Umpire's CornerUpdatedTuesday March 10, 2020 byThe Umpire-in-Chief.
Umpiring at BGLL
The umpire is an often-overlooked aspect of Little League baseball and softball. Often an afterthought, but the volunteer umpire is as important as any part of the Little League program. We often hear the phrase, “please remember they’re just volunteers.” And while we surely appreciate the service of our volunteers and could not conduct a Little League program without them, that does not eliminate the volunteer’s responsibility to be at least somewhat skilled in the role they fill.
There is an old adage in umpiring that says, “umpires are expected to be perfect on Day One and then improve with every game.” If you’ve been around baseball for any amount of time, you know this to be somewhat true. As players, coaches, managers and fans, we all expect the umpire to get the call right the first time, every time, without fail.
Of course, the reality of that mindset is that it is just not reality. Umpires are just people and mistakes are made. Even the best trained professional umpires get it wrong on occasion. Our role as an umpire is not to be perfect. It is, however, to be honest with ourselves and make an effort to improve. Whether you are fulfilling a duty to umpire because you are a manager or coach, or you are simply volunteering to umpire because it is a noble and respected position in the community and the league, you should be improving your skill set. This website and the resources within it are a great start to that improvement.
Please make sure you have submitted the proper background form to the Umpire-in-Chief. Ensure that you are familiar with the safety rules and the fields. It is critical for our umpires to be very familiar with the rules of the game. There are many resources available to learn the rules. In particular, the Little League Rule Book is what governs play in Little League Baseball and Softball. You will also want to be familiar with the Inter-League Rules.
Please arrive at your game 30 minutes before the schedule start time of the game. Check-in with the Board Member on Duty or the Umpire-in-Chief. Ensure that you have coordinated with your partner and had a pre-game meeting. Ensure that you have all the equipment that you need including the game balls.
Conduct a proper plate meeting about 5-10 minutes before game-time. Then, start the game on-time. Keep the game moving. Only call what you see. Favor angle over distance. Be patient when making your calls. Pause, read and then react. And most importantly, remember that the kids are just out here to have fun. Don’t stress and don’t over-think everything. Just have fun and try to keep it fun for the kids.
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