The Official Forum

The Official Forum (
-   Softball (
-   -   Hhaa! or Strike! (

jdccpa Sun Apr 16, 2006 03:15pm

Hhaa! or Strike!
I'm a newbe and I have a question.

Everything I read about mechanics says to call a strike a strike. But all of the veteran umps say Hhaa! Why? Do I have choice or should I start doing the Hhaa thing?

CecilOne Sun Apr 16, 2006 03:27pm


Originally Posted by jdccpa
I'm a newbe and I have a question.

Everything I read about mechanics says to call a strike a strike. But all of the veteran umps say Hhaa! Why? Do I have choice or should I start doing the Hhaa thing?

Do what you are taught. Mechanics by the book are a lot clearer.

SC Ump Sun Apr 16, 2006 03:32pm

In 1989, my first year in softball, I had the pleasure of attending a clinic with Bernie Profato as an instructor. I believe at the time he had a role with ASA in umpire development and training. I'm not sure what his role is now.

In our classroom section of the clinic we had a discussion on how to pronounce, spell or yell the words "stike" and "out." He would ask how to spell strike or how to say out. The proper answer was always "Hhaa!"

Since then I have always done this and never had a problem with it.

Rachel Sun Apr 16, 2006 06:18pm

Being female, I think it sounds funny and a little too high pitched to say strike. Haa works well for me.

umpharp Sun Apr 16, 2006 07:37pm

I was taught and follow the Hhaa way of calling a strike. Although my call sounds more like "Hhugh" :D
I think the traditional sound works better than saying Strike unless you're doing 10U JO ball or Womens Slow Pitch. At those levels, a simple Strike works fine.
Practice different ways of calling a strike at home one night. It'll drive your spouse crazy, but you'll get used to hearing yourself.

Little Jimmy Sun Apr 16, 2006 08:11pm

I'll be the odd man out. I've been to different clinics and have never been told a particular way to pronounce the word so I use the standard English version.:) I do go lower and draw it out a bit compared to the short, choppy "ball" I use. I think the key is to have two distinctly different sounds that you use consistantly. And as some others have said, do what those in charge want you to do.

SWFLguy Sun Apr 16, 2006 08:21pm

consistancy is good !!
my strike call comes out more
I do call balls with a distinct
and with empahsis on a close one !
I've heard quite a few variations
from MLB pros and the guys doing the
Florida State League here in the summer.

CLBuffalo Sun Apr 16, 2006 09:00pm

I say "Strike" and have been doing so for 22 years and at all levels of play. It really doesn't matter which one you use as long as they know you are calling a strike. I do use a louder voice for corner ball and strike calls.

For those elitists who think NCAA only uses "Hhaa" they should be watching the recent D1 games on ESPN. Many umpires are saying "Strike" instead of "Hhaa."

AtlUmpSteve Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:14pm

I don't think it is an NCAA thing, or even an elitist thing. Call it how you wish, so long as the players recognize what you are calling.

This reminds me of an advanced school given by (among others) Henry Pollard, former Deputy Director for ASA, still Deputy Director for ISF. Henry is famous for calling "oots" (rhymes with chutes), and some of us were teasing Henry about that call. His response was "When I call them oot, they walk off the field. That's all I am looking for them to do; they are oot."

ASA/NYSSOBLUE Mon Apr 17, 2006 06:45am

My strike call the last few years has developed into nice, clear, "HIEEEE!"....with the sell third being a "HREE!"...being a corruption of fact, I usually 'warm up' on the way to the game by singing along with whatever CD I have in my player...usually some Rock of some kind - The Who...Stones....something like that....:eek:

whiskers_ump Mon Apr 17, 2006 07:29am

Entering my 49th year of umpiring, and no one has ever questioned "strike",(well, that is not true, :) )but they do understand a clear "strike"
and yes, I clearly say "ball" also.

Skahtboi Mon Apr 17, 2006 09:05am

I have never understood the need to say anything else besides the words "strike" and "ball." Guess it is a personal thing to say "hhaa" or "haghh" or "hie" or "harumph" instead of the actual word. I, though, have always used the standard English in my umpiring. :cool:

Andy Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:40am

Just to add my two cents....

I started out using "STRIKE" or "HIIIIIIKE" or some such.

After a few years, I started using the "HAH" sound, I don't know why, it just happened.

When I call a ball, I say "ball" in a normal tone of voice, just about loud enough for the catcher and batter to hear. Every "ball" call is made in the same tone of voice and loudness, regardless of how close the call is.

Personally, I have never been told to do it one way or another. As the others have pointed out, develop something that you are comfortable with and go with it.

Dakota Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:33am



As varied as the third strike mechanic (or more so).

Authoritative voice tenor, as Rachel pointed out, is important. Do drill sergeants enunciate all words? No, and for the same reason.

oppool Mon Apr 17, 2006 01:56pm

I use "RIKE" and "ALL" just wish I could find a short version for "ILLEGAL" that sounded right


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:01am.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1