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Umpire in Chief

About our community - Tips & Hints for members of Umpire-Empire

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For our newer members:

 

Umpire-Empire.com has its own personality and its own personalities, and it can be overwhelming to the uninitiated. To help you get started here, we’ve created this cultural primer.

  • This is a small group. The world of umpiring is not a large segment of the population, and the subset of umpires that frequent this board is even smaller. This group has everything from members that have been on various boards for the better part of two decades to people like you just coming on board. Because of this:
    • Some relationships on this board are longstanding, and have the ups and downs of connections lasting that long. There are inside jokes that predate this board, there are ongoing discussions that get rekindled every now and then, and unfortunately, there are also grudges.
    • There is a higher-than-normal rate of posters who know other posters in real life. There’s a significant chance that there are posters here who know you in real life. It is up to you how much of your background and personal information you want to share. Just beware, details can be pieced together—if you want to have some level of anonymity, keep that in mind. So, if you post things about partners, remember that very partner may be reading it, and figuring out that it is about them, and thus who you are.
  • We are a diverse group with diverse personalities.
    • Do not assume malice when there is a disagreement
    • ​Some folks are in their first year officiating kiddie ball
    • Some are current or former professionals, and most are in between.
    • We even have (shudder) coaches here.  :o
    • Our members ages range from 13 to ... well lets just say "very experienced" 
    • As you frequent the site more you will get to know some of the personalities of our members so being more active (even if just reading) will help you put the personality context behind the post. 
    • Because emotion cannot accurately be read into posts consider using a smilie/emoticon to help relay the emotion you are trying to convey. We have hundreds of smilies which you may find helpful. 
    • :fuel:  :ranton:    :hopmad:  :rollinglaugh:  :question1:  :big_no   :banghead:  :sarcasm:  :insertevillaughhere:
    • Some members will go out of their way to state their experience, others don’t. Some may be exaggerating or not telling the truth. You can decide for yourself how credible individual posters are.
    • Umpires do not become successful by being overly sensitive. The more-experienced umpires are where they are because they are direct in what they say, are able to take criticism, and don’t suffer fools well. What may seem as an abrupt, rude, or condescending statement is most likely simply terseness or conciseness. If you think something may be out of line, please take it up with the person who posted it via PM, unless it is egregious enough to be moderated. 
    • Because of the fraternal nature of our group, don't take offense to little jabs in the ribs.
    • Even if that little jab crosses the line, just like when umpiring, sometimes you just have to let that personal pop shot go and not respond.
    • There are a variety of styles that posters use to answer questions. Some will quote you the proper rules chapter-and-verse. Some will hint at concepts so you can try to find the answer on your own. If you don’t get an answer in a style you find helpful, please ask for clarification or additional help instead of getting in a huff.
    • Remember that aside from that minority of trolls that are found on every board, everyone is here to help and be helped. People generally don't post here to waste time or get a rise from others--they have something substantive to say.
  • You can neither dictate nor predict how threads will develop. You may start a thread asking about proper mechanics in a particular situation, and it will turn into seven pages on whether jackets should be tucked or untucked. We understand that this can be frustrating if your question hasn't been answered. If that happens, please feel free to reiterate what you are asking (our members are generally good at self-policing this.) If your question has been answered, just go with the flow. Also, understand that just like a face-to-face conversation, a topic may drift into several salient points that you hadn't considered each with its own set of relevant facts and opinions.
    • If you feel a topic has swayed too far off topic, notify a Moderator. They may be able make the side-bar its own topic
  • The search function is your friend. Please use the search function, if possible, before posting questions. Because of the characteristics  mentioned above, some of our more seasoned posters have heard the same questions hundreds of times and can be somewhat gruff in answering them. It may be difficult to find the proper terms to search on, but please give it at least a cursory try.

