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Better late than never I suppose. I say that I’m late as I am over 40 and just getting started.

One day just minding my own business I went to meet a couple of buddies at a Legions Game. Seems I was also in the company of one of the Legions Umpire’s while just watching the game with my buddies. Talking about the game and what was going on lead to the inevitable situational talk between us. After an hour of exchanges my new acquaintance stated that I must be an Umpire. After replying that no I wasn’t an Ump but had been a catcher he introduced me to his supervisor and you can put things together from there. Anyway, here I am looking forward to getting out on the diamond once again.

I may have to unlearn some habits to call baseball though. I have been an ice hockey referee for some years and I certainly don’t want to get the two sports mixed up. Could you imagine an Ump stopping play because the batter played the ball with a high stick above his shoulders. I wonder just where I would place the ball for the face off!! And if for some reason the batter charges the mound to get at the pitcher can I just let them fight until they are tired before I move in to break it up? Just kidding I expect the lack of ice will clue me in pretty quick of which sport I’m calling.

This is really a great web site. I have lurked around here for a few days and learned a wealth of information. A lot of do’s and don’ts and something quite important to me is what gear is most preferable. As a catcher I trusted Rawlings gear mostly but it sure seems that Wilson is one of the more preferred suppliers for Umps. There is one good thing I can say about starting now and that is I can afford the gear I want/need. I’ll be sending Ump-Attire an order in a few days. I always like to see a business owner, Jim Kirk, who will go to the guys who use his stuff and ask for opinions. Jim I haven’t even ordered from you yet but I like you already. There is another Jim that I buy from a great deal too. He sells hockey official’s equipment and does business pretty much the same as Jim Kirk. Needless to say he gets 95% of my business.

Looking forward to getting out on the field again, as well as learning from you guys…even if I am a little late getting started.

Dan

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I started umpiring at 42 after coaching for 18 years-the last 8 at Legion level. Now I sometimes work games for the team that I coached and founded. Use this forum and the other two, Officiating.com and umpire.org as a reference. Buy the Baseball Rules Differences manual from Officiating.com, and Jaksa-Roder Manual from rulesofbaseball.com. They will help keep you out of trouble on rules issues. Buy the Jim Evans Balk DVD from umpire.org store. Always do a pre-game with your partner to discuss handling situations and mechanics. Always hustle and demand the players hustle on the field.

You have already figured out to buy good equipment. Don't skimp on mask, chest protector and plate shoes. Get the best you can afford.

Ask a lot of questions of your partners and assigner/supervisor. You probably know all of this but that is my two cents. Good luck and don't worry about the age thing.

I asked one time on one of the forums and somewhere between 85% to 90% of all serious umpires caught at some time in their career. Something about the view back there and being in charge.....

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Welcome aboard. Glad to have you here.

I umpired for a few years in the mid 1990's but gave it up to coach my son. I started back this year at the age of 38. Just as Dave stated get the best gear you can afford. Read the rule book's and study them as often as you can. I would also encourage you to find a mentor within your group. Make sure he is someone that will be willing to give you honest feedback as well as good advise.

Good luck.

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Better late than never I suppose. I say that I’m late as I am over 40 and just getting started.

I may have to unlearn some habits to call baseball though. I have been an ice hockey referee for some years and I certainly don’t want to get the two sports mixed up. Could you imagine an Ump stopping play because the batter played the ball with a high stick above his shoulders. I wonder just where I would place the ball for the face off!! And if for some reason the batter charges the mound to get at the pitcher can I just let them fight until they are tired before I move in to break it up? Just kidding I expect the lack of ice will clue me in pretty quick of which sport I’m calling.

Dan

Nothing better than doing ice hockey then doing baseball (I did it in reverse). :)Hence the name TheRefUmp. Other than trying to drop the baseball at homeplate at the start of every game I do well. Game management is an acquired skill that you've (hopefully) already developed and have to adapt it to baseball.

You're correct about this site. It's one if not the best for info. Stay around and keep posting not just lurking.:banghead:

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I may have to unlearn some habits to call baseball though.

welcome to the big show! One major difference you will learn quickly--

We don't play on ice!:banghead: Only when it feels colder than ice!:wave:

And if for some reason the batter charges the mound to get at the pitcher can I just let them fight until they are tired before I move in to break it up? Just kidding I expect the lack of ice will clue me in pretty quick of which sport I’m calling.

