Category: ABUA
Published on Thursday, 01 December 2011

If you are interested in improving your umpiring skills, then the ABUA is the perfect association for you to join. We want umpires to improve and enhance their skills, wherever they might be working, whether it is at a youth league or a college league. We provide educational programs and resources for umpires, so if this is something you are interested in taking up, why not browse through our site and sign up?

If you have always been interested to continuously learn more about a game so you can improve your skills and knowledge, whether it is reading gaming tips on OnlinePoker.com, or reading up on the latest sports news in a baseball magazine, you might find this article very useful and informative. Here you will learn some interesting baseball facts which you can share with your friends, or other umpires.

Did you know?

That the first five players to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (situated in Cooperstown, New York) were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson? Since their entry in 1936, almost 300 people have been entered. These not only include expectational players, but also umpires, pioneers, executives and managers.

The French did what?

It is thought that it was in fact the French who came up with the concept of baseball. A manuscript, dating back to 1344, shows illustrations of clerics who seem to be playing a game very similar to baseball. Other old French games, including théque, la balle au bâton and la balle empoisonée, show clear similarities to baseball.

A whole new meaning to 'stumped'....

The false wooden leg of General Santa Anna was used as a baseball bat by American soldiers in 1847, just a couple of days after the Battle of Cerro Gordo. The leg was seized by the Fourth Illinois regiment and was thought to be the first baseball game ever played in Mexico at Parque Los Berros in Xalapa, Veracruz.

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In The News

2017 Play Situations and the Rules Supplement

2017 Play Situations and the Rules Supplement

It’s time again to take look at some of the play situations that have come in during the past few months.  As I’ve said in the past when we look at some of the unusual things that can occur in a softball game we must look first to the rule book, then to the case book, and we must at times even study the intent of the rule to determine how an interpretation can solve a play.   However, one of the most overlooked assets we have in the USA Softball book is the Rules Supplement which contains roughly thirty pages of interpretation and commentary.  Much of it’s been around for decades and it was written to help cover situations that aren’t always as clear as they should be in the rules.  Originally this section was called “Points of Emphasis” but since it was the same each year it was more accurately...
Relievers: Legal and Illegal

Relievers: Legal and Illegal

At the end of the 19th century, 84% of professional games were completed by the starting pitcher. As relief pitchers became more in vogue, the complete-game starter has virtually disappeared and the number of complete games is now down to about 4%. The idea that all good pitchers should be starting pitchers is still in the minds of some, but don’t tell Marino Rivera that a pitcher who doesn’t make a good starter cannot thrive in relief. The original concept of relief pitching was to use another starter when the original starter didn't have his best stuff or simply ran out of gas. Once teams realized that a pitcher could be a dedicated reliever and still be an asset to his team, specialists were developed to the point where some pitchers are used almost exclusively against either right-handed...
Protest Denied

Protest Denied

MLB rejected the Red Sox protest of the July 15 game against the Yankees. To briefly review the situation: In the top of the 11th inning the Yankees had Matt Holliday at first base and no outs when Jacoby Ellsbury chopped a ball to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to shortstop Xander Bogaerts for a force at second base. Holliday, thinking Moreland had stepped on the base and removed the force, stopped between first and second and broke back toward first base, sliding feet-first into the bag as Boston attempted to complete a double play. Bogaerts' throw clipped Ellsbury in the left leg as he crossed the base. Because of Holliday’s location, Moreland appeared to be screened from catching the ball. Ellsbury was ruled safe by first base umpire Gabe Morales which prompted Red Sox manager...
Plays Worth a Look

Plays Worth a Look

Two batter interference plays that occurred six days apart are worth a look. Play No. 1 On Aug. 31 the Astros hosted the Rangers at Tropicana Field in Florida because of Hurricane Harvey. In the bottom of the first, the Astros had George Springer on first base and no outs when Alex Bregman swung through a Nick Martinez 3-2 pitch. On Bregman’s swing, his momentum took him into the throwing lane of Rangers’ catcher Brett Nicholas who attempted to throw out Springer at second base. Because it was strike three, the runner being played on (Springer) was also called out. Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch disagreed with the call. He pleaded his case to plate umpire Chris Segal. Hinch argued that because there was no contact, interference should not have been called. Bregman echoed Hinch’s argument. "It...
Infield Fly

Infield Fly

The Infield Fly Rule is one of those rules that seem to be the same in every rulebook whether it be baseball or softball. No doubt the reason for this is that the rule has a simple and singular purpose – to prevent the defense from turning an easy double play (or perhaps even a relatively easy triple play). Despite the fact that it’s a rather simple rule it’s important that umpires understand all aspects of the rule in order to use proper mechanics and to make proper judgments when a batted ball is an infield fly. As with any rule we need to start with the definitions and that is where we find the circumstances under which an infield fly shall be called: A fair fly ball (not a line drive or an attempted bunt) Can be caught by an infielder (including pitcher and catcher) with ordinary effort Runners...
Stop It Now - Part VI

Stop It Now - Part VI

Events that Result in an Immediate Dead Ball This month we’ll wrap up our survey of the events which result in an immediate dead ball by taking a look at the rare scenarios that are covered by the rules. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Runner hit by pitch. If a runner attempts to steal home, it is theoretically possible he could be hit by the pitch. However, there is no record of that ever happening. Nonetheless, the rule exists to discourage a pitcher from intentionally hitting a runner by making it a disadvantage to do. If a legal pitch hits a runner trying to score, it is an immediate dead ball and base runners advance if they were stealing with the pitch. In NCAA only, runners not attempting to advance remain at the base they occupied at...
Stop It Now - Part V

Stop It Now - Part V

Immediate dead ball plays are usually thought of as interference plays. However, in NCAA and pro play an obstruction play can mandate an immediate dead ball. If the obstructed runner is being played on, the ball is immediately dead and the play is stopped (NCAA 2-55 Type I, 6-3d; pro 6.01h1). Under NFHS rules, obstruction is always a delayed dead ball and play is allowed to continue until all action ends (NFHS 5-1-2b; NCAA 2-55 Type II, 6-3c, 6-3d3; pro 6.01h2). Situations where obstruction may occur while the runner is being played on include: rundowns, any play where another fielder is making a direct throw to a base in an attempt to retire that runner and a batter-runner who has not yet reached first base and a ball is hit to an infielder. Play 1: With two outs, B1 pops up to the shortstop....
Time Play

Time Play

The 2017 baseball season wasn’t quite two days old when we had our first “Time Play” confusion. When the third out of an inning is not the result of a force play and it happens about the same time a runner is crossing the plate, the plate umpire must decide “in time,” what occurred first-the third out or the runner crossing the plate. Often times the plate umpire must distinguish between the time of a tag vs. the runner crossing the plate while other times the plate umpire must judge the timing of a double-up third out vs. the runner crossing the plate. The term “Time Play” is not listed in the Official Baseball Rules. Rule 5.08 (a), comes closest. It reads, “A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made (1) by the batter-runner before...