We are working hard to get ready for the season. The website is actively being updated so you may notice quite a few changes as we get things properly setup to best serve everybody.
Umpire In Chief
3016 Ambler Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45241
January 6, 2017
It is another new year and the softball season is coming soon. This is my 40th year writing this letter as your Umpire In Chief and it is quite different as I have more new information to communicate with you than ever before. There are some huge changes that will impact all of us as we enter the 2017 season. First, the Amateur Softball Association is now USA Softball and although we are the same organization our new name reflects our role as the National Governing Body of the sport as well as softball’s return to the Olympics. As such we are no longer Cincinnati ASA but now USA Softball of Cincinnati. We also have major changes with our annual clinic and weekly meetings. At the same time, we expect to continue to see growth in opportunities available to USA Softball of Cincinnati umpires, and a resulting need for new umpires.
Our 40th annual Umpires Clinic will take on a new and improved format with two FULL DAY clinics – one for SLOW PITCH on Sunday, February 12 and one for FAST PITCH on Sunday, February 26. BOTH CLINICS WILL BE AT MID AMERICA BALLYARD AND RUN FROM 9AM TO 4PM. Mid America Ballyard is located at the corner of Blue Rock and East Miami River Road in Colerain Township – 6960 Blue Rock Road – 45247.
This new format will be more efficient and effective for all of our umpires and will allow those who work both games the opportunity for additional preseason preparation. Umpires attending the Fast Pitch clinic will receive OHSAA local meeting credit.
Our clinic program will this year feature our local staff all of whom will have just returned the USA Softball National Clinic in Oklahoma City. Our topics will include new and difficult rules, interpretations, game management and tournament procedures, with an additional emphasis on umpire mechanics and the changes being made in connection with the transition to USA Softball. Don't miss this great clinic and remember the COST IS STILL INCLUDED IN YOUR REGISTRATION FEE.
This season Commissioner David Maury will again recognize umpires who have reached milestones in years of service. We will also recognize umpires who participated in National Championship play or earned other special recognition in 2016. Remember that USA Softball offers umpires the opportunity to participate in Championship play each season. Last year our local umpires received thirty assignments to National Championships.
Mandatory Clinic Attendance
Clinic attendance is mandatory for Cincinnati umpires interested in working any USA Softball championship play, sponsored tournament, or special event. The cost of the clinic is included in your registration fee. USA Softball of Cincinnati will provide your lunch at each clinic.
One thing that has not changed for this year is your registration fee! This fee is only $55 and must be paid prior to the clinics. Fees paid after the clinics will be subject to a late charge of $10. Mail your check, payable to USA Softball of Cincinnati Umpires, to the umpire office at 3016 Ambler Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45241. Registration paperwork is included with this mailing. USA Softball of Cincinnati umpires do not need to pre-register for this clinic, however, out of town umpires should do so by mailing name, address, and all contact information to our office.
In addition to the clinic, your registration fee includes your USA Softball Rule Book, Umpire Manual, the USA Softball Comprehensive General Liability insurance coverage, Excess Medical insurance coverage, weekly rules meetings, all of our other educational programs, tests, USA Softball tournament assignments, and all the other benefits that go with being part of the world's largest organization of softball officials.
Reminder – JO Umpires – Background Checks
Effective 2015 all umpires working youth games must complete a mandatory USA Softball background check. The cost of this is paid by USA Softball of Cincinnati. The form authorizing the background check is included with this mailing and should be returned with your registration application. No assignments to youth games will be made until the registration process has been completed. This means that the background check forms have been submitted and the process finalized.
We encourage all USA Softball umpires to attend our weekly meetings.
For Slow Pitch these meetings will be detailed in a separate email.
All SP meetings will be at On Deck Sports Bar/Mid-America Ballyard.
For Fast Pitch Umpires we will again meet in conjunction with the Blue Chip HS Umpires at Landmark Baptist Temple, 1680 Glendale Milford Rd. in Evendale. Dates are February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27. These meetings start at 7PM.
We will also have a FP Weekly Meeting (in conjunction with Blue Chip) on Sunday, April 2 – 530PM at Mid-America Ballyard. This meeting will be followed by social event for all USA Softball of Cincinnati umpires! (both Fast Pitch and Slow Pitch). More details will be provided later.
