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Are there any umpires on here with mobility issues or physical disabilities? If so, how do you compensate on the field?

For the record, in March of last year I suffered a herniated disc in L1 L2 that completely compressed the nerve roots that feed my right leg. I had surgery 1 week after the sneeze that caused it. I had lost a lot of the feeling and function in that leg. The main effects are weakness in my quad and some drop foot and ankle weakness. I cannot run and need to watch my step on rough ground. Some strength nd function are coming back but I don't know if the nerves will fully regrow. I can umpire but I can't cover ground as quickly as I would like to be able to.

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After both knees got orthoscopic surgery, I managed to condition myself to be in pretty good shape.  Even got back to jogging.  But now, squatting at the plate gives me an occasional aggravating ache.

CHEAT!    Yeah, all of the manuals say A position with no runners on.  So?  You're at a physical disadvantage.  Don't let that keep you from the field!  I'd bet a dollar to a donut that you can still

As a Little League UIC, I would absolutely make accommodations like this to keep you out there with us.   Or, if you could do plate, not expect you to get up to third.   (I would also try to tap your

Greetings Brother @Mussgrass,

     I would check with your doctor or medical professional first, but I highly recommend a massage gun. They are about the size and shape of a power drill; some are wands...and most of them come with assorted attachments. I used to use mine at home after games on my quads, hamstrings, calves and occasionally my back but, I've started carrying it in my game-go-bag so, I can use it in between both halves of a double header. Eventually, I will likely buy two to keep one in the car and one at home. While I do not have any physical disabilities, I have found that age indeed takes its toll and the massage gun has really helped speed my recovery and especially refresh my legs.

~Dawg

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CHEAT!    Yeah, all of the manuals say A position with no runners on.  So?  You're at a physical disadvantage.  Don't let that keep you from the field!  I'd bet a dollar to a donut that you can still call that play at 1B from B or C.  You do when there are other runners on, right?  Pregame that your partner at the plate has fair foul all the way.  

and before everyone else chimes in about the integrity of the game, I get it.  I do.   My bet is would be doing it MORE of an injustice, trying to start in "A" position just to conform........and we have a chance to keep him on the field.

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31 minutes ago, Mussgrass said:

Are there any umpires on here with mobility issues or physical disabilities? If so, how do you compensate on the field?

For the record, in March of last year I suffered a herniated disc in L1 L2 that completely compressed the nerve roots that feed my right leg. I had surgery 1 week after the sneeze that caused it. I had lost a lot of the feeling and function in that leg. The main effects are weakness in my quad and some drop foot and ankle weakness. I cannot run and need to watch my step on rough ground. Some strength nd function are coming back but I don't know if the nerves will fully regrow. I can umpire but I can't cover ground as quickly as I would like to be able to.

I am so glad that somebody else threw there back out be sneezing.  I endured that pain for 26 years.  It would go away and then comeback.  In 2016 I had my first surgery and have since had 4 more.  Currently have a spinal cord stimulator in my back that helps some.                                                                                                                                                               The injury or surgery did nothing to hamper my mobility.  What did is having to take a year off because of covid 19.  My legs have yet to recover.   My advice is to learn how to cheat to get to where you need to go in the shortest possible distance.

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1 hour ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

CHEAT!    Yeah, all of the manuals say A position with no runners on.  So?  You're at a physical disadvantage.  Don't let that keep you from the field!  I'd bet a dollar to a donut that you can still call that play at 1B from B or C.  You do when there are other runners on, right?  Pregame that your partner at the plate has fair foul all the way.  

and before everyone else chimes in about the integrity of the game, I get it.  I do.   My bet is would be doing it MORE of an injustice, trying to start in "A" position just to conform........and we have a chance to keep him on the field.

As a Little League UIC, I would absolutely make accommodations like this to keep you out there with us.   Or, if you could do plate, not expect you to get up to third.   (I would also try to tap your expertise and get you to help in training and evaluation, but I realize that's not what you asked.)

I would suggest being candid with your assigners/association and try to see what can be worked out.  Also, you know, give yourself time to heal.  Maybe a season off would give you a chance to come back at full strength (but that's more of a question for your medical team.)

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One of my good friends who does both softball and baseball had a hip replacement in the last couple of years.  He has modified his game enough that he still does an excellent job both on the bases and at the dish.  I recently watched one of his games (a league championship game) where he was on the plate.  Other than a larger effort to get low to clean the plate, you couldn't tell he was hampered in any way.

I'm in my 50's now (young by umpire standards around here) and I make modifications when I need to.  Sometimes I'll take a break from the field if something is bothering me too much, other times, I "cheat" as noted above and do my best to get to the right angle above anything.  I was always taught "angle over distance" so I try to get an optimal angle and close the distance as much as I can before I stop to make my call.  As noted above, with the shortage of qualified umpires, I'm sure your assignors will work with you to give you the leeway you need to still be able to be an effective official.

As for the sneeze thing - I broke a rib when I had a big sneeze while trying to put my then-toddler into a shopping basket.  40 pounds held at arms length and violent sneeze was enough (I turned my head as to not shower them with anything but my affection).

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FWIW, As one who deals with Neuropathy, I use the supplement Lecithin.  YMMV, of course, but it helps keep mine in check.    I definitely don't hesitate to suggest it for any nerve issues one may have.  Although, I am pretty sure it does NOT help when 'outside the fence' gets on my nerves. That might call for a adult beverage after the game...

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11 hours ago, Mussgrass said:

I can't cover ground as quickly as I would like to be able to.

Even without injury issues, we all face increasing physical limitations simply because of our aging. This decline (if you will) is magnified by injuries. In your case, Mussgrass, recognize your physical limitations and don't measure your performance by what you could do before your injury. As has already been suggested, adapt your umpiring to your physical limitations.

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After both knees got orthoscopic surgery, I managed to condition myself to be in pretty good shape.  Even got back to jogging.  But now, squatting at the plate gives me an occasional aggravating ache.  And maybe I can't bust out from behind the plate like I used to.

Then, after cataract surgery, I found that I was receiving a ton of glare noise in my left eye.  The biology of the human eye system is amazing, so I understand better that I don't have the frequency response to clearly see the ball come off the bat.  My life skills are fine, but I find myself a few steps behind now.

In the Air Force, there are pilots who walk out to the airplane knowing it's your last flight;  then there are pilots who walk out to the airplane who DO NOT KNOW it's going to be their last flight.

Similarly, I may have done my last game.  I don't think it's fair to the kids if I am two steps behind. 34 years of volunteer umpiring is still something to cherish.

Mike

Las Vegas

 

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19 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

I'd bet a dollar to a donut that you can still call that play at 1B from B or C.  You do when there are other runners on, right?  Pregame that your partner at the plate has fair foul all the way.  

and before everyone else chimes in about the integrity of the game, I get it.  I do.   My bet is would be doing it MORE of an injustice, trying to start in "A" position just to conform........and we have a chance to keep him on the field.

@Mussgrass, I’d rather have a good partner like you stay at B (or C, when appropo) for the entire game, than a… “space cadet” of a partner who insists on “doing all the rotations!”, only to make his ailment worse, or go out on an otherwise routine liner (this forcing me to recognize… late… that he’s not coming in) or, worse, get run over or concussed because he has to perform a button hook pivot. 

Sorry to sound so morbid, but can I make one of you EMTs my new partner to help finish this game? 

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