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The Arizona High School Softball Umpire Group - AHSSUG - exists for the purpose of trying to work with the AIA and the AIA Softball Steering Committee for the benefit and good of all Arizona high school softball umpires.

Here's what's happening...

At the direction of the AIA board of directors, an outside organization will become responsible for the training of AIA officials. The steering committee member for each sport will oversee the training to be sure what is being taught (by the outside organization) is in compliance with NFHS requirements.

Because the AIA is no longer responsible for the training of umpires, any additional training provided to or required of umpires is at the discretion of the outside organization responsible for the individual sport.

For the sport of softball, the AIA has accepted the newly designated Arizona High School Softball Umpire Group (AHSSUG) as the outside organization responsible for the training of softball umpires.

AHSSUG is a new organization in name only. It was formerly called AIASUB (AZ Interscholastic Association Softball Umpire Board). However since the AIA does not want the use of its name in the name of the outside organization, the AIASUB underwent a name change and became AHSSUG.

The AHSSUG is on its own to incorporate or become an LLC, to insure itself as well as locate, secure and get insurance for any sites used for training. Supplies and all additional costs involved in training is at the expense of the AHSSUG. The AHSSUG has no source of income other than the 50/50 portion of the raffle held at the general meeting.

In looking for ways to cover insurance and incorporating/LLCing costs, the AHSSUG is exploring forming a 'blanket' organization comprised of most of the other AIA outside sports organizations that would include all AIA officials. This blanket organization would then be sub-divided into committees/branches representing each individual AIA sport. Membership in this blanket organization would be required of all AIA registered officials. Dues would be collected but only for the one blanket organization - not for each sport. This would hold the cost down for multiple sport officials. The dues would be used primarily for insurance for the blanket organization and thus would cover all of the committees/branches as well. It is a fact that no individual outside organization - at least not AHSSUG - can generate enough income to cover itself with insurance. Any remaining funds of the blanket organization would be distributed proportionally/appropriately among the various sports to assist with the training expenses.

[update December 2014: it now seems highly unlikely that a ‘blanket’ group will be formed]

AHSSUG will continue to seek other options that will permit the group to function legally and safely at the least cost to the umpires.

The AHSSUG tries to work with the AIA for the betterment of all softball umpires. A defined purposes of the Group is to provide support and assistance to AIA softball umpires in such areas as training, rules interpretation or clarification and, by establishment of the eight (8) geographical areas in Area 99 plus one area comprising Areas 1-9, to provide a forum for discussion and an avenue for input to the Group and the AIA and AIA Softball Steering Committee.

If you have any questions, needs or matters of concern that you feel should be brought to the attention of the Group, contact an Area representative so they can be resolved.

BATS - Update

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Some Easton bats that have the ASA certification mark have been removed from the approved bat list.
These bats WILL NOT be legal in High School softball.

Read All About It Here
January Classroom Training • AIA Conference Room - 6:30 - 8:30 PM
January training is geared for new umpires or umpires with less than three years experience. Veteran umpires with more than three years experience are welcome to attend. Review never hurt an umpire.

Tuesday January 19
Wednesday January 20
Thursday January 21
Thursday January 28
February Classroom Training • AIA Conference Room - 6:30 - 8:30 PM
February training is geared to umpires with more than three years experience. Umpires with less than three years experience are welcome - encouraged even - to attend. Listening in to veteran discussion give a newer umpire a leg up in understanding.

• Monday February 1
* Pitching - DeWayne Nelsen
* Circle Mechanics - DeWayne Nelsen
* Working Between Pitches - DeWayne Nelsen
* Umpires Base Responsibilities - Wayne Fulton
* Unusual Plays - Andy Williams
* 40 Rules Myths - Andy Williams

• Thursday February 4
* Obstruction/Interference - Andy Williams

• Tuesday February 9
* Three Umpire Mechanics - Wayne Fulton, DeWayne Nelsen, Andy Williams

• Thursday February 11
* Lineup Management - Wayne Fulton

What TOPICS would you like to talk about at these February meetings?
Email Andy Williams and let him know:
Field Mechanics Training • National Guard Armory • 6:30 - 9:30 PM
• Tuesday January 26
• Wednesday January 27

