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  #31 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jul 27, 2006, 01:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadeintothem
RANT ON

ASA Logos..

On EVERYTHING.

If there were ASA underwear, half this board and the umps I work with would run out and buy them.

ARe you kidding me?

Why must ASA Logo be on everything.

I had a UIC at a tourney ask me why I didnt have an ASA ball bag.

OK, My hat has ASA, my shirt has ASA... Im pretty sure everyone at the tourney grasps the fact that we are ASA..

But ASA makes us into their walking neon sign with their lame insistance on LOGOs on everything.

I made up for the fact I dont have a lame ASA ball bag by pulling out my ASA line up holder .

And guys, ASA socks are for slow pitch.
When a FP umpire is changing and I see they are wearing ASA socks.. I just shake my head. He needs a slap.

ASA underwear coming soon.. pre order your set today.. you know you want some, especially you mike.

rant off
The USSR/red ****s., the logo is on the cap, shirt and shorts. Heck, put ASA on your AS_. lol
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jul 27, 2006, 04:36pm
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My 2 cents, just to get it off my chest

I'm breaking my silence on the uniform discussions that are occassionally on the forum. I've been hesitant because I've only been certified for 4 years, but I consider myself an astute umpire/official in all of the sports I work - and one who takes appearances very seriously - I despise wearing shorts, (I only work slow pitch), and internally cringe when I meet my partner who has the ASA-diamond logo on his jacket, or is wearing an earring, or a watch, or a ballbag as the BU. I'd also like to preface my post with the following: I would never even have the incllination of secretly rolling my eyes at my UIC's direction in choice of uiniforms for any league or tournament I have ever or will ever work, and I mean no disrespect at all to anyone on the forum who has differing opinions from mine. That being said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
We don't want to be like "all the others". We want to be clearly distinguished by the uniform we wear; and it seems to work here. Powder and navy means ASA; and that is considered the best.
Technically, I don't feel powder and navy "mean" ASA. It can also mean ISF, various little league sports, etc. "ASA" means ASA. So if I was wanting to distinguish myself, I'd wear stuff that says so, as there are a multitude of uniform combinations out there in baseball and softball. But I get your point for your area.

Now I realize I haven't been doing this for anywhere near as long as most members of the forum, and that I'm probably younger than most as well (I'm 31), and I'll admit I do not know much of the history, unfortunately for me (as I'm very into officiating and team aesthetics, uniforms, history, etc.) of ASA umpire uniforms, but I'll offer what may be perceived as my young, upstart, over-influenced-by-what-I-see-on-television opinion.

It seems to me that some resistance to uniform change comes not just from personal preference for the look of one over the other, but also from simple resistance to change (in this area), in general. I understand this, as I have already developed my own opinions in certain areas in this way. But my thinking involves not just softball, but other sports as well.

For instance, when I first got into officiating basketball, the big discussion had just basically ended and it had been decided that belts were no longer acceptable for looking like a top-tier official. There was resistance. I heard about it. But it has become accepted now, to the point where it's laughable if someone wears a belt to work anything above a 7th grade game. I agree with the powers that be, in that the uniform looks better without a belt. The decade before, the collared shirt was done away with. The collared shirt came from wanting to look more formal, I assume, and was a carryover from earlier uniforms. It is now gone, and the uniform looks better for the change, in my opinion.

Pleats are a touchy subject in softball for some reason, I've discovered. Just not acceptable. I don't quite understand why, beyond people's opinions that I've read on this forum (which I respect), and tradition. In basketball, pleats are sort of still an item of discussion, but not for anyone wanting to move beyond high school. It's now just accepted that pleats are the uniform for college, etc. I think they look great (and, if I may be so bold, I think they make my skinny figure look a lot better). I also think they look great on MLB umpires - I realize that it is borderline sacrilege to reference "that" and "them," but I think most of those guys look pretty good in their pants - and contrary to what others have expressed, I feel it looks more formal, and less like leisure-wear. As far as pants go in general - most softball umpires I see working college or youth tournaments - depending on their size, build, and we'll call it "shape," tend to look like their pants are just a hair too tight. The flat-front, form-fitting navys don't do much for people that have stuff hanging over the belt, in my humble opinion. Through my somewhat "younger" eyes, it looks very dated - even when there isn't anything covering the belt buckle.

As for the blue vs. grey pants discussion, I'm on the grey side as well - when I worked my first tournament, I must admit, I was a bit surprised to see some umpires show up with powder and grey - I had never seen it before - and didn't like it - I think most of my aversion, however, was for their lack of uniformity with the rest of us, and lack of following directions(as the UIC had directed powder and navy), but as time went on, they grew on me, and now are on me from time to time - whenever the assignment permits and I know that my partner will be wearing them, anyway.

