1. UMPIRES MUST BE REGISTERED WITH AAYS
All tournaments and leagues played under the jurisdiction and administration of the ALL AMERICAN YOUTH Fastpitch program shall utilize only Umpires who are currently registered with the association.
2. NO CONNECTION TO EITHER TEAM
The Umpire should not be connected in any way with either team.
3. UMPIRE EXPECTATIONS
A.) The Umpire should be sure of the date, time, and location of the game and should arrive at the field 30 minutes before the game time, prepared to work.
B.) The Umpire is responsible to keep control of the game.
C.) The Umpire can suspend play for any reason: Acts of nature, unruly conduct, etc.
D.) The Umpire should always maintain a professional attitude towards fans, players, and coaches and always be approachable.
4. UMPIRE UNIFORM
The official Umpire uniform standard for sanctioned play includes approved and licensed products, which allow for freedom of movement. The official uniform shall consist of:
A.) A mesh pullover shirt. If a shirt is worn under the umpire shirt, it shall be plain, short sleeve, and white, black or match the pullover shirt’s primary color. Long sleeve shirts may be worn but must match the pullover shirt color.
B.) Solid Black Umpire cap.
C.) Long heather gray slacks with black socks. Shin guards may not be exposed.
D.) Gray or black ball bag. Only the Plate Umpire shall wear a ball bag.
E.) Black belt.
F.) Black polished shoes and black shoelaces; solid black socks.
G.) A windbreaker jacket, a V-neck pullover may be worn as outside apparel.
NOTE: If two or more Umpires are used per game, they must be dressed alike.
H.) The Umpire behind the plate must wear a mask.
5. NUMBER OF UMPIRES
Game officials include the Plate Umpire and may include one, two, or three Base Umpires. Any Umpire has the authority to order a player, coach, or team attendant to do or refrain from doing anything, which affects the administering of these rules, and to enforce prescribed penalties. The National Fastpitch Program Committee strongly recommends there be at least two Umpires.
6. UMPIRE JURISDICTION
Umpire jurisdiction begins upon the arrival of one Umpire within the confines of the field and ends when the Umpires leave the playing field at the conclusion of the game.
7. SOLO UMPIRE
If there is only one Umpire, that Umpire has complete jurisdiction in administering the rules and shall take a position behind the catcher.
8. UMPIRE JUDGEMENT
Any Umpire’s decision, which involves judgment, such as whether a hit is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or ball, or whether a runner is safe, or out, is final. If there is reasonable doubt about some decision being in conflict with the rules, the coach or captain may ask that the correct ruling be made. The Umpire making the decision may ask another Umpire for information before making a final decision. The use of videotape by game officials for the purpose of making calls or rendering a decision is prohibited. No Umpire shall criticize or interfere with another Umpire’s decision unless asked by the one making it.
NOTE: The Plate Umpire sometimes asks for aid from the Base Umpire when there is a question as to whether a batter’s half-swing is to be called a strike. As an aid in deciding, the Umpire shall note whether the swing carried the barrel portion of the bat in front of the batter’s body and in the direction of the infield, but the final decision is based on whether the batter actually struck at the ball.
9. ILLNESS OR INJURY
No Umpire may be replaced during a game unless he or she becomes ill or injured.
10. UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
The Umpire’s right to disqualify players or remove nonplayers for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct is absolute.
Umpires shall not use tobacco products in any form in the vicinity of the playing field.
12. UMPIRE DUTIES AND POSITIONING
The Plate Umpire shall stand behind the catcher. The Plate Umpire shall make all decisions except those commonly reserved for the Base Umpire. The duties of the Plate Umpire shall include the following:
A.) Inspect the condition of the field
B.) Conduct Pre-Game Conferences. Ask both coaches if their teams are legally and properly equipped, receive the batting order of both teams, announce special ground rules and formulate such that if the two teams cannot agree, designate the dugout/bench area, if necessary, designate the official scorekeeper.
C.) Ensure that each player takes their glove and other loose equipment to the bench at the end of their team’s time in the field.
D.) Call “Play Ball” and give a beckoning hand signal to start the game or to resume play, and call “Time” whenever the ball becomes dead.
E.) Call and count balls and strikes,
F.) Signal fair hits, and call out “foul ball” while signaling each foul hit
G.) Make all decisions on the batter.
H.) When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the Plate Umpire immediately announces it for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baseline the Umpire shall declare, “Infield fly, if fair.”
I.) Eject a player or send a coach from the field of play if it becomes necessary.
J.) Announce each substitute.
K.) Call a game if conditions become unfit for play.
L.) Penalize for rule infractions, such as illegal pitch, interference, delay, unwarranted disputing of decision, unsportsmanlike conduct, or defacement of the ball by the pitcher.
M.) Have the authority to make decisions on any situation not specifically covered in the rules.
N.) Forfeit the game for prescribed infractions by spectators, players, or attendants.
O.) When the game is played under the auspices of an organization that permits protests to be filed, the Plate Umpire shall report the protest to the organization along with all related conditions at the time of the protested play, provided the protest is brought to the attention of an Umpire by the offended team at the time of the play and before the next pitch after such play.
EXCEPTION: Protests resulting from the last play of the game shall be brought to the attention of an Umpire by the offended team prior to leaving the field. The Plate Umpire shall then inform the coach of the opposing team and the official scorekeeper.
NOTE: If there is a question about a rule that was possibly misapplied, the team’s coach or captain shall inform the Umpire at the time of play and before a pitch to the next batter of the team currently at-bat or before the first batter for the team that was on defense, if the teams have changed positions; or before the Umpire leaves the field if the play in question was the last play of the game.
P.) Keep a record of substitutions, courtesy runners, the defensive team charged conferences, ejections/restrictions, and team warnings for each team.
Q.) Penalize for jewelry violation.
R.) Rectify any situation in which an Umpire’s decision that was delayed or reversed has placed either team in jeopardy.
S.) Correct a scorekeeping error if brought to attention before the Umpires leave the field when the game is over.
Sec 13. THE BASE UMPIRE(S)
Shall assist the Plate Umpire in administering the rules. The Base Umpire shall make all decisions on the bases except those reserved for the Plate Umpire as defined above. The Base Umpire shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Plate Umpire in calling time, illegal pitches, defacement or discoloration of ball by the pitcher, when a fly ball is caught, or in disqualifying any player for unsportsmanlike conduct or infraction as prescribed by the rules. In some instances, the Base Umpire will rule on the ball being fair or foul. When there is only one on-base Umpire, that Umpire typically, but not solely, makes all decisions at first and second base. The Base Umpire will also make some decisions at third base. If a play takes the Base Umpire beyond the infield, the Plate Umpire will make all calls on the bases.