• National Guard Armory - 5636 E. McDowell - Phoenix, AZ - 95008
ASA Central District Fast Pitch Clinic
• Saturday, 6 February 2016 - Peoria, AZ
• See Flyer for specifics of the Clinic location, schedule and topics of interest
• Uniform and Equipment Sales will be featured
• A continental breakfast along with lunch will be provided
• This training is included when you pay the $35 dollars for all the above listed class (there is no additional cost to you for attending this clinic)
• You must go to the Arizona ASA web site to register for the clinic so they will know how much food to have on hand (details in the flyer)
How Much Does It COST?
• Cost for any or all of the classroom and/or field meetings is $35.
• That is $3.50 a class - What a Deal!!
• Payment is at the first meeting you attend
• Cash or Check ONLY (no credit or debit cards)
1s & 2s
3s, 4s & 5s
General Meeting
Classroom Classes
You'd be wise to attend at least TWO
THREE at the very least - the more the better
Mechanic Classes (on field)
Not a bad idea as a refresher
You gotta have at least TWO to be credible on the field
Test Score
1s - 90%

2s - 85%
3s - 80%

4s - 70%

5 - 90%
The AIA provides one general meeting per sport at their expense. This is the ONLY required meeting per the AIA requirements for officials to be in attendance.

AHSSUG is works with the ASA to share umpire training since ASA already provides training for its umpires and has the ability to provide insurance for both a facility and the instructors. At least six classes (probably many more) will be offered for a cost of $35. AIA umpires paying for the training will also receive an ASA rulebook and be eligible to work ASA games if they wish to.

The cost of training is $35 whether you attend one session or all of them. Training must be paid for at the first session you attend. Cash or check. No credit cards.

Dates, Locations, Agendas and Instructors will be announced before the end of January. Check back often.

Copied below is the direct quote concerning run rules copied from the 2013-2014 AIA Officials Handbook (page 51)
A softball game shall end anytime after 41⁄2 or 5 innings, when a team is 10 or more runs behind and hascompleteditstermatbat. (AIABy-Law26.1.4)

A softball game shall end any time after four innings (at the discretion of the losing coach) or after three and one-half (31/2) innings when a team is fifteen (15) or more runs behind and has completed its turn at bat. (AIA Bylaw 26.1.5)
• All umpires must watch the FREE video on Concussions:
You will have to register if not already (free)
You will have order the course (free)
Say you are from AZ and continue
The price will appear as $0 (free)
Add it to your cart

Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion

• All umpires should register on the NFHS Central Hub on ArbiterSports. Lots of good information and videos. It is FREE for Arizona umpires:
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Great News! Time Limits in Sub Varsity Games!

All sub varsity (JV & Freshman) games have a time limit of 1 hour and 45 minutes - finish the inning. The clock should be started at the conclusion of the umpire/coach meeting at home plate. Finish the inning means that if time expires in the top of an inning you must finish that half inning. Then, if the home team is ahead, the game is over. If the home team is not ahead, you must play the bottom half of the inning until the home teams goes ahead or the half inning is completed.

According to AIA bylaws, a game shall be considered regulation, no matter how many innings have been played, after one hour and 45 minutes have been played and the inning in progress when the time expires is completed or immediately when time expires if the team last at bat is batting and is ahead in score. If the game is tied when time expires and the inning in progress is completed, it will remain a tie score. If the game is tied at the end of seven (7) innings and time has not expired, the game will continue into extra innings until a winner is decided or time expires.

To read the full text see the AIA bylaws, Article 26.1.7 on page 100 of the Constitution and Bylaws on AIAOnline
  • AIA Philosophy[+]
    As umpires, we stand alongside our member schools and the coaches, as partners on the same side, working in concert with them to provide a positive athletic experience.

    This philosophy of the AIA Officiating Department is in harmony with Our Purpose, Our Theme, and Our Mission, along with the AIA Mission Statement. These components encompass a belief that, by working together with coaches and schools, we can impact the high school sports experience in a positive way.

    We Believe:
    • That interscholastic athletic competition should demonstrate high standards of ethics and sportsmanship, and promote the development of good character and other important life skills.

