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Softball/Umpire call on a tag play


In a high school softball game, scored tied in extra innings, home team has runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. The batter hits a ground ball in the infield, the fielder throws home in an attempt to make a play on the runner on 3rd who is trying to score. The throw is high, the runner slides and there may or may not have been a tag. The umpire makes no call on the play, but calls time out. He then goes out and talks to the base umpire. After conferring, they call the runner out. My question is, doesn't the home plate umpire have to make a call on the play, safe or out, then wait for the coach of one of the teams ask for an appeal before talking to the base umpire? Since there was another runner on the field and still in play?

Hi Mark,

This is a matter what happened at hp we still have a live ball and play should have continued at least until the PU is sure all play has stopped.

The PU should have been 90 degrees to the path of the runner, 10-12 feet from hp on the right hand side and then adjust as needed.  You never "guess" on an out but a call should have been made and let play continue, there are still 2 runners.  Even if it had been a safe call and the game was going to be over, hesitate before calling time in case there is an appeal.

The PU doesn't need an appeal to get help from his partner but it's difficult to sell a call either way when one hasn't been made and the other umpire is anywhere from 50-70' from the play.

There's nothing to protest here but the PU made some errors that make them look bad.  They're probably not real experienced and this was a tough call (maybe, I would HTBT).  I won't say never but I can't recall a HP bang- bang play where the ball was controlled and I went to my partner out in the field.



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Dr. Mark R. Ambrose


I can answer all questions about book rules and "case book" rules governing the playing of ASA softball. Have a REAL situation that happened and are not sure the proper rule was applied, ask me.


I am a registered ASA umpire, a MASA "At-Large" umpire since 1996 and a retired District Umpire-In-Chief. I have very extensive experience in MASA State Championship and ASA national qualifying tournament play both as an umpire and an Umpire-In-Chief. I completed 3 ASA National Schools including the ASA national advanced umpire school in Ok City("Bernie" for those who know him was the lead clinician, I survived the week and couldn't let my kids watch the game tapes when I got home. No, I love you Bernie). I was one of 4 "Yankee" umpires selected to umpire the Men's D National East Championship in 2002 in Winter Haven FL

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