Posts Tagged ‘umpires’

   Follow in the path of Jim (left) and Joel Wheat and embrace the umpire lifestyle. (Connie Lippo photo)

Everyone thinks they can umpire.

At least that’s the impression one gets sitting in the stands.

Well, now’s your time to put up or shut up, as District 11, which includes Central Whidbey, is in need of umpires for little league season.

If you’re interested in joining the ranks of the men (and women) in blue, or are already an ump and want to refine your skills, the district is hosting a clinic Sunday, Mar. 18 in Anacortes.

It will run from 8 AM to 5 PM at Marguerite and Don Daniels Field (1915 13th Street).

This event is specifically designed for juniors umpires (players ages 10-18) to learn proper mechanics in a setting with their peers.

Western Region instructors and Regional/World Series umpires will be on hand to run the clinic.

If you’re planning to attend, they request you RSVP, so they can plan how many lunches they’ll need to provide.

Cost is $8.00 for the day and will be paid on arrival.

To RSVP, or for any questions, contact Bill Kosmas at strike_3@rocketmail.com or 360-770-6755.

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(John Fisken photo)

She’s ready to play. Will you be there to help her? (John Fisken photo)

Want to be at the heart of things?

Then the Central Whidbey Little League would love to hear from you.

Whether you have a few hours here and there or are looking for a way to fill your days, the all-volunteer organization is in big need of a helping hand.

What they’re especially looking for are people interested in being umpires, score-keepers or announcers.

The best part? Whether you have a lifetime of experience or absolutely no prior training, they will work with you to get you up to speed.

Interested volunteers will be taken through training and given support every step of the way, said Jim Wheat, the former Coupeville High School softball coach who is the league’s Umpire in Charge.

“We never just throw a guy or gal out there,” Wheat said with a laugh. “We make sure they have all the help they need to be prepared.

“And we can tailor it to what each person wants to do,” he added. “You want to be the plate ump at some point, we can get you there.

“But if you just want to stay in the infield, man the bases, I’ll help make you the best second base ump in the game.”

Games begin April 1 and the season is seven weeks long. Postseason play can stretch out through July, with all volunteers given a choice of how much time they want to devote.

That makes it perfect both for the parent who wants to be closely involved in their child’s sport, but may be limited on time, and for retirees with more flexible schedules.

Without the running that comes with other reffing jobs, such as basketball and soccer, baseball is also tailor-made to be umpired by a wide range of ages and mobility.

“I have one guy who umpires from a (mechanical) cart and he does a really great job,” Wheat said.

He also stressed the league, which has sent both baseball and softball teams to the state tourney in recent years, would love to draw both male and female volunteers.

“It’s a great way to give back to the community, whether you have children who are currently involved or not,” Wheat said. “Little League as a national organization has been huge in a lot of our lives over the years, and those kids wouldn’t have had the opportunity without all the people who volunteer their time.”

If you’re interested, email Wheat at cwllumpire@gmail.com and he will fill you in on the details and transfer a spark from his own raging passion for the game onto you.

Plus, always remember, little league umps almost always get fed while they’re working.

“Work for that (hot)dog!,” Wheat said with another big laugh. “That’s what they say in the umpire world.”

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