    • That the highest potential of sports is achieved when participants are committed to Pursuing Victory With Honor according to the six core principles:
    TRUSTWORTHINESS involves Integrity and Honesty

    RESPECT is what we show each other through sportsmanship

    RESPONSIBILITY is being accountable and prepared

    FAIRNESS is making sure everyone competes honorably

    CARING is showing compassion for each person's role

    CITIZENSHIP is playing by the rules

    • That by setting high standards of excellence for our own performance on the athletic stage, we can model the same pillars of character that we ask coaches to model.
  • AIA Purpose[+]

    The purpose of the Arizona Interscholastic Association Officials Program is to advance the best interests of interscholastic competition by:
    • Aiding umpires, coaches and players in acquiring thorough knowledge of playing rules in softball.

    • Encouraging observance of the spirit and letter of playing rules and ethical codes on all occasions.

    • Encouraging and assisting interested men and women to become qualified umpires.

    • Establishing a classification of umpires according to qualifications and experience.

    • Fostering the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play.
  • AIA Theme - Walk Worthy[+]
      •  By following the Code of Ethics, being professional, having the utmost integrity, and possessing an individual quest for excellence in preparation and performance.
      •  By being a positive part of the officiating community, sharing and growing together for the betterment of officiating and the game.
      •  By being a part of the educational process, assisting in the education of student athletes through positive enforcement of sportsmanship guidelines, enforcing rules in a consistent manner, and working with our member schools to enhance the athletic experience.
  • AIA Mission[+]
    Officials are expected to attend classes, camps, or any other type of educational opportunity to improve their skills. Officials are expected to stay abreast of rules and rule changes for the sport they officiate.
  • Expectations[+]
    • Be A Positive Part Of The High School Educational Experience

    • Be Educated On Proper High School Rules And Mechanics

    •Be Connected To Our Theme, Mission, And Philosophy
    • Be Part Of The Process To Improve Sportsmanship Meet The Training And Testing Requirements
    • Be Communicative

    • Be Approachable
    • Be Consistent

    • Be Prepared
    • Use the PVWH Program
    • Be Friendly

    • Be Fair
  • Umpire Code of Ethics[+]
    Schools have entrusted officials to assist them in the educational development of their youth through athletics. The proper operation of such a process requires that officials be independent, impartial, and responsible to the people they serve.
    In recognition of these expectations, it shall be the responsibility of an official to follow the directions provided in the following Official’s Code of Ethics. Violation of the Code of Ethics will be a violation of AIA Bylaws and may result in a sanction to the offending party.
    •  Place the welfare of the individual athlete above all other considerations.
    •  Maintain confidence and control from start of an assignment to finish.
    •  Devote time, thought and study to the rules of the game and the mechanics necessary to carry out these rules so that one may render effective and creditable service in a fair and unbiased manner.
    •  Work with fellow officials and the State Association in a spirit of harmony and cooperation in spite of differences of opinion that may arise during debate of points or rules at issue.
    •  Resist every temptation and outside pressure to use one’s position as an official to benefit oneself.
    •  Under all circumstances avoid promoting the special interest of any person or group of persons other
      than the athletes we serve.
    •  Constantly uphold the honor and dignity of the avocation in all personal conduct and relations with the student athletes, coaches, athletic directors, school administrators, colleagues, and the public and to be a worthy example to the athletes under one’s jurisdiction.
    •  Be prepared both physically and mentally, dress according to expectations, and maintain a proper appearance that is befitting the importance of the contest.
    •  Remember and recognize that it is important to honor contracts regardless of possible inconvenience or financial loss.
    •  Not make statements to the news media critical of any school administrator, school, team, coach, player, other game official or the AIA.
    •  Not smoke or use any form of tobacco on or in the vicinity of the playing area, nor drink any alcoholic beverages or use any drugs on the day of the contest.
    •  Carry a responsibility to act in a manner becoming to a professional person. The conduct of any official influences the attitudes of the public toward the profession in general as well as toward the official in particular.
ARIZONA INTERSCHOLASTIC ASSOCIATION, INC. 7007 North 18th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85020-5552
Telephone: (602) 385-3810 - Fax: (602) 385-3779

