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  1. Yes, force plays...I found the plays at first were giving me the business the most. The PU gave me a couple other bits of feedback that I think were important: he said I made my calls while in motion a lot of the time, and that for me was somehow a very hard habit to break. I also was not selling the calls very well. That also probably led to the amount of protest that I was getting. Thanks for the advice! I read every one of these comments and even write down some of them. Appreciate all the support...makes me feel a little better about trying LL in the Spring (even though that's for sure harder!)
  2. Hi all, I have only done several games so far, I am VERY new at this, and I decided to stop umpiring for the rest of the fall season since I feel I need more training, specifically in one very fundamental, important aspect: calling safe or out. The problem I am occasionally having is a big one, so much that I feel like I may not be cut out to do this job, and I don't want players to suffer because of my own misses. It makes me bummed out, because I wanted to really enjoy this and have fun, and contribute in a meaningful way to a sport my kids are involved in. First, I should start off by saying that I am a bit dyslexic, and my brain plays tricks on me occasionally. What I see with my eyes is not what comes out of my mouth. And I know it. On maybe two occasions, I called out, hammered the signal, but in my mind, my brain was like "that was not an out, dude." One was so bad that a few of the players went nuts, and the PU overturned it on an appeal. It ruined my night. The PU between innings was like "hey man, we all blow calls...but I have no idea what the heck you saw there." He's a decades long veteran, and his whole thing is "This is an on-the-job training job." And I think he's right, but there HAS to be some way for me to build up this skill off the field. I know the rules extremely well, and I am a student of the game. So that much isn't a huge concern. It's training my eye to instinctively see it, send the signal to my brain, and then make the call. I am coming to terms with either one of two realities: my shortcomings are just not something I can overcome and I need to step away from this job, since I am hardwired to sometimes flub stuff like this in everyday life as well. Or: I need to seriously do some very specific training in this area, but I am absolutely not sure at all how to do it. Watching baseball on TV is OK, but the angles are just so different. I can call it well on TV, but being there on the field is not the same, especially in a two-man crew where I'm trying to cover action at all bases. Any advice? And it's OK if the advice is "maybe be an announcer instead."
  3. Hi everyone. I'm umpiring my first game soon, and I'm very excited and extremely nervous of making a total ass of myself. Here's the catch: this is only Slowpitch softball, fall rec league. I'm doing this to prepare for LL Baseball in the Spring which is what I'm REALLY looking forward to, to support my kid's league. I figured this was a soft-landing to help me get comfortable before LL starts, and practice mechanics, and build up confidence. Would love to hear some stories and some words of wisdom from people who remember their first games and what I should expect and do to prepare. Thanks!
  4. Looking for some USA Softball umpire Polo shirts, prefer Navy but can go Powder blue as well. Also looking for some decent 10.5-11 shoes, base & plate. Thanks for any help!
  5. Wow, fantastic and sound advice @SeeingEyeDog! I am literally writing this stuff down and making sure to live by it, especially in my early days. Thank you for this. Also sound advice, @MRG9999. I did this a bit when working a 8-10 yr old game, at the advice of the coaches, no less, who knew I was new. The idea was that we wanted the game to move along, have the batters swing, and make the pitchers feel good. I thought it was good advice and worked well, though I had a couple of little batters turn and give me a look on a couple of them. I had to chuckle a little. Thanks again guys!
  6. Thank you everyone, @eddieq @Velho @Aging_Arbiter @Richvee for the great advice. @Velho I am in Santa Cruz, LL D39, though I won't begin that until next season. I am preparing to start with NorCal Softball District 3.
  7. Hi all, Brand new to umpiring. Since I was a kid (and not being a super great athlete) I always thought referees and umpires were the most interesting guys on the field. Something about having a graceful command of a game and governing a complex rule set was always intriguing to me. After enthusiastically watching my kids play Little League for 5 years, and watching the umpire's mechanics really closely, I started pouring over rule books, watching videos, and getting as intimately familiar with the mechanics of umpiring as I could. I stepped in to help in an emergency situation this past season when no umpires showed up for a couple of games (the youth ump was not willing to be the PU), and I decided to give it a shot. It was a 9-10 year old division game and nothing too insane happened, but being a total first-timer, I am certain I blew a couple of balls/strikes. However, it was an insane amount of fun and I was hooked after that. Signed up to start umpiring locally for LL and Rec league games, which I am preparing for now. Always looking for some advice for new umpires. I want to do the absolute best job I can, but I know I'm going to blow it more than a couple times starting out. How do you deal with knowing you blew it, and staying positive and motivated? Glad to be here...learning a lot already.
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