New USA Softball of Cincinnati Website
With our new name we are updating our website. Additional information will be sent to you soon. The site will be updated regularly and include all registration documents for 2017.
Information for Fast Pitch Umpires
I am pleased to inform you that Tom Hathaway will be continuing in the assigning role for 2017. During our spring clinics and meetings Tom will share with you plans for this season. USA Softball of Cincinnati and our JO Commissioner Michelle Fletcher are working on a series of championship events that will include additional events and qualifying tournaments. We are also working with Major League Baseball, the Cincinnati Reds and the Urban Youth Academy to GROW SOFTBALL in 2017. We are excited about this growth in the game. Please note the information above concerning umpires working youth games and the required background checks.
Information for Slow Pitch Umpires
Commissioner David Maury, his staff, and our Executive and Advisory Boards have all been busy working on exciting additions and enhancements to our tournament programs for 2017 season. During our clinics we will be discussing plans for the coming season.
Recruiting New Umpires
In recent years, team participation in USA Softball tournaments and events has continued its rapid growth. Our umpire program has not been able to keep up with this growth and we have reached a point where we must increase the number of umpires available for our program. Our best recruiting source is you – the current USA Softball umpire. Take a moment to recruit a relative, friend, neighbor, or co-worker and bring them to one of our meetings. Umpires bringing a new recruit to register at the clinics will receive a uniform gift. This will allow our program to grow and will keep your assigners from having to beg you to work those extra games this summer.
We are happy to have you as part of our USA Softball of Cincinnati program; our goal is to provide you with the finest training opportunities that allow you to be the best you can be. The programs available this year are outstanding and we are looking forward to having each of you participate to the greatest extent possible.
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3016 AMBLER DRIVE
CINCINNATI, OHIO 45241
January 10, 2017
Dear Blue Chip Umpire:
Soon our meetings will be underway. We have some major changes coming for 2017 as most of our weekly meetings will move to Landmark Baptist Temple located at 1600 Glendale Milford Rd. in Evendale. This is located just off of I-75 and should be very convenient for our members. We will meet in the Main Building. Dates are:
Monday, February 6 – 7PM
Monday, February 13 – 7PM
Monday, February 20 – 7PM
Monday, February 27 – 7PM
Monday, March 6 – 7PM
Monday, March 13 – 7PM
Monday, March 20 – 7PM (Combined BB/SB Meeting – see info below)
Monday, March 27 – 7PM
Sunday, April 2 – 4PM Baseball 530 PM Softball– this meeting is at Mid America Ballyard – 2nd Level – 6960 Blue Rock Rd. in Colerain Township. This meeting date will allow those umpires working both sports to obtain attendance credit for meetings in each sport.
As a reminder all umpires must attend four local meetings. Our umpires who work both baseball and softball must attend four baseball local rules meetings and four softball local rules meetings. In addition to our lengthy schedule of meetings, there are other opportunities to earn local meeting credits outlined further on in this communique.
Due to extra meetings being scheduled, it is unlikely that we will reschedule meetings cancelled due to weather. Please plan accordingly and remember your minimum requirement of four local rules meetings.
Landmark has been gracious to open their building to us. Let’s make sure that we are “good guests” and leave the building in the same good condition we find it.
Your dues for 2017 are only $20 – because of OHSAA attendance recording procedures these are to be paid at your first meeting. Attendance credit can be given only to those who have paid dues. If you wish you may mail a check payable to Blue Chip Umpires to the above address. Late Dues will increase to $30 once you have attended your first meeting. Please pay promptly as we only want to collect $20 from you.
We also point out the following mandatory OHSAA clinics this year:
Wednesday, February 8
OHSAA State Rules Interpretation Meetings at Monroe High School Baseball – 6:00 P.M. – Softball – 6:00 P.M.
A local meeting will be offered in connection with these two meetings. See details in your mailing from the OHSAA.
There will also be an online state meeting option – consult your mailing from the OHSAA, myohsaa, or www.ohsaa.org for details. For locations of other state or local meetings consult your mailing from OHSAA, www.ohsaa.org or your myohsaa account.