For All Members

  • Rules to live by:
    • When starting a thread, please use as descriptive a title as possible. This not only helps you get the right answer from the right people, it also helps others down the line when they want to find answers about similar concepts.
    • Similarly, in your posts, list the relevant rule set(s). There are differences between them that may play a role in developing the correct answer.
    • Words mean things. In each rule book, there are definitions for words, and these definitions are important. We avoid using terms loosely or colloquially because that engenders confusion. If you use a word incorrectly, there will most likely be a correction. Understand why you are being corrected, learn from it, and move on.
    • PMs work. If something goes over your head, you feel someone may have been out of line, you don’t get the inside joke, or anything in general, PM the poster in question. It’s best to keep one-on-one conversations to a minimum on the boards to allow other posters easier understanding of the threads as well as to minimize the chance of public spats.
    • Don't assume a moderator is reading each and every post. For many years I was able to read each and every post made here. Now that task would be impossible. If you see something questionable please inform us.
    • Re-read your posts before posting. I've confronted people about posts before and the #1 thing I'm told is that they didn't realize their comment would be taken in a certain way or intend for it to be taken the way it was. So re-read your post; you may intend one meaning, but deliver another.
    • Give others the benefit of the doubt that what they are saying is not a personal attack and don't react assuming it is a personal comment.
    • Never take anything posted here as the word of the Lord. Anybody can post here and say virtually anything no matter how ridiculous or true.
    • Remember umpiring is filled with gray areas. If it weren't for this there would be no need for interpretation manuals or even this site. There are situations in umpiring where there is technically no right answer, but possibly better ways to come to a decision about handling those gray areas. 
    • If you ask a question, be ready for responses, correct, incorrect, sarcastic ... It is often actually the weeding through all of the responses that actually help the most in deciphering and truly understanding the correct answer. 
    • Don't go looking to be offended. If you are looking to be offended, you will find it.
    • If you feel a poster is "trolling" don't feed the troll (reply to the post). Report the post and let the moderators handle it rather than giving the person what they may want.
  • Just have fun
    • This site is designed to be both informative and social. We will go off topic, we will discuss personal situations and our lives outside of umpiring.
    • We are a fraternity, we not only support each other but like to have fun too. So expect an occasional jab in the ribs, a joke at your expense, and even some heated disagreements. These can be an overall sign of your inclusion and acceptance into the group. It does not mean you are not welcome or appreciated.
    • Remember at the end of the day we are all on the same team. Even the members you may have a disagreement with, when push comes to shove will be in your corner.
    • Share your accomplishments! Whether it is your local league's in house tournament or your going to Omaha you won't find a more supporting group to share your news with.

For our Experienced Members:

 

Remember our membership changes on a daily basis. Besides the +/- 250 registered members who actually sign in every day, Umpire-Empire.com is visited by thousands of individuals everyday who never either log in or register. 

 

I have been asked repeatedly about creating a "No Flaming Zone" for newbies. Of all the suggestions I've received over the years, this is the one I've been adamant about refusing because I believe this implies the rest of the site is open season for flaming. One of the principles Umpire-Empire was founded on is having a good environment where a rookie can get a legitimate answer from someone much more experience without the fear of being scorned or ridiculed. 

  • Be welcoming to our new members. 
  • Take a look at the members profile you are responding to take into consideration if they are one of our veteran members or a new member.
    • Look at their join date and look at their post count.
    • What do you know about their experience or personality
    • Take that into consideration when responding 

  • When someone asks a question
    • If a topic has been covered ad nauseam, be kind give a brief answer and then direct the user to where it may have been covered (providing links are great). Please don't give the curt answer of it's been covered, use the search feature. Remember different people have different competency levels in using this site and the internet as a whole.
    • Remember others may not have the same experience level as you and what you may consider simple or even a stupid question is not for them
    • Also the person asking the question may be opening themselves up, admitting an embarrassing mistake or otherwise putting them self in a vulnerable situation. We've all been there to some extent. They're here for help so lets give them the help they are looking for.

In Conclusion

 

Remember, that noobie who is asking the "annoying questions," uses the incorrect terms, makes seemingly simple mistakes or doesn't use the site effectively may become the next (insert your favorite member here). I was once that guy. I doubt 10+ years ago MSTaylor, @Majordave , @Stan W. , @LMSANS and too numerous other people to list who I met in similar forums would have thought then I have become what I am as an umpire and these people along with so many others I've met online have really helped develop me as an umpire. I can remember probably 8-10 years ago pretty much harassing Majordave about chest protectors for about a year. Boy I was annoying.

 

On the flip side of the coin, I received a personal message from a member here not too long ago who is moving up the ladder in their umpiring career and not only wanted to let me know but wanted to thank me for my role in helping them move up. This is such a rewarding feeling I want everybody to experience at some point. 

 

So for our new members, welcome to the Empire! I hope you find the site interesting, informative and fun.

For our veteran members, you have all done a terrific job in helping make this site what it is and I owe you an enormous debt of gratitude. Let's keep up the good work and not only help develop our new and future members, but new and future generations of excellent umpires.

 

Warren

 

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