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Old Mon Jul 25, 2005, 06:50pm
DNTXUM P DNTXUM P is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 242
I am 52 years old, have umpired fastpitch for 34 years, at reasonably high levels. I currently call NCAA Div I in addition to other levels of collegiate ball. In ASA I have worked two 18U Gold Nationals (including just last year), the Men's A, the Men's Masters 40+ (just two years ago), and will have a total of 17 ASA Nationals at the end of this year. Guess what, Josh. NO CHEST PROTECTOR, not in any ONE of those games in the last 34 years. I guess I am stupid, after making an adult decision that I am comfortable with at all times

You have every right to wear or not wear a chest protector as you see fit. But you have more than yourself to be concerned with. You have your partners, players and coaches who are also counting on you. You put them in jeopardy if you go down.

I too umpire 3 D-1 conferences as well as other levels. 2 years ago we had an ump who did not wear a chest protector (and hadn't for over 20 years) who took a shot to the ribs and broke 2. He left his partners and the teams short handed for the remainder of the series. It wasn't fair to any of the participants.

After that incident, our coordinator issued a memorandium that it was mandatory that all umpires wear chest protectors or they would not be allowed to call in that conference.

I would also be more concerned for any umpire who does not at least wear a protector that does not cover the heart. All it takes is one shot directly to the heart to stop it from beating, and you can never tell when that foul ball comes up and gets you.

Might I suggest the new Schutt protector that they had at last years 18 gold with the cool gel packs to help with the heat or at least the Hoenig's protector that covers the heart area but little else.
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