The 2017 Biennial UIC Clinic was a resounding success. We had 480 attendees from all over USA Softball. The feedback via phone calls, emails, and text messages have been all positive. Each instructor team did a great job with not only the subject but also the involvement of the attendees in their sessions. Their ability to get the point across, teach the attendees something, and involve them in the session was outstanding. Both Jim Craig and I attended the sessions and agreed they all were very well planned and delivered.
The Clinic started with an address to the attendees by the President of USA Softball, Warren Jones. To have our Executive Director, Craig Cress, address the group from Belgrade, Serbia via Skype only added to the excitement already in the house. The session with NCAA, NFHS and USA Softball was a resounding success. The feedback on the presentation by the participants was “Great Job.” Donna Vavrinec from the NCAA and Sandy Searcy from the NFHS did an excellent job passing along not only their ideas on umpire training but also on the differences between NCAA, NFHS and USA Softball. The questions asked from the crowd were engaging, interesting and all about the betterment of softball. Thank you to all of those who asked questions. There were several questions that time did not allow us to get to. Those will be sent to all panel members for their response and their answers will be posted on our Plays and Clarifications. We hope to have this accomplished in the next several weeks.
We would not have had such a successful event without the hard work and dedication of the Chairman of the UIC Clinic Committee Jim Craig and his committee Deputy Director, Christina Drumm, Region 5 Umpire-in-Chief Richard Crocker, Deputy Director Steve Nelson and Region 2 Umpire-in-Chief Jim Ballengee. Their hard work on the format and subject matter made the clinic a success. The ability to “think outside the box” on what should be taught, how it should be taught and who should teach it added greatly to the clinic being one of the best we have ever had.
We must also thank our sponsor Bollinger Insurance. Without the support of our insurance partner we would not be able to hold such an event. We also send a shout out to USA Softball Properties for their gracious donation in support of the clinic which was greatly appreciated. However, without the attendance of the Umpire-in-Chiefs and their staffs from the Local Associations and you the umpires, this event cannot happen and would not be a success.
We would be remiss if we did not thank the National Office Staff. Special thanks to all of them for putting forth the effort to help make the clinic a success. They spent countless hours working to help us welcome all attendees, market the product we presented and reward those who deserved it on Saturday night. Thank you to all of you.
We now need all of those who attended the clinic to send in your comments on the survey so that we can make 2019 even better. I realize it seems a long time off but those plans have already started with Committee Chair Jim Craig and whoever he chooses as his committee members. All comments and suggestions are welcome which will only make clinics of the future better.
From the USA Softball Umpire Program, we say thank you and let’s make 2019 even better and stronger.
Registrations and Background Checks
It is time for all umpires to begin the process of becoming a registered USA Softball Umpire. Remember all umpires assigned to Junior Olympic Championship Play and or assigned as an umpire to any event to be held at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium must be background checked through the USA Softball background check system. Please address this with your Local Association and make sure this is accomplished in order for your umpires to participate in these events.
Plays and Clarifications
PLAY: Unreported substitute Davis singles and is standing on 1B when the ball is returned to the infield. The defense requests time and the defensive manager, who was waiting for Davis to complete their turn at bat, begins to come out of the dugout to protest the unreported substitute. The offensive first base coach tells the plate umpire that they forgot to report Davis, and wants to now report Davis for Carter. The defensive manager now protests to the plate umpire that Davis was unreported and should be called out.
RULING: This is a game management situation at its best. By rule as soon as the offensive coach tells the plate umpire that their substitute is in the game that person is legally in the game. The fact that the coach told them after they completed their time at bat does not matter. We say this is a game management situation at its best because of the plate umpire recognized that the defensive team called time first and approached the plate umpire with their protest. We should not allow the offensive to now take over the conversation. In this play it appears that the defensive coach has begun to come out of the dugout but has not requested time to protest so the substitution of the player by the offense would now put Davis legally in the game. Rule 4, Section 6B and Rule 4, Section 6C 
PLAY: (FP Only) With one out and R1 on 3B and R2 on 1B, B4 hits a fly ball to deep center field, which is caught for the second out. R1 on 3B tags up and scores. R2 did not tag, but advanced to 2B. After F1 has the ball back in their possession with both feet within the pitcher’s circle, the first base coach tells R2 to come back to 1B, because they did not tag up. R2 retreats to 1B while F1 has the ball in the circle. The umpire calls R2 out for violation of the Look Back Rule.
RULING: R1 had scored before R2 is called out for the third out, therefore the run counts. Rule 5, Section 5B 
PLAY: F1 is an unreported substitute with B1 at bat with a 1-2 count. B1 hits the ball to F6, who throws to F3 to retire B1. The offensive coach wants to protest F1 for being unreported.
RULING: In this case the unreported substitute, F1 did not make a play. Since F1 did not make the play and it is brought to the attention of the umpire F1 is now in the game with no penalty. The pitch is considered in the case of an appeal meaning that was the appeal before or after a pitch. This is not an appeal it is a protest. The act of F1 making a pitch is not making a play.Rule 4, Section 6C8
PLAY: (FP Only) Team A in bracket play (not in pool play) presents a lineup to the home plate umpire with nine batters with defensive positions and a tenth batter listed as an EP. The plate umpire either doesn’t notice it or accepts it after the coach insists on submitting their lineup regardless of the plate umpire telling them that they can’t use an EP in bracket play. There is no DP/Flex listed; only nine batters and a tenth batter as EP. If the offending team appeals, is the tenth batter an illegal player or just unreported / batting out of order???
RULING: This should never happen as the plate umpire should check the lineup thoroughly and not start play until they receive a legal lineup, even if the coach insists. However if the EP bats and is listed in the tenth spot we would say they are a substitute for the person in the 1st batting position and would be called an unreported substitute. If the person now in the 1st position bats in the second position they would have to be considered an illegal reentry since they were out when the supposed EP batted in the 1st spot and now are batting in the second position making this an illegal reentry. This all depends on if the offended team brings the issue to the attention to the umpire before a pitch to a legal player. Rule 4, Section 5 and Rule 4, Section 6A-C, Rule 6, Section 6F.