Fourth Umpire Approved


When it comes to changes in the rules you should never get too comfortable with the way things were. The past tense is appropriate as the NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee has applied changes to softball. What’s the change? One more umpire in the mix. Unless you have an aversion to good officiating this is a smart move.

The regionals, super regionals and the Women’s College World Series will see a four umpire crew in the future. It will begin with the 2019 Division I Softball Championship.

The NCAA will gauge the impact of the additional crew member with continued input from the coaches, players and conferences.

More Eyes On The Game – Add An Umpire

What prompted the change? The Division I Softball Committee observed that the current three umpire crew had responsibility for more than one base. As crew members were frequently out of position they were missing calls.

Adding the fourth crew member remedies this weak link in softball officiating. Extra eyes on play in a game is always a plus.

An immediate assumption would point to coaches pushing this change but impetus from the players themselves may have held sway. Player evaluations indicated that among the top three improvements to the game requested, the extra umpire was among the three.

When Does Bat Meet Ball?

ACC softball teams will kick off their schedule in early February with the conference championship in early May.

Looking ahead, the 2019 NCAA Division I Softball Championship Bracket will be announced on Sunday, May 12.

Opening play will begin with regional action May 17-19 at 16 campus sites. Teams advancing to the Super Regionals will play May 23-26.

The 2019 Women’s College World Series will be in Oklahoma City May 30 through June 5.

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