Umpire Information Packet

WELCOME TO THE SPRING GAMES!

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We appreciate you being part of the World’s largest college softball event. With over 2,000 college softball games between mid-February and the end of March, we know just how important it is to make sure that we – and you – are familiar with what is going on at each complex. These games COUNT and we appreciate you being part of making the start of the teams’ season the best it can be! In order to support you and our teams, we wanted to pass on some information to you that will assist you in knowing what is going on here at the Games and the parks. 

GENERAL INFORMATION
THE Spring Games is the World’s largest college softball event. Founded in 2008 by Olympian and Doctor Dot Richardson (USA 1979-2000), it has been operated and managed by a closely-held softball family from the beginning. We are very proud of our history and connection to Central Florida and we hope you are as excited as we are to be part of this event!

Donna Howell will be the Umpire Coordinator and is the assigner to THE Spring Games. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to her at dhowell@pfxathletics.com or 352-988-8159. If you have any questions concerning the event, each complex will have a Site Supervisor or Umpire Coordinator that you may go to for any issues that may arise. 

Please make sure you are logged in to your Arbiter account to monitor games and any changes that may arise during THE Spring Games. If you are making changed with fellow umpires you need to make sure that Ms. Howell is made aware of the change.  

You will be issued credentials that you will need to carry with you at all times (even when you are in uniform). The credentials are wallet-sized and can be held in your pocket.

From time to time, you may be offered the opportunity to officiate a “three-man crew.” Coaches are not paying extra to have three umpires on a field and if you are offered this opportunity, it is because the leadership at THE Spring Games believes that either your experience, the fan experience, or the team-match justifies the additional expense of adding a third umpire to the game. Some of these opportunities are paid, others are not (or are reduced fee). Please let Ms. Howell know if you are interested in working a three-man crew game.

IMPORTANT RULES TO REMEMBER:
Time management is an important piece of THE Spring Games day-to-day activities. In order to keep the event on track, we ask that you pay close attention to some rules specific to THE Spring Games. If you have any questions about these rules, please speak with Ms. Howell or the Umpire Coordinator responsible for your complex.

Umpires at THE Spring Games are expected to be familiar with the rules governing the Division of the game they are umpiring. We understand these are some of the first games of the season and, like many of our teams, this might be your first time on dirt for a while. That said, diligent study and preparation should help you be mentally prepared for the games. You can see your game assignments in Arbiter so please be sure to give a good look-over to your Divisional assignment rule book at least 48 hours prior to your game to refresh your memory.

On a related note, here is a link to the NCAA 2018-2019 Rule Changes.

For THE Spring Games, here are some of the common rule-based questions we hear:

Tie Breaker: Tie Breaker will be in the 8th.

Time Limits: There are no time limits at THE Spring Games; these are regular-season games and will be played until there is a winner under the Divisional Regulations. The only exception to this policy is for Junior Varsity (Non-Varsity) If you have two (2) JV teams playing each other, the time limit is two (2) hours.

Media and Live Stream: There will be media boxes marked on the game fields. Only official team photographers are permitted to be on the fields (no spectators or parents). THE Spring Games are being live streamed through Flo Softball. Fans can get more information about the live stream on our website at www.THESpringGames.comIf a camera for the live streaming gets hit and needs to be adjusted, you will be notified by either the Site Supervisor, Umpire Coordinator, or personnel from Suffragette Softball. In that instance, please pause the game between innings for no more than three (3) minutes for the video crew to make adjustments to the camera.

Bat Checks: Bat testing is not mandatory for participation in THE Spring Games; however, the NCAA has a representative on site to do bat testing and we do encourage teams to make an appointment with the official bat tester for the NCAA to make sure their bats are compliant with the current rules and regulations. Whether the bats have been tested, it is your responsibility to make sure you check bats against the current NCAA bat list each game. Each team may use one bat list for the day. If the NCAA issues a new list during the event, teams playing the first two rounds of games may still use the previous list.

Media Format:  We will be using the Media Format which was new for 2018 in the NCAA Rule Book. Teams will have 90 seconds (1 ½ minutes) between each half inning. Coaches will get seven (7) total conferences (defensive & offensive) per game.  If a game goes into extra innings then each team is allowed one (1) conference per half inning and unused conferences cannot be carried over.

Game and Fan Management: There are many people at THE Spring Games on vacation; most are fans, some are umpires, none are teams or coaches. We ask that at all times that you conduct yourself in a professional manner. Keep in mind that the fan experience at THE Spring Games is unique since these Games are neutral sites. Also remember that fans are here from across the nation and that different regions have different customs and manners of communication. As the umpire, the field is yours to manage, which means that you are welcome to manage the fans as you see appropriate. If there is an issue with a fan that requires security, please notify the Umpire Coordinator or Site Supervisor and she or he will take appropriate action.

Protests: Protests will be managed consistent with the NCAA Rules. THE Spring Games staff will not be involved or manage a game protest.

UMPIRE REST AND CHANGING AREAS:
Refreshments (drinks and snacks) are provided complimentary to you in each umpire area.

Legends Way Ballfields
2350 Legends Way
Clermont, Florida 34711

The umpire room is in the red building behind field 2. Parking will be at the building where the back gate is located (closest to the umpire room). Umpires are encouraged to enter through the back gate.

Hancock Park
3301 Hancock Road
Clermont, Florida 34711

The umpire area is located under the pine trees near the entrance to Hancock park along Highway 27. We will have privacy tents set up for you behind field 3 for you to change. Please do not change in public areas.

Sleepy Hollow
2775 Hollow Lane
Leesburg, Florida 34748

The umpire area is located in the locker rooms near the gazebo between the quad and Fields 5 and 6. The locker room includes a bathroom and shower facilities next to the gazebo on the left as you enter the park. 

Minneola Athletic Complex
2600 Fosgate Road
Minneola, Florida 34715

Bathrooms are located at the building in the middle of the quad. Please use the restrooms to change between games.

Osceola Softball Complex

There is an umpire changing area located near the maintenance building outside of the fields (to the east of the parking lot). There are restrooms and showers in the umpire changing area.

Fortune Road Athletic Complex
2500 Fortune Road
Kissimmee, Florida 34744

The umpire changing area is in the locker room in the center building. The locker room has three toilets and two showers. There is also a second floor meeting area where you are welcome to rest between games; please do not use the meeting area as a changing room.

DiamondPlex Softball Complex
85 PSC Access Road
Winter Haven, Florida 33881