"Don't like the Blue's call?" or "Do you want to be an umpire!?"

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Jan 22, 2011
1,179
83
I did it! Tuesday night I umpired my very first fastpitch game. HS rec level as a last-minute replacement. Went pretty smoothly as it was not high stakes, the pitchers threw a lot of strikes and the batters were willing to swing. Afterward the critiques were my zone was fairly small, but consistent, and I got the bang-bang plays right even though they went against the home team. The biggest takeaway I had was it's not easy. Calling fair/foul is pretty easy when there are chalk lines. Calling ball/strike is not as easy because you have to imagine the borders of the zone floating in space.

Congrats. My strike zone is a little small as well. I saw one video which said to consider it a strike until you something to convince you its a ball. My current though process is its a ball until I see something that convinces me its a strike.

@eddieq The head of this association goes to my Church. He kids graduated several years ago, but went to the same HS my DD is currently at. I'll have to check with my buddy, but I think he is more of a soccer ref than softball umpire.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,005
113
Chicago
Congrats. My strike zone is a little small as well. I saw one video which said to consider it a strike until you something to convince you its a ball. My current though process is its a ball until I see something that convinces me its a strike.
I think you do this the better way. An umpire's job is to call strikes (after all, the proper mechanic is to say/do nothing on a ball). It's a ball unless it enters the strike zone. It is not a strike unless it doesn't enter the strike zone.

Think of it like hitting a target. The object doesn't hit the target until and unless it hits the target. You don't assume it has hit the target until you see the object miss.
 
Last edited:

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,761
113
Congrats. My strike zone is a little small as well. I saw one video which said to consider it a strike until you something to convince you its a ball. My current though process is its a ball until I see something that convinces me its a strike.

It's not a strike, out, or anything else unless you see it. Everything else is a ball, safe, or nothing.
 
Feb 13, 2021
790
63
MI
It's not a strike, out, or anything else unless you see it. Everything else is a ball, safe, or nothing.

It isn;t ANYTHING except a dead ball until you say it is otherwise, ball in play, safe, out, ball, strike, fair, foul.

As far as each pitch starting out as a ball or strike, your life will be much easier and your ball games will be much better if you make pitches show you that they are balls, with the default being a strike. In SB, the P releases the ball from a location that is up/down/in/out in the strike zone, so just presume it is going to stay there until it shows it doesn't.
 
Mar 10, 2020
607
63
As far as each pitch starting out as a ball or strike, your life will be much easier and your ball games will be much better if you make pitches show you that they are balls, with the default being a strike. In SB, the P releases the ball from a location that is up/down/in/out in the strike zone, so just presume it is going to stay there until it shows it doesn't.
That comment about where pitcher releases the ball makes no sense.
Pitchers release the ball within margins of inches within the same place every time. The pitch starts there. If they didn't let go of the ball they could walk the ball all the way across the strike zone and show you it is a strike. Just above the knee generally. They do not move the location of where they are letting go of the ball up down or in or out of the strike zone.
 
Feb 13, 2021
790
63
MI
I will try to clarify; in general, when the pitcher releases the pitch, it is within the dimensions of the strike zone. If it were to travel a flat, straight path, it would (generally) pass through the strike zone at the plate. The pitch starts out as a strike, make it show you that it becomes a ball before you no longer rule it a strike.
 

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