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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/18/2018 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    I actually just hired someone who had "soccer ref" on their resume, and it came up while I interviewed him. As an employer I do see sport officiating in a couple of lights - one is about a balanced life that involves more than just your job, much like playing sports, or volunteering, or some hobbies. The other is about the skills and requirements that are definitely transferable to any workplace - integrity, situation management, dealing with diverse sets of people, dealing with emotional people, dealing with conflict, mediation, sticking with a hard decision, learning from mistakes, self improvement, working with a team (partner) to a common goal, etc. I recommend you highlight those items during an interview - those skills are valuable and apply almost everywhere. Don't be afraid to use umpiring situations when asked those typical HR-provided questions about conflict, or making mistakes, or naming one of your faults. Playing team sports at a competitive level and officiating sports, when on resumes, jump out at me like beacons. High level team sports provide invaluable experience in collaboration and time management, especially during school - show me someone who can balance schoolwork, team practices, team travel, part time job, and a social life, and I'll show you a rock star you want working for/with you for years. Show me someone who can work a full time job, umpire evenings and weekends, continuously improve both, and have a family/social life - why wouldn't you want that guy on your team? And to just level set the type of people I'm hiring - it ain't burger flipping or anything remotely resembling minimum wage. Post-university, professional, anywhere from 5-20 year industry experience.
  2. 4 points
    I got one so I’ll let everyone know how it is
  3. 3 points
    $13 dollar pitching visit....................$27 substitution..................$250 for any discussion with the umpire when traveling from the coaches box, across the field to his dugout.
  4. 3 points
    From just trying it on, it wraps a lot more than a platinum
  5. 3 points
    I have bought from them and never had a problem. You should note that they don’t stock a lot and most stuff is drop shipped from the manufacturer. If you return something there is a significant restocking fee. I have never bought any thing used from them.
  6. 3 points
    Sounds like the lightest shoe they have ever made.
  7. 2 points
    I'm glad NC is pretty laid back about uniform stuff. Our association has a lot of college guys so everyone has a lot of shirts/jackets and stays pretty up to date. As long as it's black (occasionally polo blue) we can wear what we want as long as we match. I think it feels good to go out on the field looking good and up to date. The teams do so I'm glad we do too.
  8. 2 points
    Any Wilson CP I've used (Charcoal, Gold and Platinum) are all very hot in the summer. The same goes for all CP's I've owned including Champion and Douglas. This is not a weight issue, but a sofa foam issue. Sofa foam is designed to be sat on to provide softness. It is simply there to provide a cushion to sit on. It is cheap and semi-light, so it makes a good lining for a CP protector. The ball impacts the hard plates and then the foam provides a cushioning effect so we don't feel the ball impact the skin/muscle and bones of our chest. It works as designed, but it is not cool. Worse, it acts like a big sponge and holds in heat and water (sweat). It doesn't get a chance to dry or cool down until you remove it at the end of your game. On the other end of the spectrum is the best CP for heat that I've ever had. That is the Adams/Schutt with its lighter and thinner D3O foam. It is definitely much cooler and lighter to wear than most CP's. It still stands up to any impact that I've had at this point with the same rigid plates that Wilson/Douglas/Champion/All Star would. By that I mean no pain or uncomfortableness from any shots I've taken - to the contrary, they are seldom felt beyond knowing it hit you. The D3O foam is like swiss cheese with all of its holes. Each one of those holes allows your chest to breathe and allows air to get in and begin drying your body off. By allowing water (sweat) to evaporate while you wear it, it feels like every breeze turns on a little air conditioner inside your CP! Note: I had an All Star but didn't care for the fit, so I sold it before I used it in hot weather. I'm told it breathes well also, but I doubt it would out-perform the Schutt/Adams. I know the chimney should allow heat to escape out the top of the front of the CP, but that's right where your neck and chin are so I'm doubtful it really makes a huge difference. My final two cents: if I could get/create a D3O-lined Wilson Gold, then that'd be my CP of choice forever. I really love the looks and protection of the Gold, but that sofa foam is hot and the thick pads make me look even larger than I already am (5'11", 235 ). My shirts fit fairly well with the Schutt/Adams and most other CPs, but with the Gold it's a struggle to get it over my CP. D3O would help to thin it out and offer a more streamlined appearance and the holes would allow greater comfort. I would also drill some holes into the plastic plates to help with breath-ability if I could design such a CP. Sorry so wordy. Hard to explain in a brief manner.
  9. 2 points
    better than the platinum overall. A better fit, better harness, extensions available and more affordable. People will like this, come to swear by it, and turn from what they were using. Others will have to look very very diligently to come up with a complaint. If you currently have a Gold or Platinum heres my advice. Keep them if youre not looking for a new CP. If you are shopping and love the Gold, get another Gold. If you love the Platinum, get the Diamond. Hope this helps.