The OHSAA will also host a Mechanics Clinics for baseball on Sunday, February 12 at Mt. St. Joseph University. OHSAA softball clinics will be offered in Columbus, Findlay and Akron. Details have been included in your mailing from OHSAA.
Also, note the mandatory clinic for USA Softball of Cincinnati (formerly ASA) tournament umpires:
Slow Pitch – Sunday, February 12 – Mid America Ballyard – 9 to 4
Fast Pitch – Sunday, February 26 – Mid America Ballyard – 9 to 4
USA Softball of Cincinnati is continuing to grow with many new leagues in both fast pitch and slow pitch this year. This is a great way for umpires to work all summer. Attend this clinic and learn more about the organization’s new name and softball’s return to the Olympics! Attendance at the Fast Pitch Clinic will earn an OHSAA local meeting credit for softball.
USA Softball umpires should also note that additional information concerning clinics, meetings, and annual registration will be sent to you in the near future.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE – We are working to recruit new umpires in both baseball and softball. You are our best source for new umpires. For details relating to new baseball umpires contact Sean Burns, Baseball Class Instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-8622. For details concerning new softball umpires contact me at 563-2755 or email@example.com. Due to OHSAA procedures new umpires must register for class online and in advance. Class participants should contact Dan for BB or me for SB and we will forward registration procedures and details. Email works best for this!
AN ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT NOTE – If you have not received your mailing from the OHSAA — The annual mailing of your rules books, preseason information guide and other information from the OHSAA was made in December. If you have not received these materials, you should make sure that your profile information in myOHSAA is correct by logging in to your myOHSAA account, and that your license has been renewed, all of which must be addressed by January 31. Please visit the myohsaa section (upper right hand corner) at www.ohsaa.org. Use the username and password that was sent with your state permit to log on, set up your profile, and check information on meeting dates and sites. You must enter your email address on your profile as that is the way that the OHSAA and the Blue Chip Association will communicate with you. Also remember to update your account with changes to your phone number or your addresses. It is also important to check this as we have several umpires who have not renewed their OHSAA permits for 2017(the renewal was due June 30, 2016) and must do a late renewal by January 31 (note: NO extensions are granted) in order to umpire this year. If you can not access your account it is likely that you have not renewed. Late renewal information can be found at this link: http://www.ohsaa.org/
We are all excited about the coming season and look forward to seeing you at the upcoming meetings.
• A message to all those who hold BOTH a baseball and softball permit. As you have been previously informed, effective last season, the OHSAA will require umpires holding permits in both sports to attend four local meetings for baseball and four local meetings for softball. Local Associations will no longer be permitted to offer meetings that give credit for both sports in a single session. There will be one exception to this provision as each local association will be able to conduct one meeting that covers OHSAA regulations and other items that are common to both sports. Officials will be able to attend only one of these meetings and those who do so will receive credit for a meeting in both baseball and softball. An official attending one of these meetings would then have to attend at least three additional baseball meetings and three additional softball meetings to meet the attendance requirements for each sport. All local associations offering these "dual credit" meetings may offer only one such meeting per year and will be required to follow an agenda and powerpoint provided by the OHSAA. We want to be certain that all umpires holding both of these permits are all aware of this change. Obviously, the purpose of these changes is to increase the educational opportunities for our umpires working both games and ultimately benefit participating student athletes by enhancing the knowledge base of umpires in these sports.
• THE DUAL CREDIT MEETING FOR THE BLUE CHIP UMPIRES WILL BE MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017. UMPIRES HOLDING BOTH BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL PERMITS WILL RECEIVE CREDIT FOR ONE MEETING IN EACH SPORT PROVIDED THEY ATTEND THAT MEETING. OF COURSE, ALL OTHER UMPIRES WILL RECEIVE ONE MEETING CREDIT FOR THEIR SPORT – BASEBALL OR SOFTBALL. THE MARCH 20 MEETING WILL BE HELD AT LANDMARK.
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The class is targeting female and minority participants but is open to all. While most students have typically been adults OHSAA regulations now allow high school students of all ages to participate in these classes. The attached announcements provide details concerning these two classes. For more information please contact – Jerry Fick – firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-563-2755.
Thanks again for helping us!