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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 02:50pm
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ASA National Umpire School

I have an opportunity to attend this National Umpire School in Nebraska. I have never attended a National School before. I have umpired for about 16 years. It is 25 miles away. I believe I have read on this forum that they are a great experience. Just wondered what everyones' feelings are on this. Here is the staff: Jim Craig from Amherst NY, Dave Epperson from Topeka KS, and Walt Sparks from San Antonio TX. Thanks, Dave

Last edited by shipwreck; Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:52pm.
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 03:08pm
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
I have an opportunity to attend this National Umpire School in Nebraska. I have never attended a National School before. I have umpired for about 16 years. It is 25 miles away. I believe I have read on this forum that they are a great experience. Just wondered what everyones' feelings are on this. Here is the staff: Jim Craig from Amherst NY, Dave Epperson from Topeka KS, and Walt Sparks from San Antonio TX. Thanks, Dave
The experience is up to the individual's expectations. A lot may also depend on how many umpires there are allowed.

Assuming there is around 75 attendees, you have a decent staff and will get out of this as much as you are willing to put in.

I strongly suggest that you stay in the hotel with the other attendees. As much will go on there in the hospitality rooms as will in the classes.
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 03:08pm
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If you get the chance to go to a NUS near you, do it. They're a good experience for all umpires.
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 03:21pm
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Agree with the above comments. My only gripe about the one I attended was that there were several rookie umpires there and that drug it down, due to having to spend extra time with some basics. All in all great experience!

Can anyone offer info on the Fast Pitch Camp? Thinking about applying for the one in OKC in June. $400 is alot to fork out if enrollment isn't somewhat controlled.

Thanks
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 03:46pm
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Originally Posted by Dholloway1962 View Post
Agree with the above comments. My only gripe about the one I attended was that there were several rookie umpires there and that drug it down, due to having to spend extra time with some basics. All in all great experience!

Can anyone offer info on the Fast Pitch Camp? Thinking about applying for the one in OKC in June. $400 is alot to fork out if enrollment isn't somewhat controlled.

Thanks
My understanding is you're looking at a minimum of $800 - $400 for the camp and $400 for lodging. Plus incidentals it will probably go over $1000.

With that said, I have heard nothing but great comments about the Advanced FP Camp. I'm told that if you go there with the expectation of it being one of the best learning experiences of your life, it will be. It is a great opportunity and if you have the vacation time, and the $, it is well worth the investment. I hope to attend the camp in the near future.
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 03:49pm
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NUS is a good experience. I too would like to go to a FP Camp. I agree about staying at the Hotel with the other NUS folk.
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 03:56pm
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
I have an opportunity to attend this National Umpire School in Nebraska. I have never attended a National School before. I have umpired for about 16 years. It is 25 miles away. I believe I have read on this forum that they are a great experience. Just wondered what everyones' feelings are on this. Here is the staff: Jim Craig from Amherst NY, Dave Epperson from Topeka KS, and Walt Sparks from San Antonio TX. Thanks, Dave
I attended the District 11 school this spring in Morehead, MN. It was the fourth time I attended a National School. Morehead was hosting a SP national, so a large percentage of the attendees were SP only umpires.

As a FP only umpire, I was concerned that I would be wasting my time. On the contrary. Bad mechanics were pointed out and cleaned up. Good mechanics were polished.

Plus, since there were also a number of 'newer' umpires, I was used as a student instructor. That was kind of cool to be 'recognized' by the national staff members and also to be helping newer umpires learn the ropes a little.

Like Mike said, you will get out of it what you put into it.
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 04:41pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
I have an opportunity to attend this National Umpire School in Nebraska. I have never attended a National School before. I have umpired for about 16 years. It is 25 miles away. I believe I have read on this forum that they are a great experience. Just wondered what everyones' feelings are on this. Here is the staff: Jim Craig from Amherst NY, Dave Epperson from Topeka KS, and Walt Sparks from San Antonio TX. Thanks, Dave
Just want to add that all three you named are excellent technicians, excellent clinicians, and great individuals to work with. If you dislike any of the three at this school, I would almost have to say it was you, not them.
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 04:42pm
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I've attended several and they are a great experience.

I've been taught by all three of the staff members you'll have an you'll learn a great deal from them. I do agree that you will get out of it what you put in...but that's umpiring. And I also agree that staying in the host hotel will make the experience that much better.

Good luck!
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Old Tue Nov 11, 2008, 04:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dholloway1962 View Post
Agree with the above comments. My only gripe about the one I attended was that there were several rookie umpires there and that drug it down, due to having to spend extra time with some basics. All in all great experience!

Can anyone offer info on the Fast Pitch Camp? Thinking about applying for the one in OKC in June. $400 is alot to fork out if enrollment isn't somewhat controlled.

Thanks
You will find that, like many umpire schools, there will be some that are over there head and slow you down at times. But, overall, this is a much more intensive class with individualized instruction from the upper tier. When you leave, you will know it was worth it.

SRW on this board did it two springs ago (2007) in Cumming, GA; I think he can add a lot of personal experience. I last did it in 2001 in Killeen, TX, but also helped and audited part of the 2007. I have been told the 2008 camp (also in Cumming, GA) had fewer unprepared umpires.

Also, there is no better way to get on the radar of the top tier of the NUS in ASA. This will get you excellent consideration for whatever your next tier might be in ASA Nationals.
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Last edited by AtlUmpSteve; Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 04:49pm. Reason: Added info
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Old Wed Nov 12, 2008, 10:59am
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To counter all the "Hooray" posts I offer this negative one. Well, maybe not negative, but more "cautionary."

Unless the clinic is in your area, you are going to spend $200 - $300 for fees, travel, lodging, meals, etc. That is a lot of games to work for free IF you don't get value from the clinic.

