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Postby Old_Style » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:29 am

I'm going to be umping this summer for my town's park district baseball leagues. I've never umped before and was wondering if any of you have. I'm not sure what to expect. I know baseball fairly well and played it when I was a kid, but I'm guessing it's a whole different ball game when you're the one making the calls.

Anyways, I'm just looking for some experiences or stories some of you might have.
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Postby raiders_umpire » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:21 am

I have been umpiring for about 12 years now. It is an absolute blast especially with the little leaguers. In fact I much prefer umpiring a little league game then I do high school. My basic rules of a little league game are know the rules of baseball(ie. get a rule book and learn it), call the game fair(unless it turns into an absolute blowout), help the kids if they have questions, and definitely have fun. The only possible problem you will have is with some coaches and parents that are pretty new to the little league scene. They will not know the rules, and will try to test you on every play. Just don't lose your patience with these parents and get a temper or it will get even worse for you. But once those parents realize that you are fair and know the rules, they will leave you alone and let you have umpire the game. Have fun. ;-D
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Postby Coppermine » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:32 am

I was a girls, fastpitch softball umpire for several years. My advice; wear a cup.
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Postby J35J » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:52 am

I couldn't imagine having to put up with all the coaches and parents. :-o Good Luck!! :-b
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Postby statsman88 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:36 am

I find coaches to be the worst. I would advise you to let the coaches know who is in charge if they really start laying into you or questioning alot of calls. If you don't, they realize that and will just keep on going. For me, if I get a coach that really is laying into me and I don't do anything about it, it can get to you and you can start thinking about it and start to lose focus and concentration on what you are doing.

Some other things:
if a coach comes out and argues a call with you, never change your call
Be loud and confident when making calls
Make sure you know the wierd rules


Good Luck and Have Fun ;-D
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Postby chris8 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:57 am

statsman88 wrote:
Some other things:
if a coach comes out and argues a call with you, never change your call
Be loud and confident when making calls
Make sure you know the wierd rules


Good Luck and Have Fun ;-D

Can't overemphasise how important this is. Nothing winds up players & coaches more than an umpire who is tentative and unclear in making his calls. It also gives them more confidence in arguing the calls, as an umpire who doesn't project authority on the diamond is an easy target.

And yeah, make sure you have got all the rules down pat (infield fly, anyone?)
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Postby mak1277 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:27 pm

If it's little league, I always told both managers before the game that their kids should plan on swinging the bats. As long as the pitchers are around the plate, I called a lot of strikes. Nobody is served by squeezing little leaguers...they have enough trouble throwing strikes as it is.
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Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:45 pm

mak1277 wrote:If it's little league, I always told both managers before the game that their kids should plan on swinging the bats. As long as the pitchers are around the plate, I called a lot of strikes. Nobody is served by squeezing little leaguers...they have enough trouble throwing strikes as it is.


I did this as well. In high school I earned a few extra bucks umping Little League games. The key is to make sure you're familiar with the rule book, be consistent with your strike zone, don't let the crowd bother you, and don't let the coaches think they can intimidate you. Also, as someone said earlier, be confident and loud with your calls. It's no good for anyone if the coaches, crowd, or even players aren't sure what your call is right away.
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Postby mak1277 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:10 pm

Also, don't be afraid to be deliberate when calling any kind of bang-bang play. Being slow and right is better than quick but wrong.
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Postby zepfan » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:58 pm

Not sure if this is standard practice for umpies, but when I was umpiring at first base, if there was a close play on a grounder, I would WATCH the bag and LISTEN for the catch. If the foot hits the bag and then you hear the catch he's safe. Logically, if it's the other way around the opposite applies.

I can't tell you how many umps just watch the close play as a whole and then try to make the call based on who they think should have made it or what it kinda looked like.

When I used this I always felt very confident about my calls and had no bones about telling coaches/players that they were flat out wrong if they decided to argue. I firmly believe that anyone who says "tie goes to the runner" has absolutley no clue because if you're paying enough attention you will notice that there is no such thing as a tie at first base.

Good luck and stay patient. It can be a thankless job but it can also be a lot of fun. :-b ;-D
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