  10. 2 points
    Here's the thing that gets my goat, @lawump (and please understand, I'm corresponding with you as a form of rhetoric, not specifically griping at you)... With all your experience, when you do a 2-man Fed game, then a 2-man College game, then a 2-man OBR game (whether it be amateur adult, actual Minor League, or teenaged tournament, such as USSSA or American Legion), all in the same weekend, even with the same partner, are you specifically altering your positioning, mechanics, and partner interaction to suit the specific game you're doing, from one to another? Likely not. I'm not talking about rules application, I'm talking who-has-what-and-how during a play. When you work with someone long enough, you each understand how the other reads and reacts, you know each others' capabilities, and you certainly don't need much in the way of signaling or pre-game discussion. Certainly, if you're partnered with someone you're not familiar with, you have to establish that working relationship. That takes a foundation, a lexicon, a language. So, I don't mind that there are different manuals for advisement and education. What I have a problem with – what gets my goat – is when an evaluator, pundit, association staff person, somebody "official" criticizes me and/or my partner on an apparent lack of adherence to "the" manual, or an association's prescribed method. Case in point: My fellow Vulture is not only my usual partner, he's also my roommate. We've spent the last 2 years working together. We work everything from MLB/MiLB Spring Training thru Adult thru College thru Showcase thru High School thru various tournaments. At a fairly prestigious weekend tournament, we had these "guest evaluators" making the rounds. One in particular made it a point to track us down in the dressing room postgame to "demerit" us because "we don't signal pre-pitch and between batters". After the both of us gave him a spooked look, my partner replied with, "So you know, he's (me) my housemate. We know what each others doing all the time." Thing is, I can arrive at the same summary for each of "my" Vultures, as well as the other colleagues I work frequently with. But associations and their evaluators have to justify why they are there. In my Arizona experience, most of those who are in the positions of merit or that matter know, or at least trust, that those 2-4 guys they place together on a game, as a crew, will perform well together and call a quality game, regardless of their specific adherence to a specific set of mechanics. That experience, adaptiveness, and cooperation-to-goal will trump (or win out over) strict adherence to this, that, or whatever mechanics guidelines. I've stated this several times before on U-E – You succeed as a crew, you fail as a crew. My point is, if you – whether you're an umpire in-game or an evaluator outside the game – are so scrutinizing every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed, you invariably miss that the sentence doesn't fit the context, or that you have misspelled words.
  11. 2 points
    Agreed, especially for guys just getting into umpiring sub-HS, they can grab some Diamond Lite SGs, a Champro pro-plus CP, and a Champro mask for ~$110 with shipping, then I just have them grab replacement mask pads and their uniform from UmpAttire, which makes everything ~$275 when its all said and done. Every guy I've recommended this to hasn't had any issues with EpicSports as far as I'm aware. Ironically, a few (myself included) have had more issues with UmpAttire forgetting to put stuff in the box when they ship it. BR
  12. 2 points
    Agree with this. Epic is setup to be used as a "buy in bulk" store for teams and associations versus an individual. You can buy items for yourself, but there is no such thing as free shipping. If you're only ordering a CP for example, after you pay their shipping costs then you'll be right around the price of other sites who ship for free at that cost (over $99). If you're in a hurry, I'd pass on Epic. They ship 2 day express, but it may take 5-8 business days before they ship (so 10 business days before you get it). The reason is due to what @boyinr stated, they order directly from the manufacturer who then ships the items to you. So you have to get the order processed through Epic, then again through the manufacturer/warehouse themselves. In my humble opinion, unless you're (A) not in a hurry and/or (B) ordering a lot of equipment - then my suggestion would be to use an existing store that stocks everything and gets it to you quickly (and offers free returns) like Ump-Attire instead. Edit: I should add I'm in Ohio and can get stuff within 2 days from Purchase Officials. The problem is they don't carry everything I like, so I use a variety of places.
