By Bill Roth
It might be the coldest days of the winter thus far but already we can faintly hear in the background, “Com-on blue”! A holler from the stands coming from the fan, parent or coach on a warm spring day who believes they have a better view of the pitch or play than the umpire. And, not long from these blustery cold days, will the once again time hardened tradition of second-guessing the umpire be in full swing. It matters not the sport, as fans of all ages always know more than the official on the court or field. However, with the NFL as example, fall 2012 gave us a snapshot of life without trained officials of a game, showing the fairness of the contest comes in question.
So every spring, amid the fresh cut grass, those brave few dust off their equipment, find earplugs and take to the field to umpire for America’s pastime, baseball. For this upcoming spring season, Upper Loudoun Little League (ULLL) is in need of adding to our umpire crew. Needed are kids 13 years of age or older as well as adults of any age. ULLL provides training to all those who step forward so they fully understand the rules and nuances of the game. And, in the end, it is a rewarding experience, an enjoyable two hours of your time. The players appreciate your time and expertise and the coaches realize how hard you work. Even those bellowing fans from the sidelines that earlier in the game could see better than you, are there at the end with a “Good job blue”.
Not only does your service to our community provide a healthy environment in which children can learn teamwork and sportsmanship along with the great game of baseball, but the umpire skills you learn can help you move on to a larger venue if you choose. The time put into learning the mechanics of the game gives you possibilities outside of Little League baseball. Umpiring gives you job skills, management training as well as upon occasion the good fortune to carry it to a national level for either youth or paid players. Quite a few of our current and former umpires have gone on to officiate high school, college, and semi-pro baseball.
So, if you believe you have what it takes to be an umpire, Upper Loudoun Little League wants to hear from you! Training clinics will begin in February and March. Check out the information about upcoming instruction on our web site, www.ulll.org or email the Umpire in Chief, Bill Roth, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Com’on, Play Ball!