When:  Thursday, February 29 Time:  1730-2000 (530-8PM) Where:  Back 40 BBQ, PH, CA An ALL HANDS gathering of the Blue Crew on the eve of Opening Day.  This is an excellent opportunity for our new umpires to the meet our returning umpires, enjoy free food and beverage, talk shop, talk training, talk about Opening Day,…

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When:  Monday, February 26 Time:  18-2000 (6-8PM) Where:  PHBA Snack Shack Conference Room Scheduling Night is for two groups of Blue Crew members.  Group One are Rookie umpires having difficulty setting up their personal account in our Blue Crew Scheduler (BCS) app.  Group 2 are those veteran umpires who are technologically challenged and have difficulty…

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In 2014, MLB unveiled their state of the art Replay Operations Center, a 900-square-foot room at the offices of Major League Baseball Advanced Media in the historic Chelsea Market building. It’s a technological marvel, outfitted with state-of-the-art video equipment. And it’s the nerve center of Major League Baseball’s expanded replay system. Unfortunately, PHBA is unable…

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The Umpire Leadership Team (ULT) continues to meet twice a month during the offseason in preparation for the upcoming season. The ULT examines existing PHBA rules along with changes to Major League Baseball and USA Softball rules which may impact PHBA. The team encourages Blue Crew discussion about the rules, reviewing current tough plays and…

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The PHBA Baseball and Softball rules for the 2022 season have been updated and posted on the Rules page. Key changes to this season’s rules include but are not limited to: Softball American 2023 The Dropped Third Strike is no longer in effect for Softball American. Baseball Pioneer 2022 Removal of overthrow pitch rule –…

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Get your teams ready by scheduling a friendly scrimmage with bonafide umpires. Remember, scrimmages are now allowed within the state guidelines. It’s a great way to get the kids ready for the season by doing away with the 1st game jitters before Opening Day. The umpires need to dust off the armor and brush out…

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The Overthrow Rules 4.11 for both Pioneer divisions have been rescinded and revamped to encourage the kids (and especially the coaches) to make a play on the runners instead of simply getting the ball back to the pitcher to “kill the play.” In previous years, attempting plays and missing promoted the kids simply running the…

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The rule for the number of coach pitches allowed was changed in 2020. So how many pitches does a coach really get to throw during coach pitch? This one seems simple enough, and yet the math never seems to add up for most coaches and umpires. This has been the rule for softball for years,…

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The rule for coach pitch interference was changed for baseball in 2020 and is now consistent with softball rules. The coach should make every effort (think Neo in the Matrix) to avoid contact with a hit or thrown ball. However, if the coach is hit by the ball, the ball is LIVE and play will…

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The Look Back rule is specific to softball.  The rule, in the words of USA Softball (teamusa.org), “was supposed to stop players from dancing around between bases while the ball was in the Pitcher’s possession and control in the Pitcher’s Circle.”  The short, paraphrased version of this rule is this:  When the Pitcher A) Has…

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The foul tip is one those baseball rules that confuses the casual enjoyer of America’s pastime and infuriates baseball purists.  This article is designed to help you understand this simple yet often misunderstood rule. According to MLB.com,  “A foul tip is a batted ball that goes sharply and directly to the catcher’s hand or glove and…

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