  13. 2 points
    What I’m about to say might derail the focus on “the shirt” or “the uniform”, but bear with me please... I’ll knit the topics back together again. It has nothing to do with the specific shirt style or color, or the color of pants, or the way we hem them (sorry @BT_Blue ), or if we wear black, blue, grey or green ball bags (... but why would you?)... it has to do with control and conformity. And, it begins at the association level. There are two things in particular that associations love to do: Stratify their members Determine the group’s uniform And yes, it’s in that order, because how else does the resulting uniform get to be so pedantically defined as some of the examples we see? Right from the commencing phrase, “Let’s start an association”, most founding members immediately start haggling over structure – who’s going to be in charge, who’s going to be associatively in charge, who has seniority, who has “final say” over this, or that, or any number of things. So much effort is invested to avoid “true democracy” because if true democracy existed in the association, then how would anybody get their way, what they want, and their preferences implemented? And, furthermore, if it was a truly democratic association, how could anyone ensure that everyone else acts, behaves, or looks the same? Variety scares some people; and, relative to our topic here, it terrifies some umpires (and other sports officials) especially. I will never argue that your appearance as an umpire is not vitally important – it unequivocally is. But what so many associations do is use it as a tool (then, a weapon) and metric of conformity and stratification. And they always reinforce a directive with, “Well, that’s what the association dictates.” And again, in the absence of true democracy – or even majority / minority polling – the authority to dictate those directives breaks down to that stratification of whatever kind they can find. Seniority, tenure, appointment, etc. A great deal of parallels can be made between the military / law enforcement / firefighter service uniform codes and sports officials (ie. Umpires) uniform codes. When the shooting and shelling starts, does it really matter the particulars of your uniform? No. When there’s a civil crisis happening, does it really matter if that LEO has a navy service blouse on or that LEO has a black service blouse on? Short of having a means of identifying that that person is in fact a LEO, no. How about if a multi-structure, five-alarm blaze breaks out, is a firefighter going to be chastised if they happen to be wearing a FR overcoat with yellow stripes instead of orange stripes? No. In point of fact, firefighting is most similar to umpiring, because if a firefighter doesn’t wear the proper equipment, correctly, then they risk serious injury or death, and make the job of firefighting perilous. So too with umpiring, if you don’t wear the gear you have correctly, you’re making the job perilous for yourself. But far too often, we have “senior” association members putting unfounded emphasis on what brand or color or style of uniform or equipment another member must should wear, instead of mentoring that member on how and why to wear it. This speaks towards a problem that appears throughout society, and will continue to challenge us in the sports officiating community – the perception, respect, and challenge to authority demonstrated between generations. “Because I said so” doesn’t cut it any more. Neither does, “Because we (the association) said so”, really compel today’s generations to compliance. Associations need to get their heads (their leadership, primarily) out of their ass(ociation) and start to foster and develop relationships between their members and the Rules, then the proven practices (mechanics, game management, procedures, etc.) that administer those Rules most effectively. And “proven” does not necessarily mean “time honored tradition”. How I conduct myself as an umpire, how I manage a game’s progression, and how I administer, interpret, and apply the Rules speaks magnitudes of volume more to my performance as an umpire than what color or style shirt I’m wearing. From my own experience, participants and fans alike figure out pretty quick who’s the guy in charge, barring a cohesive crew of equals (of which I have gratefully been a member of many), regardless if I’m wearing MLB 2016 Panel black or pink with polka dots. Rightly so, though, the game participants and fans fear variety and inconsistency of calls and rulings. Unfortunately, the old school of thought (and the one that most associations subscribe to) is that uniformity of uniform connotates uniformity and consistency of calls and rulings to the participants, and demonstrates conformity to the association’s standards. It does not. If you look in the fine print of the NFHS Rulebook, Rule 10.1.9, it states “Umpires shall wear gray slacks, and navy pullover shirt or state association-adopted shirt.” So what difference is to the Fed if the pants are heather or charcoal? What matter is it if the shirt is just a plain navy polo shirt (Nike, UA, Russell Athletic, Rawlings, or heck... LL Bean), a Navy shirt with a single trim stripe of red (which TOC makes, BTW, and looks fabulous), or is the hideously antiquated red-&-white trimmed smock (I say smock because of how some guys wear it)? It isn’t and doesn’t. Fed doesn’t care! ... But the associations care because this is their opportunity to exert control. Heavens forbid that you are evaluated and tested and corrected at several times during the season, to make sure that you’re keeping up with Rules interpretations, that you’re still able to discern a strike, or that you’re not saying “stupid things”! But as long as you conform, and wear the instituted uniform (of that particular year, Ohio)...
  14. 2 points
    I’m ambivalent about the Sox, but the dodgers have two of my least favorite players in Puig and Machado (not helped by his... questionable plays on the bases this post season), so go Sox I guess. I was really hoping that the brewers, AKA the Royals of last year, would make it. I agree that it’s a super boring matchup.
  15. 2 points
    Diamond could have used a full velcro attachment ala Douglas and not infringed on Wilson's patent and probably made this new cp more desirable. I'll stick with my older Douglas and Champion with the removable padding.
  16. 2 points
    It will be explained in detail at the meetings in January. From the camps I’ve worked this fall, here’s what I can tell you... Did the batter hit the ball or did the ball hit the batter? If the batter freezes, give him 1st. If the batter turns and the ball hits him, give him 1st. If the batter sticks out a body part and allows himself to get hit by the ball, keep him at the plate, call it a strike.
