2023 Information from UIC
Tony Kuleza is the league Umpire-in-Chief (UIC). E-mail or text for any problems, concerns, cancellations, make-up games, etc. (firstname.lastname@example.org ; 204-793-3309).
- Game fees are $45 cash at the plate before the game starts for all age categories. The Home Team pays the umpire.
- Game cancellation - must let Tony know by 5:00 pm on game day or game fees are expected to be paid to the umpire. If you need more time to make a decision, please keep him updated so he can update the umpire.
- Weather cancellations - technically games should be cancelled if the temperature is less than 7 degrees (Environment Canada temperature reading at The Forks). However, teams should consider the location of the diamond and if it is actually too cold/windy/wet etc. to play (ie. Southdale is wide open, Abbotsfield is very sheltered). If the weather is so terrible that all league games are cancelled, notification will come from the league president.
- Diamond conditions - the home team must ensure the diamond is playable and advise by 5pm if it needs to be cancelled. Ultimately it is the umpire’s decision whether the field is safe to play, however coaches are encouraged to help young umpires make this decision if weather conditions change once the game has started.
- Rescheduling games - contact Tony directly once you have a diamond booked. It’s always much easier to find an umpire for a game with lots of notice. It’s usually quite easy to find an umpire on Friday nights, or you can also consider playing a double header with the opposing team next time you play them on a weekday or on a weekend. If an umpire officiates a double header they are expected to be paid for both games regardless if the games are shortened or not.
- Starting the game - there is a 15 minute grace period if players are late; however please try and start on time if you are able to even if it is without less than 9 players; less than 8 players is technically a default however please see if you can borrow players from the other team to try and get a game in; in league play we DO NOT use an auto out if there are less than 9 players (for provincials you must start and end with 9 players).
- Late players - if an athlete is late arriving to the game, please leave them off your line-up and add them to the end of the batting order once they arrive and make sure you let the other scorekeeper know.
- Length of Game - Umpires will be instructed to stay beyond the run ahead rule being applied if both teams want to continue, however please pay attention to the special playing rules for when a game should end for each age group (ie. innings, darkness, time).
- Lightning Rule - in the event of lightning, we use the ‘30/30 Rule’- take appropriate shelter when you count 30 seconds or fewer between lightning and thunder. Remain sheltered for 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder.
- Game assignments - In the event that we are short on umpires and the game goes unassigned, both coaches will be notified on game day; please have a parent call the game from behind the screen or the pitcher or have the catcher call balls and strikes; there shouldn’t always be a need to cancel the game.
- Special Playing Rules - please refer to the links below.
- Reminder on specific rules:
- Coach footwear - Must be closed-toed shoes on the diamond and on the bench (ie. no sandals), this is for the safety of the coach.
- Pitcher warm-up - anyone warming up any pitcher (either on the field prior to the start of an inning or behind the dug out) MUST wear a catcher’s mask; it CANNOT be a batting helmet with cage or a defensive mask; this is for the safety of the coach (and it is also a Softball Canada rule), please be respectful of the umpire in the event they ask a coach to put a mask on.
- Batter hit by pitch - for league play, umpires will be instructed to apply the rule as it’s written in the rule book (ball is dead, batter awarded first base) when it is deemed they could not get out of the way of a pitch that hits them. If the coaches wish to amend this rule for a particular game, they may do so at the pre-game meeting with the umpire.
- Throwing bats - the player will be warned once by the umpire and the coach will be notified, if it continues at the next at bat the player will be removed from batting but can continue to play defence; this is not written rule in the rule book, however the umpire must ensure that they are safe as well as any players who may be hit by a bat.
- This is not a rule change year, but just a reminder about the changes to pitching regulations from last year:
- Players in all age categories may start with one foot on the pitching plate
- Pitchers of all age categories may leap in the air, land and then release the ball provided they do not establish a second “push point”, also known as a “crow hop”
- What umpires are directed to look for is that the hands must be separated and the arm rotation must be started prior to the pitcher re-establishing contact with the ground
- Please see Rule 6 Pitching Regulations (Fastpitch) for the balance of the requirements when pitching.
- Respect for Umpires - umpires are crucial to our game and we lose far too many each year due to negative experiences. Please remind your coaching staff, players and spectators that many umpires are learning the game just as your players are and they are trying their best. If you run into issues with an umpire that go beyond judgement calls, please contact Tony so that it can be addressed efficiently and appropriately. In turn, the umpire is expected to be respectful to all players, coaches and fans.
- Soft toss is from foul territory opposite the batter.
- Catcher is positioned behind the batter.
- Soft toss rule from 2023 Minor Division Operating Rules:
Once a batter reaches four (4) balls in the count, the batter will receive the number of soft toss pitches to continue the strike count when four (4) balls are reached. (Example: the count was 4 balls, 1 strike, the batter would receive 2 soft tosses). Every soft toss thrown will be considered a strike. On a soft toss hit, the hitter may advance to 2nd base as able, but will not advance past 2nd base. Runners on base may advance a maximum of two (2) bases on a soft toss hit.
Count of 4 balls, 0 strikes 🡪 3 soft tosses
Count of 4 balls, 1 strike 🡪 2 soft tosses
Count of 4 balls, 2 strikes 🡪 1 soft toss
Stealing bases (2nd & 3rd) is always allowed when the ball is alive. Stealing Home is prohibited. Runners may advance Home only on a hit ball.