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Thread: Umpiring

  1. #1
    Blowing away bad memories Redsfan320's Avatar
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    Umpiring

    So I'm umpiring my first game tonight for Miami Little League. They let me in with no experience or training whatsoever, just online concussion training and a background check, they seem pretty desperate for umps. I don't know what age levels I'll be doing, for all I know my employment could include softball games, they haven't been all that forthcoming with information. Should be fun though, and the pay's not bad. Anyway, tips for umpiring (besides knowing the rules)? I know we have some on this site.

    320
    I'd rather listen to Kelch read the phone book than suffer through Thom Brennaman's attempt to make every instance on the field the most important event since the discovery of manned space flight. -westofyou

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    CySeymour (04-23-2014)

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    Re: Umpiring

    Be loud and confident in the calls you make.

    But what time are the games you will usually be doing? I used to umpire and im looking to get back into it but I work until 530 every M-Th

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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Umpiring

    I'm sure you'll do well. I used to ref a little soccer when I was your age and it was hard for me not to hate most of the parents who came to the games and talked trash, complained about the refereeing, yelled at the players, etc. It was hard to be 20 and feel like I was more mature than they were. So, if I have any advice, it's to work on whatever skills you have at deflecting all that stuff. It's never about you, but rather all the shortcomings in their own lives that they are taking out on other people.

    Being involved in kids' activities can be really rewarding. They love what they are doing and you are helping them live that joy.

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    Blowing away bad memories Redsfan320's Avatar
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    Re: Umpiring

    Quote Originally Posted by CoachBombay
    Be loud and confident in the calls you make.

    But what time are the games you will usually be doing? I used to umpire and im looking to get back into it but I work until 530 every M-Th
    Game tonight is 6:15. They haven't given me my schedule after that yet. Can't speak as to other leagues, but MLL usually starts games after 6 typically (maybe 5:30), because parents work, kids in school, etc.

    320
    I'd rather listen to Kelch read the phone book than suffer through Thom Brennaman's attempt to make every instance on the field the most important event since the discovery of manned space flight. -westofyou

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Umpiring

    You will love the kids. You will hate some of the parents. IGNORE the big mouth parents. Enjoy yourself!
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Slyder (04-26-2014)

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Umpiring

    http://stevetheump.com/umpire_tips.htm

    This is a link for tips for a 2 man crew but it can still apply if you are working by yourself. Take time to read it because this stuff is way more important than knowing the rule book.

    Things to focus on:

    Look sharp. Make sure your shoes and uniform are clean and not wrinkled. Like the link says..perception is important in umpiring.

    Focus hard on timing and getting an angle...it is probally 90% the deciding factor in getting a call right. Google timing and angles to learn more.

    If you are not sure about a rule and something bizarre happens just go with what you think is right and sell it to the coaches that you are positive it is the right rule. Trust me, most coaches do not know the rules.

    If a coach comes out on a call you made just answer his question. Do not give him any more info than he needs. Act like your being quizzed by a cop or an attorney. Less is best.

    When calling pitches at your level call wide corners meaning the chalk lines of the batters box. Call the highs and lows pretty straight but try to always get corner pitches. Also follow ball from pitchers hand to catchers mitt. Alot of times I use where the catchers mitt is to gauge if it is a strike or not. Timing again is crucial.

    Your going to miss calls. I have done this alot of years and still miss em. Its part of it.

    The coaches are not your friend. Be approachable, courteous and professional buy they will turn on you the minute they get a chance to.

    Ignore the fans. They are idiots. Unless you are single and you see a hottie in the stands then there is no reason to acknowledge they exist unless you want to laugh at their supposed knowledge of the game.

    Once the game is over leave the field immediately. The last thing you want to do is stick around and shake hands. More bad than good can come from sticking around.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Re: Umpiring

    If you are doing younger kids have an enourmous strike zone and be consistent with it. There is nothing worse than a game where there are 7 walks in a row because most kids can't throw real strikes.

    Most coaches and parents will be fine, but like others have said just ignore the annoying ones and if you get a valid question from a coach just be confident in your decision. "Coach this is what I saw and I had him out." End of conversation.

    If you have a good consistent strike zone most people will lay off of you. If you start moving it around you'll hear it.

    Have fun because it is fun.

  11. #8
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: Umpiring

    I pretty much agree with everything above. When I coached, most of the time we dealt with just 1 man crews. I was very understanding that it was near impossible for them to get every single call right, especially on the base paths. Be consistent and actually move from out from behind the plate to see plays that aren't at home plate. Just showing that you are attempting to get into a better position really helps sell calls.

    Like George Anderson said above, the coaches aren't your friends. Just treat them with respect, but understand their objective is different than yours.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

  12. #9
    Blowing away bad memories Redsfan320's Avatar
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    Re: Umpiring

    Well, that was rough. Having a consistent strike zone is harder than it sounds. Geeze. Hope things get better with experience.

    320
    I'd rather listen to Kelch read the phone book than suffer through Thom Brennaman's attempt to make every instance on the field the most important event since the discovery of manned space flight. -westofyou

  13. #10
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Umpiring

    It's always nice when experienced umpires tell you to make calls that differ from the rulebook.

    Umpiring is a tough job. If you really like baseball and want to participate, be a coach. It is much more rewarding and satisfying.

    As a former umpire/referee and someone who used to help run a city's Little League, I can say that finding umpires is darn near impossible so I am sure you are correct they are desperate. My advice is don't be a contrarian on a power trip, be friendly and polite and don't act like you are always right. People will go easier on you if you admit your mistakes and tell the coaches you are doing the best you can but it is hard to see everything perfectly. Try to keep to yourself and don't expect to make any friends or get respect. Be prepared for lots of scorn and very little appreciation. That is just the nature of the beast. You have a dirty job so to speak. Don't go into it expecting to come out clean.

  14. #11
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Umpiring

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    It's always nice when experienced umpires tell you to make calls that differ from the rulebook.

    n.
    Yes there is infinite wisdom in calling a by the book strike zone with 9 year olds pitching.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    jimbo (04-28-2014)

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    Re: Umpiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfan320 View Post
    Well, that was rough. Having a consistent strike zone is harder than it sounds. Geeze. Hope things get better with experience.

    320
    It will. It takes about 10 games to get a feel for it.

    I did older kids for a while and then went back and did a 9 or 10 year old game and I remember how hard it was to find where to stand because the catcher's are obviously smaller and I felt really exposed. They don't throw or hit it that hard, but it still doesnt' feel great to get hit with a ball.

    I don't think anyone else mentioned it, but also remember that if you have to ring up a 10 year old they don't have to hear year 4 fields over. That will make them cry. And there is no crying in baseball.


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