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What off-season camps would you recommend?


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I'm looking for the best bang for my buck in an off season camp. I'm in the Chicago area and am willing to travel (within reason) for a camp that will last anywhere from 2-5 days. My primary goal is to become a better umpire, but if a camp gives tangible opportunities for advancement (assignors in attendance), that certainly doesn't hurt. Currently, I primarily umpire high school and travel ball.

Thanks for any ideas!

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I haven't been myself, but I think the Mid-American Camp in Missouri would be a good one for you.  It's semi-close and is 4 days in September (9/22 Thursday - 9/25 Sunday).  I keep thinking about going, but don't have the funds this year.

Details here:

https://www.midamericanumpireclinic.com/2022-clinic

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I went to the Mid-America camp in the fall of 2019 and agree that it would be about right as well as well worth your time and money.

It's highly interactive and well organized with knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and positive instructors and good mix of umpires in terms of experience and levels of baseball worked. Plenty of opportunity to watch, do, learn. Rules session was great, drills were all helpful even if the lines were a little long sometimes waiting for your turn, games and game evaluations were very well run with great feedback.

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Per GPS, Chicago to Springfield MO is over 7 hours, though the camp is great.

closer to home is Bruce Doane camp in Grand Rapids MI, 3 hours from Chicago.  Fri - Sun , 2 or 3 man camp (you sign up for which you want)

It got me my start and assignments and Bruce is one of the best people around.

mid America is great, but just giving another alternative too

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There is a psuedo-mysterious camp in the fall in Springfield, IL ... 😁

Not very well advertised, but it must work out alright!  I believe @kylehutson may have attended?  It was always during my busy season (annual work event or anniversary/wife's birthday weekend) so I have never been able to go.  Hoping that may change this year.

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9 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

There is a psuedo-mysterious camp in the fall in Springfield, IL ... 😁

Not very well advertised, but it must work out alright!  I believe @kylehutson may have attended?  It was always during my busy season (annual work event or anniversary/wife's birthday weekend) so I have never been able to go.  Hoping that may change this year.

I'm not the only one here. I had a game with @The Short Umpire there, met @JSam21 (though I haven't seen him here for awhile), and I'm sure there are several others I'm not recalling at the moment. Not to mention Mr. @MidAmUmp himself. I'm sure I found out about it from this site, as well.

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15 minutes ago, pl8ump1012 said:

I'm curious about this one in Springfield, IL. Googling isn't finding me much information. Can anyone provide me with more info? Thanks all!

It's the same one @wolfe_man posted above. It's been in Springfield for many years, but is moving to KC this year.

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1 minute ago, kylehutson said:

It's the same one @wolfe_man posted above. It's been in Springfield for many years, but is moving to KC this year.

Thank you for that clarification! The KC one looks like it might be my best bet. Thanks all for the info!

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I can confirm that Mid-American is a very good camp. They have a couple instructors, or at least had, who are/were current MiLB umpires. They have a couple different camps. The two-man camp is good for people who are new and want to get better. There won't be much in terms of assignors looking to hire guys from the two man but it will help you get better. I also believe they have a 3 man beginner and 3 man advanced, maybe 4 man. Those camps is mainly where the guys with jobs to give will be. I suggest you be honest about where you are at as an umpire when deciding which one to go to. 

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11 hours ago, kylehutson said:

It's the same one @wolfe_man posted above. It's been in Springfield for many years, but is moving to KC this year.

@kylehutson You got your Springfields mixed up!! 😜

@pl8ump1012 — I e-mailed the guy who puts it on (Don King).  When I get to my computer I will send you what he sent me so far (it’s not much, yet).

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I know the guy who runs the Mid-American Umpire Clinic. 🙋‍♂️
 

I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Who knows…reaching out and asking some questions about the clinic might have some financial benefit…

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  • 3 weeks later...

@kylehutson ... going to try to pick your brain one more time ...

Have you been to the Don King camp in Springfield, ILLINOIS?  😁  I was pretty sure we had discussed this one before, but maybe I'm wrong.

I just shared the flyer with @pl8ump1012 and we were looking for some input on the level, experience, etc. 

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Wait wait wait. Going to Vegas for umpiring? Blasphemy. But in all seriousness, is this a good camp? Does anyone have any first hand experience with it?

I'd really enjoy going to a true 3-4 man camp to get better at it as all the camps I have done have been 2 man.

But I will throw in my endorsement again for the Mid-American Clinic having been twice.

 

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