Question about softball umpire signals

#1

KoachKrab127

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#1
It has always bothered me the way every time there is a pitch in softball, the umpire does not signal that the pitch is a strike until about 3 seconds after the pitch. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this. Why are softball umpires trained to wait a few seconds before signaling strike?
 
#5
#5
I think it's smart, sometimes an umpire gets fooled by a pitch just like a batter. Often times will begin to indicate their original thoughts of the pitch and gets caught changing their mind. Frustrating coaches and players, with the delay this does not happen
 
#6
#6
thinking about a new dance move:
umpire-2.gif
 
#7
#7
It has always bothered me the way every time there is a pitch in softball, the umpire does not signal that the pitch is a strike until about 3 seconds after the pitch. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this. Why are softball umpires trained to wait a few seconds before signaling strike?

Umpired many years. Always taught us not to rush a call, but if indeed 3 seconds, thats seems a little long. On close calls you are taught to "sell it" but I never took 3 seconds to make a call, nor did anyone I called with.
 
#8
#8
Umpired many years. Always taught us not to rush a call, but if indeed 3 seconds, thats seems a little long. On close calls you are taught to "sell it" but I never took 3 seconds to make a call, nor did anyone I called with.

one thousand one,,one thousand two,,one thousand three
In sports that is an eternity
are you sure it was that long
is it on video?
 
#9
#9
Did you umpire softball games? I am not talking about baseball strike calls, and I am not talking about calling a runner out or safe. I understand why you would not want to rush a call on an out, because maybe the first baseman dropped the ball or took their foot off the bag early. You want to make sure the call is correct before making it at a base, but I’m not talking about that kind of call.

I’m specifically talking only about strike signals in a softball game. Watch a softball game some time, high school or college (my daughter plays high school softball). When a pitch is a strike, the umpire will yell, giving a verbal strike call, then wait 2 or 3 seconds, then make the hand gesture that signals the strike call. The problem is, when the game is on TV, most of the time you cannot hear the verbal call, so you are waiting 2 or 3 seconds after every pitch for the hand gesture signal. Every softball umpire does this, so they are obviously trained to make strike calls in this specific way. I’m just wondering what the reason is for the strike hand signal to be delayed by 2 to 3 seconds. In baseball, a strike signal is given almost immediately. Why is it supposed to be delayed for softball?
 
#10
#10
Did you umpire softball games? I am not talking about baseball strike calls, and I am not talking about calling a runner out or safe. I understand why you would not want to rush a call on an out, because maybe the first baseman dropped the ball or took their foot off the bag early. You want to make sure the call is correct before making it at a base, but I’m not talking about that kind of call.

I’m specifically talking only about strike signals in a softball game. Watch a softball game some time, high school or college (my daughter plays high school softball). When a pitch is a strike, the umpire will yell, giving a verbal strike call, then wait 2 or 3 seconds, then make the hand gesture that signals the strike call. The problem is, when the game is on TV, most of the time you cannot hear the verbal call, so you are waiting 2 or 3 seconds after every pitch for the hand gesture signal. Every softball umpire does this, so they are obviously trained to make strike calls in this specific way. I’m just wondering what the reason is for the strike hand signal to be delayed by 2 to 3 seconds. In baseball, a strike signal is given almost immediately. Why is it supposed to be delayed for softball?

Here are the rules per the official rules of softball re "umpire calling a strike"