  17. 2 points
    Can't wait to have you! And congrats on your advancement into college baseball. 2019 is going to be a huge year for you. Enjoy every step.
  18. 2 points
    I’ll be there. Looking forward to it
  19. 2 points
    Blasphemy. Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The FM4000's planform is born out of research by All-Star, undertaken on their own, aimed at designing a mask that was strong, resistant to (most) deformation by transferring load outward, reducing the amount of flat surfaces presented to a ball. Through CAD work, they arrived at a pyramidal -shaped cage, curved along an arc. The utilized this cage in what became their signature HSM, the MVP2500 / 4000. Going further, they expanded it into a TM, with the mask shaped almost as a true half-sphere, but also curved around the face so as to increase pad contact and effectiveness. Lots of design and science here. While All-Star introduced the FM4000 in a hollow steel model, it was what they did "behind the curtain" during the next five years that really makes them stand out amongst their peers. Of the various materials that could be employed for a mask, magnesium had always been intriguing – supremely lightweight, incredibly stiff and resistant to deformation (bending). Its limitation, though, was one of cost (understandable) and bonding – magnesium is not welded together, but instead is cemented (or, more like glued). Welds are more desirable than glue joints because the bond is homogenous, and thus, easier and less costly to do en masse. Cement or glue bonding becomes more costly because you have to introduce another substance, control the amount, allow it to set and cure, and then quality control check it to make sure it held. Magnesium becomes much more attractive when you can eliminate all joints and bonds, and the magnesium alloy part is die cast. So, All-Star worked out how to die cast molten magnesium alloy into their strongest mask geometry (planform). The resulting FM4000MAG mask is incredibly light. And, because it is magnesium (alloy) it will never bend or break. There aren't any welds or bond joints to pop, either. The mask is one piece, injection-molded, homogenous magnesium. Now, this extreme light-weight-ness comes at a single price – like titanium, there is such little mass and density, the mask will instantly transfer compressive energy (impact force) to the next thing adjacent to it, in this case, the pads. It is absolutely crucial that high-density (Team Wendys at least) or high-volume pads are used. One of the first professional catchers to use the FM4000MAG, Jonathan Lucroy, identified that the pads needed to be thicker (greater volume), and could benefit from having a pressure plate. As such, the latest version of LUC-4K pads have a hard plastic plate as their foundation, which makes contact with the mask bars. Then, the pads' volume is greatly increased. When any force impacts the mask at a localized spot, the entire plate is engaged and the force distributed throughout the entirety of the pad. While the chin pad received this treatment, the forehead pad did not. Why would it? Catchers wear a helmet with their mask, do they not? This helps to absorb and dissipate most of that energy. Who would wear just a common hat? Huh.
  20. 2 points
    When this happens, please post the video. I will enjoy watching the OHC come unglued, being ejected and the PU grabbing the stankiest end of any stick ever.
  21. 2 points
    3N2s are great for sub-varsity, but the metatarsal plate is waaay too flimsy for comfort and it doesn't have very good inside foot protection compared to the Zig Mags and NB. @UmpJeff I've seen a few places that still have Zig Mags in size 8 (Amazon I think?). Not sure if that's helpful, but maybe there are soles or socks you can wear to help with the difference. BR
  22. 2 points
    I agree with you @ofhs93. Foam is 1" thick - has to be standard sofa cushion stuff. While I'm intrigued, I'm not leaving my Adams/Schutt HDX just yet. I'm not sure about the neck opening either. I can't tell by the neck size, but the shoulder area might have small coverage. EDITED: It doesn't have the "wings" like a Gold/Platinum and XV/HDX comes with as standard equipped. I know some remove them, but with these gone it just appears like all you have is the top covered - very little wrapping down over the front. With the big cutout for neck and then cutout around arms... worried a ball might find a spot there. I was wrong, upon closer inspection there do appear to be removable wings/pads to help cover up this area. Ultimately, I like the looks and functionality it appears to offer. But, at $125 regular price ($99 special intro offer now at UA) I don't think it's going to get a lot of looks. There are too many smaller, lower profile options for $25-40 less. Plus, the old foam doesn't help it any. Why release a new CP without updating to D3O versus sofa foam?
  23. 2 points
    Hmm... intriguing. Looks very form-fitting with all the small pieces that can bend to your body individually.
  24. 2 points
    Interesting. They must have put this up with in the last 7 hours. Cause I was on there seeing how much trouble i could get into at around 1am PDT.
  25. 2 points
    I can see that side of it. Just as long as we stay away from grey ballbags right? Lol
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