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cyberBob35

New umpire getting started with his kids

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Hello,

I'm an brand new umpire in Nebraska.  I'm getting into this with my two teenagers.  My son is 13 and my daughter is 15.  They have both played baseball/softball since they were 6 or 7.  They wanted a job that would help them make some money, offer flexibility around their travel ball schedules, and the cherry on top was they got to be involved with the game.  I had previous experience and a contact with a local umpire association since I coached travel ball for almost 10-years.  After attending the kick-off meeting I decided to join my kids in umpiring.  I figured I have to take them to the training anyway and will probably have to get them to games as well.  I could do some games myself and help out.  There seems to be a shortage of umpires in our area.  

Right now we are looking at the gear we need.  I've spent the past week browsing the equipment forum.  I finally decided to sign up today.

Can't wait to learn from everyone on this site.

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Welcome.  

First off, great decision getting involved with your kids.  Next congrats on finding this website.  There is no finer forum for learning and improving your umpiring skills.  Encourage your son and daughter to sign up as well.

Don't be shy about asking questions, there are LOTS of very knowledgeable folks on this website (mechanics, rules, gear, etc.) that will be more than happy to help you out.

Enjoy!

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Welcome. Really cool to see the three of you go at this as a family. Cherish the times!

As for equipment, our equipment forums and ump-attire.com will lead you in the right direction.

A for umpiring, read the rulebooks. Can't stress that enough. I know when I started umpiring, I had played baseball my whole life and thought I knew the rules....well, there's a lot more there than you may think. read, read, read, then come on here, ask questions, but try to find the answers for yourself first.It's the best way to learn. The better grasp you have on the rulebook, the more confident you'll be on the field.

Good luck, and have fun!!

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Thanks everyone.  I am really excited about the opportunity to do this with my kids.  A little nervous about all the rules.  As a coach and player I always thought that I knew the rules, but I never understood them to the depth needed to umpire.  Lots of studying to be done.  Our association is holding training seminars once a week to cover all the OBR and FED rules.  

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Welcome!

That sounds like a really familiar story (except I only coached rec ball, rather than travel ball) and my oldest was 12 when he started. He's no longer umpiring, but I absolutely love it.

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2 hours ago, cyberBob35 said:

Thanks everyone.  I am really excited about the opportunity to do this with my kids.  A little nervous about all the rules.  As a coach and player I always thought that I knew the rules, but I never understood them to the depth needed to umpire.  Lots of studying to be done.  Our association is holding training seminars once a week to cover all the OBR and FED rules.  

My take on The Rules:

Learn them as well as you can, but don't stress too much where you become a rule-nazi instead of letting the kids play.  In my opinion, and I'm sure some will disagree with me here, the rules are there to keep the playing field level and not allow either team an advantage.

Most rules are common sense, but you'll never know them perfectly or exactly, so get the main points down and emphasize the rules about obstruction/interference, bases awarded, balks, etc. Depending on the level of ball you'll be calling, there are different points of emphasis (POE's).  If you know the rules well enough to keep the game moving without creating a disadvantage for either team, then you're doing your job.  The games should be decided by the kids playing and not by a rule that isn't completely understood.

Aim for learning and knowing all of the rules well - but don't be too hard on yourself when you miss a call.  You will miss a call, especially when you're learning. There is surprisingly a lot more to watch when you're an umpire that you didn't think of, or need to watch, as a coach/fan.  You don't get to take plays off, or relax for a minute, or you miss the call.

Simply knowing all of the rules won't make you a great umpire.   It's equal parts hard work (lots to learn and can be surprisingly physical at times),  focus (can't let mind/eyes wander but have to stay locked in), hustle (to get in the right position to view the play),  knowledge of the rules (and when to enforce them exactly), and then timing your call. 

You're already doing it for the right reasons, so keep that perspective throughout your journey and I'm sure you will do a fine job!

Best of luck in your first year!

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11 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

but don't stress too much where you become a rule-nazi instead of letting the kids play

AMEN!!!   Many moons ago, when I first started, I can still recall one of the most impactful pieces of wisdom that my mentor uttered in a post game.  Surprisingly enough, not only do I still use it, but I hear it from others.  Learn to umpire WITH the rulebook, not BY the rulebook.  This too referring to different POEs as @wolfe_man had mentioned.

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I agree with @wolfe_man that you must be locked in when it's time to be locked in, and you must work hard when it's time to work hard, but I think one of the most important things for new umpires is to RELAX.

Find the small moments during the game when you can roll your neck around, flex your fingers, clench your butt cheeks, squeeze your eyes tight, bend your knees, or whatever else works for you.  You'll stay fresher longer, your attitude will remain more positive, and you'll have more fun.

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