Umpires and Officials in all Sports

Discussion in 'General Softball' started by Bulldawg22, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Bulldawg22

    Bulldawg22 New Member

    As the head of a Travel softball organization my fear is that if something isn’t done soon we will not have our sport. The men and women who we refer to as Blue are becoming fewer and fewer each travel season. And the really good ones are harder to find these days. And it’s not just our sport it’s an epidemic across all sports. What’s really sad to me is most of official do the job because of there love of the sport and the kids. Yes it’s a nice way to earn a little money but they’re not getting rich doing it. So why is it ok for us to scream and belittle them to the point that they lose there love of the game. Yes I’ve been that parent who had a big mouth and disagreed with a call from time to time. But I have never threaten or approached an official after a game. That kind of crap is going on and it’s not acceptable at all. These umpires put there pants on one leg at a time and they have families just like all of us and they deserve respect. They are going to miss calls they are going to make mistakes they are human just like you and me. When they go through there training they don’t come out perfect it takes years to become a great official. And we are chasing off the great ones so the young ones do not have the example of a great one to learn from. So now you have more missed calls. Our behavior at the field should be setting an example for our kids to learn how to be respectful not hateful. Our policy with in our organization is only the head coach should be speaking to the umpires durning the game. Parents need to be there supporting the there daughter and the team. Players need to be respectful if an umpire makes conversation then they reply in a polite manner. I don’t want to be the reason future generation don’t get to play this sport. Do you want that label? I could go on forever about this subject but I’m hoping that other coaches, Tournment Directors, parents, player,and official will put there two cents in on this. Let’s do something together to make a change for the good of youth sports.
    daboss, OhPhat, Davemy and 3 others like this.
  2. mroby5172

    mroby5172 Active Member

    Very nicely a parent of children in multiple sports as well as "Blue", I can appreciate everything you say. I have as a parent also disagreed with calls and you can make it known but it is still a game and taking it too far is unacceptable. As "Blue", I do not tolerate such behavior, I have a very informative pregame meeting and will only speak to manager or head coach, anyone else is tossed right away and I will not tolerate judgment calls. Also, as an umpire, it is frustrating to have tournaments that only use one umpire per game, it not only opens up the door for missed calls, but if you expect the one umpire to do the work of two then they should be better compensated....
  3. City Slicker

    City Slicker Member

    If you don't stand up and yell at the waitress when she brings out cold food, why would you yell at an umpire doing his job?
  4. Mdfio

    Mdfio Active Member

    These are all great points and we all should be explaining them to our teams, players and parents.

    When my oldest was playing there were maybe 60 14u travel teams in the state, in the last 5-8 years travel ball as well as all travel sports has blown up, now there are about 300 “travel” teams in 14u. With that being said you used to have one of every 3 Blues that were experienced. Now that ratio is probably 1 out of ten due to the demand. There seem to be many new blues available but they just dont have the experience yet. And as parents/coaches we need to understand that.

    We had players always complaining about umpires when we were younger. Well one day at practice I had each of them ump a game and that excercise got them to understand just how difficult the job is. Since that day no one has complained about an ump.

    Again just my opinion and 2 cents
  5. Long Baller

    Long Baller Active Member

    I always try to make a point to thank the umps after the game, and if they called a good game I let them know it. If they called a really bad game, then I just don't say anything.

    My oldest keeps bringing up that she wants to start umpiring games, and start off with the local rec league stuff this season if she has the time. I keep telling her that she absolutely, positively, doesn't want to have anything to do with umpiring!
  6. travelball

    travelball New Member

    As a softball/baseball dad and a baseball coach, I do not think it is ever acceptable to belittle anyone. That being said, there is a way to get your point across. Over the years I've been an observer of the right way and the wrong way of dealing with the occasional "less talented" umpire. Personal attacks are never acceptable. They are human, and do make human mistakes. These should definitely be pointed out to them in a most civil way. I'm sure a good umpire can appreciate that type of interaction. An umpire, referee, judge should have a thick enough skin to handle a bit of static when there are some close calls, or possible blown calls. BUT, as coaches we must be respectable and not just cry about every ball/strike or other close play that doesn't go our way. I really don't like seeing coaches getting huffy with officials for the smallest things. It sends a poor message to the kids and it's flat out disrespectful to the officials and to the sport. If you don't like the quality of officiating, let them know in a polite way and maybe it will change.
    mroby5172 and Bulldawg22 like this.
  7. travelball

    travelball New Member

    Oh...and parents please don't try to carry the torch for the team. More times than now the coach knows what he's doing. Don't embarrass your kids.
  8. daboss

    daboss Active Member

    I'd like to add some food for thought to the original post on this topic that I believe is wonderful, thank you Bulldawg22,

