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There’s No Upside...

Michael Leavitt shares his innermost thoughts as they relate to his personal and family life. He can be heard to say often to his kids... “There’s no upside!”

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SOFTBALL RULES TRIVIA - Why was she called safe?


 Michael Leavitt 320SOFTBALL RULES TRIVIA - Why was she called safe?

3/7/2020 - Without looking at the comments of others please watch the video and justify why I was either right or wrong in calling the runner safe. The shortstop was surely dumbfounded, but I think I was the most shocked. Please justify by either NFHS or USA Softball rules your reasoning, and you make the call. Make it a great game! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah


NOTE: This is one of my all-time favorite softball video clip moments.

Safe SH YT



Wass Chapoose - I agree with your call, moving the right hand toward the glove tells me that she is trying to secure the ball, I e she lost control.

Michael Leavitt - Agreed. The one hand tag technique did not serve her well on that play.

Leslie LeVitre Young - Every ss in the history of EVER is taught to one hand tag. I'm glad you're not coaching. Lol. Two hand catching is a big no no. Maybe in 10u while you're learning. It is often a tag on the move.

Wass Chapoose - She should not be over the base , but on the front corner and swiping

Leslie LeVitre Young - Yup. Lots going wrong here, but not using two hands is not one of them. I hate it when girls sit and hold a tag on a runner. Make it quick and move on. Holding a tag like this only gives an umpire time to rethink and assess the situation. Tag and move on and make the ump make a quick decision. It upsets me when my girls freeze, hold a tag and wait for a call.

Wass Chapoose - Don't give umpires a chance to think lol

Leslie LeVitre Young - Exactly. The ball beat the runner. She ss blew it by holding a tag.

John Woods - not football. control not an issue unless you see the ball separate from the glove. runner is out. you blew it!

Michael Leavitt - No siree John. When the ball is sitting atop the glove, then it is not secured. I was hoping to at least see a snow cone, but it was balancing on top of the closed thumb and pinky. That means that it was not voluntarily released and secured until she opened the glove back up and plopped down in the webbing. Was I a bit shocked? You betcha!

Dave Trop - John Woods see rule 2-9-1 and 2-9-2. In nfhs softball, a catch applies to securing posession of a batted, thrown, or pitched ball, and secure control demonstrated by the voluntary release is required. Some other codes only apply that standard to batted balls.

Dave Trop - Michael Leavitt hey man you said ‘cite rule reference’ and then you didnt!

Michael Leavitt - Dave Trop - So we agree? A ball sitting atop a closed glove is equal to a ball laying on the ground, as far as maintaining control for the tag play. Watch her expression when I ask her if she has it in her glove... Then watch as I tell her to show me... This was priceless!!

Dave Trop - Michael Leavitt judgment call, i am not going to second guess your judgment when you were right there. In our (kind of rigid) mechanics at 2-3X you were blocked, though. In other systems, right on a swipe- from point of base you might have been able to see something different.

John Woods - Even though I haven't seen him/you in years, I think you, Mike, are a good guy so my response was in fun... but having said that... instant replay has shown how often the MLB umpires get it wrong, and these guys are the pros. So its ok to get it wrong at least how often that they do. As an athlete and parent of athletes, suggest for amateur athletics you follow this simple rule... reward good play. On your play, someone made a nice throw, and the bagman made the catch and a nice tag. The ball beat the runner... no shame in that. The ball didn't bounce away for all to see. A good umpire will call the runner out. No complaints from anyone involved... don't say it... that IS the right thing to do... :) Rule book is there for disputes. No disputes here.

Scott Healy - According to NFHS Rule: 2-38-3, you got it correct.

ART. 3 . . . Tag Out. A tag out is putting out an offensive player, who is not touching a base, by touching the runner with a live ball or with the glove or hand when the live ball is securely held therein by a fielder. The ball is not considered as having been held securely if it is juggled or dropped after the touching unless the runner deliberately knocks the ball from the hand of the fielder.

Ball was NOT securely held.

Michael Leavitt - Scott, don't even think I didn't go back and read the definitions after the play. I wanted to make certain of the exact words used in both USA Softball and NFHS. Words matter... "ball is securely held therein by a fielder" Thanks for quoting from the book!

John Woods - Disagree. 12 inch ball fits poorly in a girls glove anyway. if it wasnt secured the slide would have kicked it out. but it didnt. bad call. shame on you.

John Woods - Parent umps over thinking. should have got catcalls from the crowd. probably did. until you ump, cant know how hard it is! get it right next time.

John Woods - Joking on the shame part. its a tough job.?

Brad Ruesch - So if the ball would have been hit would this be considered a catch and an out? If so what is the difference?

Michael Leavitt - Brad, if this was a fly ball and the ball was balanced on the top of the glove, then the moment she secured it with either the hand or the glove, then it would be a catch for an out. In this case, the ball was in the glove for the tag, but it somehow popped out of the web and it was balanced on top until she reopened her glove enough for it to fall back into the glove. The second control happened after the runner was already in contact with the base. The first control was negated with the action of the slide and contact while trying to get the tag out. The ball never did touch the ground, but control was lost and regained too late.

Brad Ruesch - As much as I respect you as an umpire and the job you do please don’t make the game more difficult than it needs to be. Clearly an out and would be called that way at a college or professional level!! A catch is a catch and a dropped ball is a dropped ball!!

Jillian Dowling Plewe - Brad Ruesch in with you Brad. A catch is a catch. This was an out.

Victor Billings - Michael Leavitt I totally love that you teach me with your videos! Isn’t control of the ball subjective as well though? That ball could have been secured better of course, but it could have been bobbled more as well! It wasn’t dancing!

To me it looked like an out no question with how far ahead the throw was.

Sometimes I wonder if your judgment is maybe too technical. That shortstop might think you are being capricious, instead of learning how she could do better she will just shrug it off because she just made a really tough play and the ball wasn’t secure enough. She will adjust not by securing the ball better next time, but by making your job harder on the next play. She will start snapping up the glove like I see them do in college. This is exactly why catchers frame the ball! It’s a play act as an adjustment to calls where half an inch matters.

I love when you call my games and I love the video too. Thanks for the discussion. See you on the diamond!

Ron Osborn - I love you Michael but I would have called her out it wasn't in the deep pocket but it was in the grasp of the glove like a snow cone

Michael Leavitt - Ron, ultimately it was like a snow cone, but not when it immediately came into my view. It is too bad she did not use her other hand to help control the ball. I understand that metal cleats are coming her way, but you've got to do what you've got to do to maintain control of the ball if you want the out. If she had control, she would have proudly and much more quickly shown me. This was definitely a rare situation.

Ron Osborn - Michael Leavitt yes and you missed calls so rarely but it doesn't matter if an occasional interpretation is different and that's all it is I was thinking if she put her other hand over the ball that would be securing it so it would not fall out after the fact that I would have questioned whether she actually had it in her glove prior to using her second hand... I don't think anyone would question it since most of them are at least a hundred feet away

Jay Sullivan - Looks like she beat the tag , which is safe?

Leslie LeVitre Young - This is why I do not teach my girls to hold a tag and let the umpire even have time to assess the situation. Tag and move on.

Victor Billings - I just read the rest of the thread. Guess what is being coached. Don’t hold the tag!



ILLEGAL BAT - Do you know the penalty for using an...
SOFTBALL RULES TRIVIA - Why was she called safe?


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