Rule 10 - Umpires


The umpires are the representatives of the league or organization by which they have been assigned to a particular game, and as such, are authorized and required to enforce each section of these rules. They have the power to order a player, coach, captain or manager to do or omit to do any act which in their judgement is necessary to give force and effect to one or all of these rules and to inflict penalties as herein prescribed. The plate umpire shall have the authority to make decisions on any situations not specifically covered in the rules.


a. The umpire shall not be a member of either team. Examples: player, coach, manager, officer, scorer or sponsor.

b. The umpire should be sure of the date, time and place for the game and should arrive at the playing field 20-30 minutes ahead of time, start the game on time and leave the field when the game is over.

c. The umpire’s uniform and equipment shall be as outlined in the Softball Canada National Officials’ Certification Program.

d. Umpires must not wear exposed jewellery that may pose a hazard.

EXCEPTION: Medical Alert bracelets and/or necklaces.

e. The umpires should introduce themselves to the captains, managers and scorers.

f. The umpires should inspect the playing field boundaries, equipment and clarify all ground rules to both teams and their coaches.

g. Each umpire shall have the power to make decisions on violations committed any time during playing time or during suspension of play until the game is over.

1) Neither umpire has the authority to set aside nor question decisions made by the other within the limits of their respective duties as outlined in these rules.

2) An umpire may consult his associate at any time. However, the final decision shall rest with the umpire whose exclusive authority it was to make the decision and who requested the opinion of the other.

h. In order to define their respective duties, the umpire judging balls and strikes shall be designated as the ”Plate Umpire”, the umpire judging base decisions as the “Base Umpire”.

i. The plate umpire or base umpire shall have equal authority to:

1) Call a runner out for leaving a base too soon.
2) Call ‘’Time” for suspension of play.
3) Remove or eject a player, coach or manager from the game for violation of rules.
4) Call all illegal pitches.
5) Call an infield fly.

j. The umpire shall declare the batter or runner out without waiting for an appeal for such decision in all cases where such player is retired in accordance with these rules.

NOTE: Unless appealed to, the umpire does not call a player out for:

1. Missing a base.
2. Leaving a base on a caught fly ball before the ball is first touched.
3. Batting out-of-order.
4. Attempting to advance to second base after making a turn at first base.
5. Illegal pitcher returning to the game as a pitcher.
6. Illegal substitutions.
7. Illegal re-entry.
8. Hitting a ball with an illegal or altered bat.
9. Making a play with an illegal glove.
10. Crossing over the commitment line and returning to third base.
11. Replacement player or returning withdrawn player not reporting to the umpire.
12. Runner switching positions on the bases.

k. Umpires shall not penalize a team for infraction of a rule when imposing the penalty would be to the advantage of the offending team.

l. Failure of umpires to adhere to Rule 10 shall not be grounds for protest. These are guidelines for umpires.


a. Shall take a position in back of the catcher. He shall have full charge of, and be responsible for, the proper conduct of the game.

b. Shall call all balls and strikes.

c. Shall, by agreement and in cooperation with the base umpire, call plays, hit balls, fair or foul, legal or illegal caught balls. On plays that would necessitate the base umpire leaving the infield, the plate umpire shall assume the duties normally required of the base umpire.

d. Shall determine and declare whether:

1) A batter bunts or chops a ball.
2) A batted ball or a ball swung at and missed touches the person, or clothing, of the batter.
3) A fly ball is an infield or an outfield fly.

e. Shall render decisions as indicated in Softball Canada’s National Officials’ Certification Program Manuals.

f. Shall determine when a game is forfeited.

g. Shall assume all duties, when assigned as a single umpire to a game.


a. Shall take such positions on the playing field as outlined in the Softball Canada National Officials’ Certification Program Manuals.

b. Shall assist the plate umpire in every way, to enforce the rules of the game.


a. If only one umpire is assigned, his duties and jurisdiction shall extend to all points.

b. The umpire’s starting position for each pitch shall be from behind home plate.

c. On each batted ball or play that develops, the umpire shall move out from behind the plate and into the infield to obtain the best position for any play that develops.


Umpires cannot be changed during a game by the consent of the opposing teams, unless:

a. An umpire is incapacitated by injury or illness.
b. A game is suspended and is continued at a later date.


a. There shall be no appeal from any decision of any umpire, on the grounds that he was not correct in his conclusion as to whether a batted ball was fair or foul,
a runner safe or out, a pitched ball a strike or ball, or on any play involving accuracy of judgment.

b. No decision rendered by any umpire shall be reversed; except that he is convinced it is in violation of one of these rules.

1) In case the manager, captain, or either team does seek a reversal of a decision based solely on a point of the rules, the umpire whose decision is in question shall, if in doubt, confer with his associate before taking any action.

2) Under no circumstances shall any player or person, other than the manager or the captain of either team, have any legal right to protest on any decision and seek its reversal, on a claim that it is in conflict with these rules.

c. Under no circumstances shall any umpire seek to reverse a decision made by his associates, nor shall any umpire criticize or interfere with the duties of his associates, unless asked to do so by him.

d. The umpires, in consultation, may rectify any situation in which the reversal of an umpire’s decision, or a delayed call by an umpire, places a batter-runner or runner in jeopardy, or places the defensive team at a disadvantage.

NOTE: This correction is not possible after a pitch, legal or illegal, or if all players on the defensive team have left fair territory and the catcher has left the catcher’s box.


The umpire shall use the signals as outlined in the Softball Canada Officials’ Certification Program Manuals.


a. An umpire may suspend play when, in his judgement, conditions justify such action.

b. Play shall be suspended whenever the plate umpire leaves his position to brush the plate or to perform other duties not directly connected with the calling of plays.

c. The umpire shall suspend play whenever a batter or pitcher steps out of position for a legitimate reason.

d. An umpire shall not call “Time” after the pitcher has started the windup.

e. An umpire shall not call “Time” while any play is in progress.

f. In case of injury, except in the umpires’ judgement with a serious injury (which may put the player in danger); “Time” shall not be called until all plays in progress have been completed, or runners have been held at their base.

EFFECT Sec. 8f: In case of injury when “Time” is called, the ball is dead and runner(s) may be awarded a base or bases they would have achieved, in the umpire’s judgement had the injury not occurred.

g. Umpires shall not suspend play at the request of players, coaches or managers, until all action in progress by either team has been completed.

h. When the ball is held by a player in the infield and in the opinion of an umpire, all immediate play is apparently completed, “TIME” should be called.


Players, coaches, or managers shall not make disparaging or insulting remarks to, or about opposing players, officials, or spectators, or commit other acts that could be considered unsportsmanlike conduct.

EFFECT – Sec.9:

1. A violation by a player is either prompt REMOVAL, or EJECTION, of the offender from the game.

2. Violations by a manager, coach or other team official shall be:

(a) For a first offence, the offender may be warned, or if a first offence is considered serious enough by the umpire, the offender is EJECTED.
(b) For a second offence, the offender is EJECTED.

3. In the event the Head Coach is EJECTED from a game, he shall submit to the umpire the name of the person who is to assume the Head Coach duties for the remainder of the game.

4. A player REMOVED from the game may sit on the bench but shall not participate further in the game except as a coach.

5. A player, manager, coach, or other team official EJECTED from the game, shall go directly to the dressing room for the remainder of the game, or leave the grounds.

6. Failure of a person so REMOVED, or EJECTED, to leave the game immediately, will warrant a forfeiture of the game.