Plate Umpiring Advanced Techniques
What are the main differences between umpiring baseball and softball?
|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.