I attended one clinic several years ago; I was so angry at it that I left and went home a day early. Too bad I didn't have this post to guide me back then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
The experience is up to the individual's expectations. A lot may also depend on how many umpires there are allowed.

Assuming there is around 75 attendees, you have a decent staff and will get out of this as much as you are willing to put in.
1. Expectations. You get your early training at ASA District and State Clinics, then (rightfully) assume you can really advance by attending a national clinic. But if too many rookies drag down the clinic, what you receive is going to be less than anticipated. You have to temper your expectations, and be satisfied with the few nuggets of new and valuable information and techniques that you did not know before.

2. Number of attendees. NUS recommends an attendee/clinician ration of 25:1. The clinic I attended had over 50:1. That is a lot less reps you will get in the mechanics drills. I can remember leaving a line, going to the restroom, and returning to my place in line still not near the training station. You might want to hold off registering until the last minute and see if you can find out how may registrations they have.

The problem is not ASA or the NUS, but the local organization that is hosting the clinic. The clinic I attended drew attendees from a 150 mi radius; they were experienced umpires willing to spend some buck to learn more. But the majority of attendees were from the local area, and several of them were first year umpires. The local association was using the NUS for their training that year!

I suspect that sponsoring a NUS is a fund raising endeavor for the host organization. The more attendees, the more money raised. They should be forced to either cut off registrations when they reach the 25:1 ratio - or hire additional clinicians. If they don't, you get buried in the numbers!

Be cautious.

WMB
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Old Wed Nov 12, 2008, 11:43am
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This one is open to the first 125 paid registrations. If it fills up, and since there are 3 clinicians scheduled to be there, that is about a 40-1 ratio. If it fills up that seems like they will be spread pretty slim. Dave
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Old Wed Nov 12, 2008, 11:49am
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Originally Posted by WestMichBlue View Post
To counter all the "Hooray" posts I offer this negative one. Well, maybe not negative, but more "cautionary."

Unless the clinic is in your area, you are going to spend $200 - $300 for fees, travel, lodging, meals, etc. That is a lot of games to work for free IF you don't get value from the clinic.

I attended one clinic several years ago; I was so angry at it that I left and went home a day early. Too bad I didn't have this post to guide me back then.



1. Expectations. You get your early training at ASA District and State Clinics, then (rightfully) assume you can really advance by attending a national clinic. But if too many rookies drag down the clinic, what you receive is going to be less than anticipated. You have to temper your expectations, and be satisfied with the few nuggets of new and valuable information and techniques that you did not know before.

2. Number of attendees. NUS recommends an attendee/clinician ration of 25:1. The clinic I attended had over 50:1. That is a lot less reps you will get in the mechanics drills. I can remember leaving a line, going to the restroom, and returning to my place in line still not near the training station. You might want to hold off registering until the last minute and see if you can find out how may registrations they have.

The problem is not ASA or the NUS, but the local organization that is hosting the clinic. The clinic I attended drew attendees from a 150 mi radius; they were experienced umpires willing to spend some buck to learn more. But the majority of attendees were from the local area, and several of them were first year umpires. The local association was using the NUS for their training that year!

I suspect that sponsoring a NUS is a fund raising endeavor for the host organization. The more attendees, the more money raised. They should be forced to either cut off registrations when they reach the 25:1 ratio - or hire additional clinicians. If they don't, you get buried in the numbers!

Be cautious.

WMB
I knew this post was coming and there is nothing inaccurate about it. Everything is correct. Too many schools are used as training for umpires who are not at this level yet which is a bad thing. The problem should be addressed locally and if a newer umpire is in attendence, they should be instructed to keep their ears open and mouths shut. Any questions should be taken aside.

It is not that they shouldn't be addressed, but addressed at a time that will not drag down the training for the experienced umpires.

ASA should demand the limit be met and there is no reason to not. At one point in time, National schools were rotated among the regions. Now, a region can hold a schools any year they please as long as the NUS can accommodate them. If an area has that much of a demand, they can easily restrict the number of attendees and conduct another school the following year.

The money thing is somewhat of an issue, but you also need to understand that the school must at least break even. If they can get enough help from local hotels, restaurants & venues, that is a big plus.
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Old Wed Nov 12, 2008, 02:51pm
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
SRW on this board did it two springs ago (2007) in Cumming, GA; I think he can add a lot of personal experience.
My personal experience:
It was hot.
It was muggy.
I like sweet tea.
I no longer have a straight back.

Here's my recap of the class back in 2007.

And I thought I posted the 15 things I learned from the school on this board back in 2007, but I can't find it via search. It did get published in our Umpire Newsletter, though... and is linked here on page 5.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
Also, there is no better way to get on the radar of the top tier of the NUS in ASA. This will get you excellent consideration for whatever your next tier might be in ASA Nationals.
This is so true.
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Old Wed Nov 12, 2008, 05:41pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
I Too many schools are used as training for umpires who are not at this level yet which is a bad thing. The problem should be addressed locally and if a newer umpire is in attendence, they should be instructed to keep their ears open and mouths shut. Any questions should be taken aside.

It is not that they shouldn't be addressed, but addressed at a time that will not drag down the training for the experienced umpires.

ASA should demand the limit be met and there is no reason to not. At one point in time, National schools were rotated among the regions. Now, a region can hold a schools any year they please as long as the NUS can accommodate them. If an area has that much of a demand, they can easily restrict the number of attendees and conduct another school the following year.

The money thing is somewhat of an issue, but you also need to understand that the school must at least break even. If they can get enough help from local hotels, restaurants & venues, that is a big plus.
Looks like everyone needs a State School like Delaware.
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