Some do it accidentally while others have turned it into something of an art form.

It takes guts for an umpire to make a controversial call, and few are more likely to create a "to-do" than calling a runner safe because a "stepper" pulled his foot.

If you know what to look for and are prepared to handle the pressure, those calls can come natural to you. Sign in to learn how!

Umpiring Six Zones — Part VI
Right field
By Adam Powell
September 6th, 2011

An umpire wants to be patient when calling right field, which is the sixth and final "zone" of softball umpiring.

The base umpire has all the power in this region, and positioning and proper technique are paramount to working it to success.

Right fielders in the youth leagues are often inexperienced and will at times make the easy appear difficult. When you're prepared for such madness, it makes it that much easier to rule on plays in "No Man's Land!"

Sign-in to read positioning and mechanics for right-field umpiring.

Six Umpiring Zones — Part V
Left field
By Adam Powell
August 30th, 2011

The left field zone can sometimes be tricky for softball umpires. Lots of batted balls get hit in that zone during a game, so both umpires can expect to have their eyes "Out in Left Field" plenty!

In order to arbitrate the region effectively, an umpire will want to understand how to watch a ball leave the bat. If you can do that (and avoid the sun at the same time!), there should never be a call "out there" that you won't be prepared to handle.

Six Umpiring Zones — Part IV
Home plate
By Adam Powell
August 23rd, 2011

Home plate is absolutely the most significant area on a softball diamond. By far!

From pitches to baserunners, everything has to cross home plate for either team to be successful.

An umpire has a great responsibility to the players, coaches, and spectators. In addition to calling pitches, he is required to make calls at home plate, which anyone will tell you are some of the most exciting plays of all! But if you can maintain control of the game and yourself, you can become an outstanding plate umpire

Being a plate umpire is the most difficult trick of the trade; but if you sign in, you'll get to read some of the ways you can improve your grasp of that job.

 

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