    I have mentioned in many posts if you don't like the cost of playing ball, wait till we start to struggle for officials (umpires) and need to start throwing money at the problem. Nowadays, most people don't do things for passion. They want compensated for everything. Volunteers like ourselves are becoming a rarity in today's world. As mentioned, umpires are not getting rich. In many cases they barely make enough to cover expenses. Throw enough money at it and the problem of numbers will get better. All that'll be left is quality of officiating. Just like in the real world you'll have those that'll hone their skills and rise to the top. Others will simply put their time in and collect their money.

    How can we rectify the problem? My guess is it is too late. It only takes a handful of bad ones to ruin it for everyone. In a post above you'll read a parent encouraging one of their own to not pursue umpiring. They are doing that because they are concerned for their personal well-being. My gut tells me they don't believe there is enough money in the world to subject them to the abuse brought on from the experience.

    I haven't been involved in baseball for many years at any level due to my personal choice to not surround myself with people being so belligerent to the umpires at almost every pitch. In the beginning of women's fastpitch, there seem to be an unwritten code of ethics that umpires be treated with respect. Calls were argued rationally in private conferences at the plate, away from listening ears of the spectators. Once settled, coaches walked back without open displays of cussing, yelling, kicking dirt, and derogatory name calling. The baseball mentality wasn't welcome. Even spectators would mindfully tell others that kind of behavior wasn't welcome in this sport at any level.

    Unfortunately; this stuff has leaked into the sport and coaches in today's fastpitch have been a major contributing factor. We shot ourselves in the foot! All eyes are on us when we come out of the dugout. Our own actions have helped promote some or most of the problem.

    How can we fix it? In today's world the easiest way is to throw money at it. And when the cost is too high or you've had enough, there's always s*cc*r. I hate writing this but fear many will agree with me. I'm sorry.......
    mroby5172, Bulldawg22 and Long Baller like this.
  9. Dale Brigger

    Dale Brigger New Member

    My daughter is a catcher and she understands it is very important to introduce herself at the start of every game and to thank the umpire at the end of every game. That being said, she does get frustrated with some of the calls both behind the plate and at the plate. She also understands that sometime you just can't do anything about it and just walk off and shake your head about it. We are careful to never dwell on a bad call, but it is also teaching her to be more aggressive when hitting and to become an overall defensive catcher by framing and causing the umpire to think about the call another half second. Inconsistency is the biggest problem I have seen. Everyone has their own strike zone and as long as it is consistent, you can adjust to it. I believe it will get worse before it gets better, both the consistency and the number of overall officials for games, because of the number of people that love to scream at them. When I was coaching, I never (in 18 years) called out an umpire in the middle of the game. It is disrespectful to both your team and the umpire. Many times though I would go to him/her in between innings and quietly let them know they blew a call or that their strike zone left a lot to be desired. The discussion never became heated and I let it go at that and so did they. Sometimes the calls got better. Sometimes I got a close call to go my way later in the game. Never did we ever have bad feeling after the game and my teams always understood that one or two "bad" calls did not cost us the game. It's about respect and when you continue to add more and more people to the mix and water down the teams and coaching ability, you will, by default, add more disrespectful people to the game. Its a shame, but it is the state of everything right now. Everyone wants to have their way and if they don't get it, they scream and threaten. I have often thought of being an umpire for baseball, but my skin isn't thick enough lol.
    daboss and mroby5172 like this.
  10. Run26

    Run26 Active Member

    Not even professional umpires/referees can get it right without the help of instant replay. How can we expect a weekend Joe to get everything right? Until you've actually performed in their shoes (and see how hard it is) then we all have no right to berate an official. Are we going to agree with every call, no. I don't agree with everything parents do either but you don't see me kicking dirt on them.

    Also, it's usually the worst parents that complain. Just sit back and enjoy the "game". You are embarrassing your kid.

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