I work with a lot of umpires. I put myself in the good umpire category (not the great umpire category). I think I am still too inconsistent across the board and I haven’t mastered angles and being in the right positions, etc etc etc. But I work at it and immerse myself in the rules, and look up everything..which brings me to the guys that don’t.
How do you put yourself out there without being prepared? How can you go on the field knowing that there might be things that come up that you don’t understand – when it’s your job to understand them? I guess, to a degree, I fall into that category myself on some of the more esoteric calls – but I’m talking basic stuff, with umpires that work sub-varsity or even varsity.
A few examples…
– Middle school game and my parter, on a routine ground ball to shortstop where the runner runs into him, wants to call “fielder interference” because the fielder was fielding the ball in the “baseline”….does it get more basic that that??
– just last night an umpire – who is varsity carded – was explaining how he had observed obstruction, called the runner out, and then waitied for an appeal from the OC before enforcing the obstruction
– Little league intown playoff game. Paid umpire calls runner OUT for leaving early. Amazingly no one was able to get it overturned on the field. Granted little league is not this guy’s main gig, but the point of the whole post is – how do you put yourself out there without touching up on the most basic stuff.