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  #46 (permalink)  
Old Wed Aug 24, 2011, 12:16pm
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Originally Posted by asdf View Post
Bad analogy. Most HFH volunteers are tied to the corporate world and get paid for the time they miss from work.

In addition, if a HFH volunteer cannot perform a task at hand, they are removed from said task.

Little League wants to look "big time" with their prime-time telecasts and all the "feel" of a big time event. (replay, mic-ed umpires, slo-mo cameras...etc) Having substandard umpires makes them look silly.

But then again, they have no problem with showing the whole world that they are silly.
I can only control myself and my small sphere of influence. I worked a game on ESPNU (as in U probably don't get it) this past weekend and I'd challenge anyone watching to think we were a bunch of untrained buffoons. Of course, we only had one game televised and it's possible to hide a few guys (and also disappoint a few others who were quite qualified) when you only have one game shown. When all the games are shown, you have to, IMO, tighten the requirements. BUT...

I don't think the problem improves by paying Little League umpires. You still have a selection process where local DAs make recommendations for regionals and regional UICs recommend umpires (or don't recommend umpires) for WS appointments. I know that everyone was "recommended" from my regional and I get the impression very few, if any, are "not recommended".
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old Mon Sep 05, 2011, 11:49pm
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Originally Posted by BigUmp56 View Post
LL has a pretty good training program through their regional centers, but the problem is not enough of the volunteers take advantage of the training. I've been to a half-a-dozen weekend clinics, and have attended their week long session twice. I'm fortunate in that I live only two and a half hours from the Central Region Headquarters and it isn't a huge cost for me to attend the training.

I don't think the mistakes that are made each year at the WS are any more prevalent than the mistakes we seen on the local ball fields each weekend. The mistakes are just amplified exponentially being televised nationally. I also think that we tend to be way too critical on the Internet of the mistakes these officials make in Williamsport. It can't be easy to umpire on national television.

Well put.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 08, 2011, 11:02am
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BU - they may have good training. The difference between LL and other orgs I've worked for is that LL doesn't REQUIRE participation in that training in order to work more important and more visible games. Every other org I'm associated with DOES require such training.
I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, 'I drank what?'

West Houston Mike
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 08, 2011, 11:59am
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Originally Posted by UmpTTS43 View Post
I commend the men and women working the LLWS at all age levels. They have put in the time and commitment into an avocation that I'm sure they all love. Cudos to them for getting the opportunity.

That being said, the LL system concerning umpires needs to be addressed. I could care less about the pay v no pay sitch. I would love to see LL provide more training opportunities for the umpires that choose this path in order to make them the best umpires they can be.

I am not a LL umpire. Maybe this is already the case. It just seems that the level of umpiring is not evolving at the same pace the level of play is. If LL is to be proud of their product as a whole, it should include the officials as well.
The system is being improved yearly. In the West, in order to be considered for the higher levels of tournament you must attended a week long school patterned after the pro schools (rules in AM, cage work, and field work). You are evaluated in regional tournaments and then recommended. The volunteer requirement is a component of LL that has been around since its inception..its part of the entire philosophy. Just because people want a piece of the corporate pie doesn't make it wrong for LL to expect volunteerism. Can people be dishonest and secure a spot at the Series....sure..but thats on them. If someone justifies it as "stupid" to have to be a volunteer thats fine....IMHO if you dont believe in the program...dont be a part of it....and moreover if your getting paid somewhere else why do you care? Either do your part to improve the system or dont worry about it.

People talk about the "level of umpiring" at the LL level being horrible...I see mistakes being made at ALL levels. People talk about a rating system for umpires at MLB, then when it is instituted, mistakes are made in post season. Its part of the game at ALL levels, no matter how you slice it, paid or not. Its going to take time and people wanting to get better.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old Fri Sep 09, 2011, 10:29pm
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What is disappointing is that the level of performance of umpires at the LLWS had been improving. Beginning about five our six years ago there seemed to be steady progress.

This year LL took a step backwards. The performance at the LLWS was the worst in years. Hopefully, they'll take an honest look at what they go and how they got it and do what it takes to provide the teams the best umpires rather than the best volunteers.

The best umpires deserve the LLWS. The best volunteers deserve a certificate and a thank you. Maybe a watch.
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old Sat Sep 10, 2011, 06:55am
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Originally Posted by MrUmpire View Post
The best umpires deserve the LLWS. The best volunteers deserve a certificate and a thank you. Maybe a watch.
The best umpires who volunteer for LL would be more than capable of doing the job. I think the selection process could be improved. I discuss this in the other thread. The problem is that nobody wants to be the person to say, "Thanks for your service, but I simply cannot recommend you for the next level at this time." So umpires gets recommended up the chain and we get people at WS tournaments who are over their heads.
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