Sec. 4.A STRIKE IS CALLED BY THE UMPIRE.
a. (FP ONLY) When any part of a legally pitched ball enters the strike zone before touching the ground and at which the batter does not swing. (SP ONLY) For each legally pitched ball entering the strike zone before touching the ground and at which the batter does not swing. EXCEPTION: It is not a strike if the pitched ball touches home plate and is not swung at.
b. (FP ONLY) For each legally pitched ball struck at and missed by the batter. (SP ONLY) For each pitched ball including an illegal pitch, struck at and missed by the batter. NOTE: Sec. 4a & b (SP ONLY) The batter cannot legally swing at any pitched ball that hits the ground or plate. However, if the batter swings and misses the pitch prior to the ball hitting the ground or plate, it is a strike.
EFFECT - Sec. 4a & 4b: (FP ONLY) The ball is in play and runners may advance with liability to be put out. (SP ONLY) The ball is dead and runners may not advance.
c. For each foul tip. EFFECT - Sec. 4c: (FP ONLY) The ball is in play and runners may advance with liability to be put out. The batter is out if it is the third strike. (SP ONLY) The batter is out if it is the third strike.
d. For each foul ball when the batter has less than two strikes.
e. (SP Only) For each foul ball, including the third strike.
f. For each pitched ball struck at and missed which touches any part of the batter.
g. When any part of the batter's person or clothing is hit with his own-batted ball when he is in the batter's box and he has less than two strikes.
h. When a pitched ball hits the batter while the ball is in the strike zone.
i. When the batter fails to enter the batter's box within 10 seconds after the umpire calls "PLAY BALL."
j. When an offensive team member deliberately erases the lines of the batter’s box. Effect – Section 4a-j (SP ONLY – the ball is dead on any strike and runner(s) must return to their bases without liability to be put out

I see nothing in the rules that covers your question

And no I haven't umpired any games in softball...No interest in the sport at all, just follow the LadyVol forum and try to input and help any thread I can

My own theory...An umpire might want to take a moment to make sure he is relaying the correct signal to the crowd...He announces it immediately to the batter and then does a visual so that someone 300 feet away would clearly know the call. It would be more embarrassing to knee-jerk the wrong call than it would to take a pause and make sure he/she is sending the right visual,,,just a theory
 
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#11
#11
What is there to think about? A pitch is either a strike or a ball per the rule book. Your eyes, experience, knowlege, and gut tell you right away. It's either a strike or it's not.
 
#12
#12
What is there to think about? A pitch is either a strike or a ball per the rule book. Your eyes, experience, knowlege, and gut tell you right away. It's either a strike or it's not.

Have you ever seen a basketball ref make a wrong call then later make an obvious "make-up call"

Refs are subject to mental errors that translate into physical displays
 
#13
#13
Have you ever seen a basketball ref make a wrong call then later make an obvious "make-up call"

Refs are subject to mental errors that translate into physical displays

Basketball calls on the open floor are a different animal than calling balls and strikes from a stationary position and at such close range. MLB umps are cleaning up their acts because of the electronic strike zone seen on the tv screen. There are fewer outliers thinking they can call their own strike zone and get away with it, as the league is enforcing the strike zone per the rule book. Maybe the ncaa should consider that for college umping, too. Unless an ump is zoned out and not focused on the pitch, they should be able to call a ball or a strike instantly.
 
#14
#14
My own theory...An umpire might want to take a moment to make sure he is relaying the correct signal to the crowd...He announces it immediately to the batter and then does a visual so that someone 300 feet away would clearly know the call. It would be more embarrassing to knee-jerk the wrong call than it would to take a pause and make sure he/she is sending the right visual,,,just a theory

I think they are trained to wait a few seconds before giving the signal because I’ve never seen a softball ump give the strike signal immediately, and I’ve been to hundreds of softball games. I would agree with you, but the way they give the verbal signal immediately and the way in baseball the strike signal is delivered much more instantaneously, it makes me wonder. I just want to understand the reason behind the delay.
 
#15
#15
I think they are trained to wait a few seconds before giving the signal because I’ve never seen a softball ump give the strike signal immediately, and I’ve been to hundreds of softball games. I would agree with you, but the way they give the verbal signal immediately and the way in baseball the strike signal is delivered much more instantaneously, it makes me wonder. I just want to understand the reason behind the delay.
I have referee friends I could ask re basketball, but no softball ump-friends. It is perfectly acceptable to go to the ump during the interchange of teams and ask a question,,,maybe that would be a good way to find out
 
