Should umpires signal/announce a fair ball?

Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Jun 6, 2016
2,072
113
Chicago
All of this is what I thought.

I guess she did make a mistake in the game. Two, actually, but same mistake. There were two "close" fair balls, and I don't think she pointed. She didn't verbalize anything though, so the assumption was fair ball. On one, the ball hit the ground literally right next to third base, so anybody could see it was fair. I'm not sure how close is close enough to signal, but nobody should've been confused by that one.

The other was a line drive down the line, landed in the grass, clearly fair, but probably within two feet or so. She probably should've pointed on that one.

Of course the coach on the other team got on her about it, though in neither case did her not emphatically pointing change what any of the players were doing. They're just very sore losers (in that same game, they tried to argue for an extra inning, citing a made-up a house rule that there's one extra inning in the playoffs; they also tried to institute HBP limits, not abide by actual house-rule pitcher inning limits with their one good pitcher, etc.).
 
May 29, 2015
2,559
113
All of this is what I thought.

I guess she did make a mistake in the game. Two, actually, but same mistake. There were two "close" fair balls, and I don't think she pointed. She didn't verbalize anything though, so the assumption was fair ball. On one, the ball hit the ground literally right next to third base, so anybody could see it was fair. I'm not sure how close is close enough to signal, but nobody should've been confused by that one.

The other was a line drive down the line, landed in the grass, clearly fair, but probably within two feet or so. She probably should've pointed on that one.

Of course the coach on the other team got on her about it, though in neither case did her not emphatically pointing change what any of the players were doing. They're just very sore losers (in that same game, they tried to argue for an extra inning, citing a made-up a house rule that there's one extra inning in the playoffs; they also tried to institute HBP limits, not abide by actual house-rule pitcher inning limits with their one good pitcher, etc.).

I don't see any mistakes there. She didn't yell foul or throw her hands up, so it's all good. Buy her an ice cream for me! 😋 🍨

IMO, the point really doesn't signify anything other than showing "Yes, I saw that and here is what I have." It shows you are in control and on top of things. The closer it is, the more emphatic you should be -- sell the call.

Sure, we'd like to see the point, but definitely not mistakes. How close before we point? I don't know that there is an answer to that as it is situational.

My personal practices:
  • Dying bunt in front of the plate or on the line, I'm pointing fair and giving a "safe" as the batter-runner clears the ball without any contact.
  • Spinning, sputtering ball on the line, I'm giving an emphatic point as soon as it is touched in fair territory. That way if it careens into foul territory afterwards everybody knows it is fair.
  • Liner slicing to the outfield line, I point if it is less than an arm's length off the line OR if the fielder is diving/approaching the line and it could look hairy.
  • Ball hit at the bag (line drive or grounder), I'm pointing on anything "inside" the width of the bag.
 
Mar 1, 2013
331
43
There is also the old standard in youth leagues where there is a full swinging bunt that comes to a stop in the front of the plate - I’m pointing fair while the catcher stands there, the batter stands there and the infielders just stand there. When people look at me quizzically I just give a more emphatic point to fair territory. Shortly after that is when the coaches start yelling - “RUN!” And “It’s a fair ball! Get the out!”

I’d like to say this is rare. Do enough 10u and 12u community ball and you know it isn’t. But that how they learn and frankly these “low level” games give me a chance to work on mechanics and recognizing situations. No matter how much tournament ball I call, I always “come home” to these.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,072
113
Chicago
I don't see any mistakes there. She didn't yell foul or throw her hands up, so it's all good. Buy her an ice cream for me! 😋 🍨

IMO, the point really doesn't signify anything other than showing "Yes, I saw that and here is what I have." It shows you are in control and on top of things. The closer it is, the more emphatic you should be -- sell the call.

Sure, we'd like to see the point, but definitely not mistakes. How close before we point? I don't know that there is an answer to that as it is situational.

My personal practices:
  • Dying bunt in front of the plate or on the line, I'm pointing fair and giving a "safe" as the batter-runner clears the ball without any contact.
  • Spinning, sputtering ball on the line, I'm giving an emphatic point as soon as it is touched in fair territory. That way if it careens into foul territory afterwards everybody knows it is fair.
  • Liner slicing to the outfield line, I point if it is less than an arm's length off the line OR if the fielder is diving/approaching the line and it could look hairy.
  • Ball hit at the bag (line drive or grounder), I'm pointing on anything "inside" the width of the bag.

I assume that if you're doing a game with no lines/erased lines, you're more likely to give the signal.
 
Aug 12, 2014
598
28
This came up in our game today. We were in the field and the btter hit a line drive down the line that went of the thirdbaseman's glove and rolled to the side fence. The ump didn't say anything or point, the thirdbaseman and leftfielder just watched it. The batter just stood there. I started yelling at our players it was fair and to get it. Finally the ump pointed fair.

IMO the ump should have been giving a hard point fair immediately. Yes, no foul call means it's fair but this was a very close call, where I don't think anyone would've argued if he called it foul. It's 12U rec if that makes a difference.
 
May 29, 2015
2,559
113
This came up in our game today. We were in the field and the btter hit a line drive down the line that went of the thirdbaseman's glove and rolled to the side fence. The ump didn't say anything or point, the thirdbaseman and leftfielder just watched it. The batter just stood there. I started yelling at our players it was fair and to get it. Finally the ump pointed fair.

IMO the ump should have been giving a hard point fair immediately. Yes, no foul call means it's fair but this was a very close call, where I don't think anyone would've argued if he called it foul. It's 12U rec if that makes a difference.

I understand the sentiment, but I have NEVER understood why players stop when they don’t hear a call and then coaches try to blame the umpires. (Not saying you did that!)
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,072
113
Chicago
It's 12U rec if that makes a difference.

I think this does make a difference.

Umpires should be more emphatic, more obvious in their calls the lower the level of play. If it's a D1 game, the players all likely know to keep playing. At 12u rec, they're far more likely to stand there confused (and the coaches, too may be confused and can't do much to help out).

It's not so much that umpires should do anything that's not part of their training. Just a little more effort to make sure everyone sees. Maybe what you consider a "close play" on the line goes from within a foot of the line to within three feet.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
40,783
Messages
636,024
Members
19,920
Latest member
maggiemay67
Top