Had a very interesting weekend with Mike Jennings and Spencer our two excellent trainers.
The rules are as we know pretty complex - certainly the detailed knowledge that is required to become an umpire. Spencer has a rule book by his bed at night.
I took a lot of notes on a whole range of matters relating to the different calls made by the umpire, the Infield Fly rule, illegal bats, coaches and substitutes, removed and ejected players, The Run Ahead Rule ( another and better name for the Mercy Rule) etc. etc.
We are using the ISF rules ( International Softball Federation) for everything except which bats or balls are acceptable for which the ASA ( Amateur Softball Association) rules are used.
We did a drill up at Regents Park - practising being the Plate umpire. ie calling strikes, balls, illegals etc. Quite difficult reacting quickly and making the fine judgements.
On Sunday as there were only 5 of us we adjourned to Clapham to join up with some of the Raiders who were doing umpiring training as well. We did some drill on watching the batter-runner going to 1st and then making the call - Out or Safe. Also we practised doing some calls on whether a ball was in Fair or Foul territory.
At the end we concentrated on the coordination between the two umpires when they are both used. That is the Plate Umpire and the Field Umpire. Did an elaborate drill base on this coordination and how it is achieved
Those who participated on the course are being sent an email exam to complete