Website Updates

Four website pages that used to be publicly available are now restricted to members of CISA who are signed in. Members include registered umpires and school personnel, organization representatives, and coaches for schools that have contracted assigning services with CISassigning.

Those restricted pages include:

I take pride in educating members of the softball community, and am happy to provide these services to those persons who register with the site. There are very few websites that provide these services, communications/updates, or detailed documentation for softball coaches, umpires, ADs, and organizations.

One of the requirements of membership is that members give back to the softball community. Recently there have been instances of persons or organizations that have leveraged these tools for their own benefit without giving back, as well as malicious actors attempting to disrupt site functionality. With an annual cost of over $500 to host, run, and maintain this site, I must protect its resources to keep them available.

In the coming days site membership will be reviewed and updated to ensure that only registered umpires and schools or organizations that use CISassigning’s services have access to the site.

If you know of umpires that would like to be a part of the CISassigning group, please encourage them to register on the site or contact me at [email protected]. Remember that umpires are not charged to be a part of the assigning group or to access this site.

If you are a school or organization that would like CISassigning to assign for you, you can visit the Have CISA Assign For You page.

NCAA Rule Adjusts Helmet Rule

Due to COVID-19 and an attempt to keep student-athletes safe, the NCAA has adjusted its helmet rule for this season only.

Effective immediately, student-athletes may wear their personal helmets even if they do not match team colors. This rule adjustment only applies if the personal helmet meets NCAA helmet safety requirements.

IHSA Plans Postseason

The IHSA has announced that it will move forward with planning a postseason for Spring sports. Though details are not available yet, we do know that the Spring softball season is scheduled to end June 26.

As a result, a number of schools will be cancelling their later-scheduled games. Note that we don’t have enough information yet to know if the IHSA will maintain its normal staggered schedule for 1A/2A vs 3A/4A. Keep your calendars up-to-date to games that may be scheduled in June.

USSSA Expands Tournaments in Illinois

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) is expanding its tournament schedule in Illinois. The state UIC shared that USSSA is prominent in southern Illinois and is expanding its tournament schedule moving north this year.

Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, and Peoria will all host USSSA tournaments this season. The Louisville Slugger complex in Peoria will host the USSSA State Championships (July 8-11) and the USSSA Great Lakes National Championships (July 19-24).

USSSA umpires are easily recognized in their trademark red uniform shirts and heather grey pants, accompanied by black hat and black ball bags.

If you’re interested in becoming a USSSA registered umpire visit the USSSA Umpire Registration page. The organization offers multiple tiers of membership and allows umpires to choose if they want to accept or decline insurance coverage from the organization.

IHSA Expands Fan Attendance

On Monday the IHSA announced that outdoor Spring sports could increase attendance from 50 persons to 20% of venue attendance.

As reported on CIproud.com, “IHSA guidelines will still require all student-athletes to participate in masks, except for swimming & diving, gymnasts on an apparatus, and outdoor events where social distancing can occur. All game personnel not participating in the contest will also be required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing.”

Guidelines and attendance allowances are subject to the Restore Illinois guidelines.

IHSA Decision Shakes Up the Season

A couple of weeks ago the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) adjusted the start date of many Spring sports, softball included. With practices able to start on April 7, and no more than seven practice dates before being able to play, most high schools have adjusted their schedules.

Originally many schools had their games starting later in the Spring and going through early-to-mid June. The IHSA Spring softball season is slated to end on Saturday, June 19, with the possibility of a state series to wrap up the season.

Umpires have likely seen a number of cancellations over the past couple days as schools move their late May/early June games to mid-April. These changes have caused a lot of work for athletic directors, assignors, and umpires. Believe me, the athletic directors have earned their pay over the past year as they work to provide the best possible athletic experience to student athletes.

As with any Spring, there will be additional adjustments as mother nature brings us showers, and games get postponed, rained out, or rescheduled. I sincerely thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we work to get things squared away.

Yours in sport,

-Rob-

Tri-Valley Summer League Contracts with CISassigning

The Tri-Valley Summer travel league has contracted with CISassigning to assign its Summer softball program. Those games will be posted in upcoming months.

The Tri-Valley league features three teams – 9u, 12u, and 14u totalling approximately 20 games between the teams. This program plays under USA softball regulations, so umpires must be USA patched to work their games.