Patent shoes/belts are another no-no in softball as of now, as well - unfortunately, in my opinion. The same thing happened in basketball. And it is now near the same as the way those previous basketball discussions ended. I've heard, as the primary argument against them, that they "take away from the game" and/or "draw attention to oneself." I disagree - beyond looking at someone's shoes and thinking, "Man, those look nice. He/she looks good out there." I'm certainly not trying to draw attention to myself in basketball, and have never heard anything to that effect. I'm also not trying to draw attention to myself in softball when I take the field wearing my Honig's patents ever since they came out, and I have never heard anything to that effect on or outside of the diamond, either - other than the multiple, sincere compliments I get from players each month on how nice they look. They certainly are easier to clean - rephrase - wipe off in between games - and the shine is fairly instant when doing so. For that matter, the shine, even when getting covered in dust, is durable throughout most of the games, even though somewhat diminished, depending on the playing surface. That certainly isn't the case with normal shoes with a shine in the dust - god forbid a fresh, wet one. Some military dress uniforms require patent shoes - I don't feel that the intent is to try to draw attention to oneself. It just looks snappy. We're after the shine, right? In the end, that's what we want? That's what my shoes accomplish. And it's 1 instead of 10 minutes spent preparing them every night/in between games.

I'm not advocating or even talking about "immitating the pros," but I think that the directors of those officials' associations probably have a pretty good idea, with rational explanations, about what looks as professional as the job will allow (most of the time), and that some can, perhaps, be learned there from time to time.

Softball uniform change: I do know that softball shirts used to be button-up short sleeves. They're not anymore. I'm pretty sure that the current shirt could be made as a button-up - but it's not. I have to imagine a possible reason for that is that it's no longer seen as necessary to uphold the integrity of the uniform. (The button-ups most likely came from when umpires wore suits, and suit-shirts, I assume.)

I won't even get into the football uniform, as it just makes me giggle, in and of itself. I do hope someday soon I'm no longer wearing a collared shirt. A collar? With the rest of that get-up? I just don't see the need. But then I don't see the need for knee-highs and knickers, either, I guess. But no collar on that ridiculous outfit would be a small, but welcome change/improvement for me. The sad thing is, with as much time as I spend devoted to thinking about this stuff, I can't come up with any real improvements to that thing.

Change happens. And I'm okay with the "one softball uniform for all" argument, I suppose. I let my umpiring/officiating speak for itself - but I certainly do like giving it a headstart with a sharp uniform.

Incidentally, I was lucky enough to receive an assignment at the Men's D Slow Pitch West National in Santa Clara, CA scheduled for 8/31-9/4 (I am ecstatic, proud, and very grateful) and we are wearing powder with grey.

Last edited by HawkeyeCubP; Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 05:16pm.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jul 27, 2006, 05:22pm
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Some things to think about.

Most softball umpires cannot afford custom tailored pants.

What distinguishes ASA is the logo. I have no problem with the logo on the jacket or ball bag. The idea is to promote ASA.

The Elbeco (button-up) shirts looked bad when wet especially on an oversized umpire not wearing a t-shirt. The new shirts are easy to maintain, but the mesh is too tight and doesn't allow the air to flow through as the Mizuno ISF shirts do.

The ASA staff is moving AWAY from formal. This is reflected from the top starting with the elimination of coat and ties once worn by the NUS for clinics.

I don't care what color the uniform is, the only thing that makes it look "sharp" is the manner in which the individual wears and cares for the uniform.

For my 40 years of umpiring, my preference has always been light blue over dark, baseball or softball, balloon or inside chest protector. I will wear the uniform prescribed by the UIC, but that doesn't mean I need to support it's existence and the reason ASA has it. BTW, what I said earlier was the reason Henry gave me, it makes life easier for the guys working HS. To me, that is no reason to force others to expand their wardrobe.

Also, the UIC at a national will usually wear whatever is prevelent in the region the tournament is taking place.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jul 27, 2006, 06:13pm
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"I don't care what color the uniform is, the only thing that makes it look "sharp" is the manner in which the individual wears and cares for the uniform."

ditto!
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jul 27, 2006, 08:49pm
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Let me begin my saying that I thought Hawkeye's post was excellent!

In WV, HS mandates powder/heather grey as does our college conference (WVIAC). Because of that, most ASA uses the same. We CAN wear navy/heather in HS and college too. Almost all of our HS and college umpires are in ASA and most donate their time in Little League as well. I personally have Red, Cream and Black too and wear them in LL from time to time. (The cream looks awesome in a night game with black pants, btw.)