APPLICABLE AIA BYLAW: Article 18. Officials, Section 18.5
18.5.1 Mileage reimbursement rate shall be the same as that paid by the State of Arizona for the driver of the car and four cents per mile for each rider. Yearly rates shall be established by February 1 of each year and go into effect July 1 of said year. EXCEPTION: Mileage reimbursement rate for officials who live in the Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma metro areas and who are assigned a contest in their respective metro area shall be paid a flat fee of $10.00 per assignment. (See Form 18.5)

Adobe Mountain, Agua Fria, Alhambra, Apache Junction, Apollo, Arcadia, AZ Charter Academy, AZ College Prep, AZ Lutheran, Barry Goldwater, Basha, Bella Vista, Bourgade, Brophy, Cactus, Cactus Shadows, Camelback, Campo Verde, Carl Hayden, Chandler, Chandler Prep, Chaparral, Centennial, Central, Cesar Chavez, Copper Canyon, Corona del Sol, Coronado, Cortez, Deer Valley, Desert Edge, Desert Hills, Desert Mountain, Desert Ridge, Desert Vista, Dobson, Dysart, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Gilbert Christian, Gilbert Classical, Glendale, Glendale Prep Academy, Greenway, Hamilton, Heritage Academy, Highland, Higley, Horizon, Horizon Honors, Independence, Ironwood, Joy Christian School, LaJoya, Liberty, Marcos de Niza, Maryvale, McClintock, Mesa, Mesa Prep Academy, Mesquite, Millenium, Moon Valley, Mountain Pointe, Mountain Ridge, Mountain View–Mesa, North, North Canyon, North Pointe Prep, Northwest Christian, Notre Dame Prep, Paradise Honors, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Peoria Accelerated, Phoenix Christian, Phoenix Country Day, Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, Pinnacle, Rancho Solano Prep, Raymond Kellis, Red Mountain, Saguaro, Salt River, St. Mary’s, Sandra Day O’Conner, Scottsdale Christian, Scottsdale Prep Academy, Sequoia Charter, Seton, Shadow Mountain, Shadow Ridge, Sierra Linda, Skyline, South Mountain, Sun Valley, Sunnyslope, Sunrise Mountain, Tempe, Tempe Preparatory Academy, Thunderbird, Thunderbird Adventist, Tolleson, Trevor Browne, Valley Christian, Valley Lutheran, Valley Vista, Veritas Preparatory, Washington, Westview, Westwind Prep, Westwood, Williams Field, Willow Canyon, Xavier

Academy of Tucson, Amphitheater, Alta Vista, ASDB, Canyon del Oro, Catalina, Catalina Foothills, Cholla, Cienega, Desert Christian, Desert View, Empire, Flowing Wells, Green Fields, Immaculate Heart, Ironwood Ridge, Marana, Mountain View-Marana, Palo Verde, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, Pueblo, Rincon, Sabino, Sahuarita, Sahuaro, Salpointe, San Miguel, Santa Rita, St. Augustine, St. Gregory, Sonoran Science, Sunnyside, Tanque Verde, Tucson, Walden Grove
Cibola, Gila Ridge, Kofa, Yuma High, Yuma Catholic
The field is our domain and the dugout pretty much belongs to the coach even though there are rules concerning it that we have to enforce. If someone is taping a kid's ankle, assume she is the trainer. If someone is entering names in the scorebook, assume he is the scorekeeper. If there is a child in the dugout, assume he is a bat boy.
If you do question a person about being in the dugout, you must accept as true whatever the coach tells you whether you believe it or not. This would include a baby in an infant seat. If the coach tells you it is okay to have the person or baby in the dugout then it is okay. Under no circumstances should you force a non adult to leave the dugout if no supervision is available outside the dugout.
If team personnel is or becomes a problem that impacts the game, deal with it the best you can and then submit an incident report detailing the problem. Try to work with coaches on issues like this. Tell other umpires what you encountered and have you handled it. If all of us express a concern, perhaps we can slowly affect a change.
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AIA Online


AIA 365

Victory with Honor

AZ Softball Foundation