Actually, you are correct! When a fight breaks out and it will be much more rare than ever in hockey, yes, you stand there, watch it happen and take down numbers of those fighting and those who clear the benches to "help.:BD:

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Guys Thanks for all of the great info!! I was wondering about reading material I should be looking into. Good to know that others my age have started for their first time or returned.

I'm getting MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) pouring over equipment and gear. I can pretty well afford almost any of this gear but I'm being cost consious as well. Things like wondering if combo pants will fit well enough over three knee shins and such. I'll get it all nailed down soon enough. As I type I am remebering some of the bumps and bruises I used to get when being a human backstop for a hard throwing pitcher and that is indeed helping me make some decisions on which equipment to get.

refump I'll try to avoid opening face offs at home plate! The five sided dot will probably be a quick indicator I'm playing the wrong game!! I expect managing a baseball game will not be quite like managing a hockey game. In a close hockey game we could call interference or roughing anytime we want. However, I am sure there will be methods where I'll have to set the standard of play in the early innings for the entire game, and I don't just mean how tight the strike zone is. I know for certain that should it come to fiticuffs I'll know who was the third man in! Does dropping the gloves constitute a baseball fight or must I wait until there are actually punches thrown? LOL Some habits may never die!!

Thanks again for all of the info guys. I'm starting to really like it around here.

Dan

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Dan,

Welcome to umpiring and U-E. I also do other sports, football and wrestling. Sometimes I wish I had a whistle on the baseball field.

Major Dave said all of the good stuff and, as usual, is right on.

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Welcome! Glad to have you here. Hopefully we can help you in making a smooth transition.

You asked about fitting triple knee shin guards in combo pants. I cannot do it, but I'm not a skinny guy either. I would recommend plate and base pants, but I know other guys who can fit triple knee pants in combos.

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Welcome to the site and a new avocation. I also work two sports, soccer and baseball.

I don't use triple shin guards. I use the Wilson charcoal guards with the top strap removed. Combos fit fine over them and offer excellent protection. I suggest you check with the local group and see what they say about the charcoal/heather question. Many groups are going to the newer charcoal pants but some groups are staying with heather.

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To add to what Michael wrote... I recommend checking what color shirts to get. As a general rule, most associations go with the Navy shirts with the red, white and navy on the sleeves and collar. However, more and more are going to the black shirts and/or what some will call MLB Blue which is the light blue with the black collar.

Do your due diligence as to your equipment and uniform and it will save you a lot of trouble and money.

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Goog point BT. Most groups use dark blue as the default shirt. I don't like the DB/charcoal combination. Black, Polo blue with black accents and cream seem to be the most common alternate colors. Almost nobody uses the red or light blue with the red/white/blue trim anymore. Softball and some baseball uses the light blue with dark blue trim.

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More really good info. Thanks!! I have been joking about applying hockey rules to baseball here but that whistle thing I believe will be something that I will really have to work at. One of my co-workers, also a hockey ref, asked me to count how many times I reach for my whistle during a baseball game. As a guess I'll say it will probably be more than ten!!

The guys who got me into this were very forthcoming with info on what they do and what the requirements are. It breaks down something like this for our area. For all levels our pants are heather grey, navy shirts for LL and HS, powder blue for softball, and any color shirt as long as you and your partner match for Legions. Thats about as far as I can expect to go for the foreseeable future so it narrows things down a bit.

I'm sure evaluators for baseball will be much the same as for hockey. Even out on the ice orchastrating a ten man fight with sticks we are graded on appearance and equipment. Professionalism in conduct and appearance goes a long way to ones officiating career. Also, whether we believe or not, coaches, players, and fans notice. Not so much that they notice a professional, as this is expected of officials, but they certainly notice someone who isn't. Speaking of looking like a pro I think I will take some of your advice and pass on the combo pants. I'm 6'1" and 210 lbs so plate pants over triple knee shins will probably be much better for appearance sake.

Thanks again for all of the great info and welcomes!!

Dan

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I do not use nor personally like the combo pants. To me they are to small behind the plate and to big on the bases. But thats just my opinion.

As for shirts, for monitary reasons if you have them, I recommend the navy shirt with red under (you can also go with navy but red is usually the way to go) and the heather pants to start with. If you are committed to doing the umpire thing long term go and get more shirts since it will help with having options on shirts (I know it kind of annoys me to have the choice of only one shirt cause my partner doesnt bother with the other colors). Especially with the warmer weather coming.

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