I also think Mike had a valid point when he pointed out that it doesn't matter what color - but how it looks. Guys that come on the field with dirty shoes, wrinkled pants, and mustard stain on their shirt should be drawn and quartered! I was critisized on another forum for taking my pants to the cleaners - but I'm too lazy to iron them myself and I want a sharp crease in them. I can usually wash them a time or two in between drycleaner visits but that's just something I choose to do so that I can look my best.

I must have missed the post where someone bought custom made pants.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 01:21am
SRW SRW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkeyeCubP
I ... internally cringe when I meet my partner who ... is wearing an earring
Now why does this bother you?
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 07:33am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRW
Now why does this bother you?
I think he means "on the field". I don't know about ASA, but I will not go on the field with a guy that has an earring in or wearing a ball bag if I'm doing HS or LL - it wouldn't happen in college - I only wear a watch if I'm doing ASA or fall ball where there's a time limit on the game.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 08:01am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaineer
I only wear a watch if I'm doing ASA or fall ball where there's a time limit on the game.
Why, doesn't you pants have pockets?
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 08:05am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRW
Now why does this bother you?
I dont know about him, but it bothers me when a man does it because it looks lame.

However, that wont prevent me from working with them.

Usually this is at a tourney and with so many games and umps rotating I dont really know how an ump could stomp his foot and say "I wont work with that guy because he looks stupid"
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 08:14am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Why, doesn't you pants have pockets?
Yep, but it seems to be standard practice around here . . . of course I don't do ASA anymore so it's a moot issue, I apologize for mentioning it.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 08:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaineer
Yep, but it seems to be standard practice around here . . . of course I don't do ASA anymore so it's a moot issue, I apologize for mentioning it.
Personally i dont think a watch on a ump looks good... so I dont wear mine.. but i've stopped even wearing my wedding ring after I saw a PU take a shot to the hand that bent in his ring and they almost had to cut the ring off but were able to get some shape back into in and get the ring off his finger.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 09:18am
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A few other topics have been added to the thread...

Umpire wearing a watch. My training has been "don't", so I don't (barring brain cramps). Besides looks, a colleague had 2 watches destroyed in the same day by collisions with softballs (they were under his jacket sleeve).

But, I don't use a watch for anything anyway, except for knowing when game time is approaching. For timed games, I use a countdown timer I keep in my pocket. I just hate doing hours-minutes math!

Umpire wearing jewelry. In games where jewelry is forbidden for players (HS, ASA JO ... yeah, I know in the latter it is umpire judgment rather than forbidden, etc.) I just don't think it looks good. I don't mean fashion; I mean a "do as I say, not as I do" appearance. Otherwise, even though I personally don't like body-piercing jewelry, I don't worry about someone else's fashion sense.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 01:56pm
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Here in Oklahoma, the navy slacks went out about the time the old "embelco"(sp) shirt did. I umpire both FP and SP and in HS FP we're allowed to wear shorts if it's still hot. I know that most HS coaches I've umpired for really don't care if I wear shorts to call their FP games in fact, the HS assigner prefers that we dress comfortable. I also know that wearing shorts in the Oklahoma heat is a lot cooler than slacks. Now for ASA championship play, our state UIC requires the heather grey slacks... Anytime we call at the HOF we always dress our finest...
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Last edited by OklahomaBlue; Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 03:03pm.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 03:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OklahomaBlue
Anytime we call at the HOF we always dress our finest...
When I worked there, it was powder over navy, no debate, no questions, no options, that was THE uniform, just like the NCAA's.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 28, 2006, 03:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OklahomaBlue
Here in Oklahoma, the navy slacks went out about the time the old "embelco"(sp) shirt did. I umpire both FP and SP and in HS FP we're allowed to wear shorts if it's still hot. I know that most HS coaches I've umpired for really don't care if I wear shorts to call their FP games in fact, the HS assigner prefers that we dress comfortable. I also know that wearing shorts in the Oklahoma heat is a lot cooler than slacks. Now for ASA championship play, our state UIC requires the heather grey slacks... Anytime we call at the HOF we always dress our finest...
Mississippi heat is no different than Oklahoma and I would never dream of wearing shorts for a FP game. We wear them for SP but when you have to wear FP gear then shorts are a no no.

Here are our standards:
Fed - Navy/Gray Standard, Powder Blue and Red shirts allowed but still over Gray Pants

ASA - Powder Blue/Gray Pants FP, Powder Blue/ Blue Shorts SP are Standard, Navy Shirt allowed also Gray pants allowed in SP if both umps are same.
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