Plate Umpiring Advanced Techniques

What are the main differences between umpiring baseball and softball?

The short answer: The rules of Little League softball and baseball are very similar with a few differences to be aware of at home plate.

 

 

Topic Softball Baseball
Can a player re-enter a game as a pitcher after having been removed from the pitching position? - A pitcher may be removed and re-enter the same game as a pitcher if she continued in a defensive position. In other words, she cannot sit out any plays on defense and still be eligible to pitch later. - A pitcher may not re-enter the same game as a pitcher once removed from the pitching position.
What are the rule differences relating to bunting? - A batter who shows a bunt and decides not to, must retract the bat or it is called a strike. - A batter, who shows a bunt, does not have to retract the bat. So long as he does not make an attempt (and the ball was not in the strike zone), it is called a ball.
What is the size of the batter's box?  - Batter's box is 7' long with the extra foot ahead of the plate. Thus the batter may legally stand further up from the plate than in baseball.  - Batter's box is 6' long, centered evenly to the side of the plate.
Can a baseball bat be used for softball (and vice versa)?  - Softball bats, typically longer, must be used.  - Baseball bats must be used.
Does a catcher have to use a catcher's mitt?  - No, a catcher can wear a catcher's mitt, first baseman's mitt or a fielder's glove.  - Yes, a catcher must use a catcher's mitt.

 

A note on pitching motion differences

-  The pitching arm and leg motions are quite different between softball (underhand) and baseball (overhand). Thus, there are some subtle variations between the two on illegal pitching motions.

 

-  Pitching rule violations are illegal pitches, with a ball called on the batter. Becoming familiar with illegal pitches is an advanced skill that requires game experience. Work with and learn this topic from a veteran umpire, focusing on the most common illegal pitching examples.

 

Return to Home Page

Site Glossary
Definitions from the Little League Rule Book and terms used on this site.
LL101 Site Glossary Version 5.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [607.9 KB]

 

Visits