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#16
#16
I think they are trained to wait a few seconds before giving the signal because I’ve never seen a softball ump give the strike signal immediately, and I’ve been to hundreds of softball games. I would agree with you, but the way they give the verbal signal immediately and the way in baseball the strike signal is delivered much more instantaneously, it makes me wonder. I just want to understand the reason behind the delay.
A southern tale:
There was a young couple settling in for their first Christmas dinner together. Following Grace, the young man noticed, the ends had been cut off the ham. He asks his significant other, “Why are the ends cut off the ham?” His bride answers, “That’s just the way Mom always did it.”
So Thanksgiving roll around and curious, prior to seating for dinner, the young man asks his mother in law, “Why did you cut the ends off the ham?” His mother in law answers, “That’s just the way Mom always did it.” So Grandma is still in the kitchen. He wanders in and asks Grandma the question, “Why did you cut the ends off the ham?” She stares at him, then answers, “Because the pan I cooked it in was too small to fit the whole ham.”
 
#18
#18
A southern tale:
There was a young couple settling in for their first Christmas dinner together. Following Grace, the young man noticed, the ends had been cut off the ham. He asks his significant other, “Why are the ends cut off the ham?” His bride answers, “That’s just the way Mom always did it.”
So Thanksgiving roll around and curious, prior to seating for dinner, the young man asks his mother in law, “Why did you cut the ends off the ham?” His mother in law answers, “That’s just the way Mom always did it.” So Grandma is still in the kitchen. He wanders in and asks Grandma the question, “Why did you cut the ends off the ham?” She stares at him, then answers, “Because the pan I cooked it in was too small to fit the whole ham.”

That reminds me of a social experiment completed with chimps. If a chimp grabbed a banana hanging from a rope, the entire group of chimps were sprayed with a hose. New chimps were introduced to the group, and if they tried to grab the banana, the entire group would beat him up. A while later, after all of the original chimps left the group, if any chimp tried to grab the banana, they were beaten up. None of the current chimps in the new group were ever sprayed with a hose, but they beat up the offender anyway, just because that’s the way it always was.
 
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#19
#19
That reminds me of a social experiment completed with chimps. If a chimp grabbed a banana hanging from a rope, the entire group of chimps were sprayed with a hose. New chimps were introduced to the group, and if they tried to grab the banana, the entire group would beat him up. A while later, after all of the original chimps left the group, if any chimp tried to grab the banana, they were beaten up. None of the current chimps in the new group were ever sprayed with a hose, but they beat up the offender anyway, just because that’s the way it always was.
Tribal knowledge, the bane of Quality Management Systems.
 
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#21
#21
All this reminds me how darn hard it is batters to decide, in an instant, between strikes and balls. If the home plate umpire, who has the second-best view of the strike zone on the field being directly behind the catcher, crouched a little and looking directly over the center of the plate throughout the pitch, can make mistakes, imagine how much more difficult it is for batters who are standing to one side and a foot or two away from the plate and looking sideways.
 
#22
#22
All this reminds me how darn hard it is batters to decide, in an instant, between strikes and balls. If the home plate umpire, who has the second-best view of the strike zone on the field being directly behind the catcher, crouched a little and looking directly over the center of the plate throughout the pitch, can make mistakes, imagine how much more difficult it is for batters who are standing to one side and a foot or two away from the plate and looking sideways.
a 70 mph softball, released from an average distance of 37 feet from the plate, will result in 0.35 seconds of reaction time for the batter...A normal blink of an eye is about .1 second
 
#23
#23
Back in my AAU baseball days we were at a tournament in FL (we were actually at the ATL Braves Spring Training facility with "real dugouts") and during a lightning delay the umpires came into our dugout for shelter. We got to talk to them a little bit and they were the same umpires that worked the minor leagues for MLB. One of them gave us a crash course for calling balls and strikes. Her process was: watch it all the way in, decide, look the pitcher in the eyes, and then make the call. She said they were trained to build trust with the pitcher in that way. So that is why you might notice a delay.

She also told us something else that I'll never forget. She said she has never made a bad call. And we were all like "come on!". She explained that she knew she wasn't perfect but she had made every call exactly like she saw it, and as an umpire, if you call it as you see it, then you've done your job. No hissy fit, heckling, etc could change her call and as long as that was true she had never made bad call.
 

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