Little League Central Region: Umpires

Friday, January 25
2013 Regional Umpire Selections

The Central Region Staff would like to thank all of the volunteer umpires who applied this year. We recieved hundreds of applications in total. We encourage those who were not selected to continue their volunteership and dedicated service to their local leagues,to explore the possiblity of attending one of our Clinics or our Umpire School, and to re-apply next year.

 We would like to congratulate those who have been selected to a Central Region Tournament. Best of luck to all the volunteers in the Central Region for a safe and successful 2013 season.

Little League Baseball Regional Tournament - Indianapolis, IN
Dan Minervini IL 11
Michael Solomon IN 3
Rick Carter IN 1
Derrick Akers KY 7
Edwin Simmons MI 2
Gregory Nezamis MI 15
Jeff Pruitt MN 1
Kelly Dine OH 3
Douglas Ebright OH 10
David Zrubek OH 1
Samuel King WI 6
Timothy Shaw WI 4
Intermediate Baseball Regional Tournament - Milwood, MI
Steve Genia MN 4
Chet Cooper OH 2
Brian Hollowell IN 14
Thomas Sauer IN 8
Junior Baseball Regional Tournament - Fort Wayne, IN
Gerald Lowe IL 17
Bob Cass IN 7
Roy Turley KY 3
Patrick Griffin MI 2
William Crandall MI 6
Rich Fronheiser WI 4
Senior Baseball Regional Tournament - Peru, IL
Dan Wieczorek IL 20
Anthony Calcagno IL 11
Rodger Griffith IL 19
Patrick Korando IN 7
Nicholas Boylan IN 10
Allen Riley KY 2
Eddie Parrott KY 5
Mark Eickmann MI 6
James Hinojosa MI 5
Big League Baseball Regional Tournament - Wyoming, MI
Dave Davis IN 5
John Ruscinski MI 6
Steven Kurkowski WI 6
Gregory Wright IN 7
Little League Softball Regional Tournament - Indianapolis, IN
David Ducat IL 6
Rick Castle IA 2
Scott Strache IL 8
Kerry Cripe IN 14
Michelle LaFreniere IN 1
Dale Wood IN 3
Todd Maki MI 11
Barney Sprague MI 5
Ignacio Magbuhat N/SD 1
Richard L. Randall Jr. OH 2
Junior Softball Regional Tournament - Akron, OH
Jim Liston IL 11
Raymond Ellis IN 5
Merrill E. Grayson IN 8
Van Gadberry KY 3
Senior Softball Regional Tournament - South Bend, IN
Kori Farr IN 5
Justin Farr IN 5
Robert "Rick" Moore IN 3
Larry Klimek MI 6
Robert Cain II MI 5
Big League Softball Regional Tournament - Elgin, IL
Brian Doughty IL 20
Diane Wagner IN 2

Friday, October 10
Umpires: Volunteer vs. Paid
Volunteer Umpires

From the September 2008 Fair Ball Newsletter  

Volunteer vs. Paid

By Jim Smith
Pennsylvania District 22

Many Little Leagues now pay umpires for doing games. Some even use an association to assign umpires.

Many leagues claim that they cannot find qualified volunteers to help. While others think that it is easier to pay the umpires, because it is one less thing to worry about while running a program.

When leagues compensate umpires, they do not have the responsibility of scheduling and training, and when parents or coaches complain about the umpires’ performance, they either say, “That’s what “The Do Good Umpires Association” provided” or someone calls the president of the association and the umpire is no longer assigned to that league’s games. 

The financial cost of paying umpires is usually passed on to the parents of the players in the yearly registration fee. When divided among a couple hundred parents, the cost may not seem high.
While these are valid points, many leagues do not see the ramifications of compensating men and women and even sometimes children for umpiring games.

How is it that leagues can find volunteers to coach and work in the snack stand, but cannot find volunteers to umpire? Or better yet, if we are willing to pay umpires, why are we not paying the coaches and the poor people that are toiling in the concession stand? They appear to be working harder than the umpires! 

If I was a coach, and the umpires were getting paid, I would want to get paid too! I have to deal with telephone calls, practices, games, and daddy telling me that his son should start every game and bat clean-up. The umpire shows up usually ten minutes before game time, asks me what the rules are, has a “barn door” strike zone, and leaves after rushing a game through in 90 minutes, with $50 in his pocket.

As a coach, I am consoling players who could not hit those two feet outside pitches, mom is screaming at me because her little darling Johnny did not play the whole game, and I have to rake the field. .  
When it comes to training umpires, most paid associations recruit their umpires by word of mouth. Charlie has a friend who is looking to make a quick buck, part time. Charlie calls his friend, and next week Charlie’s buddy is umpiring Little League games, with no training. The day after umpiring his first Little League game, Charlie’s friend is umpiring a recreation league game. Five on-deck batters are swinging bats all over the place; coaches are screaming at him saying, “I cannot believe they pay you!,” and every pitch is an adventure.

Although most associations, particularly the high school associations have some type of rules training, and several meetings, they do not know Little League rules and few have mechanics clinics.  
Some of the dangers of compensating ANYONE for service that should be rendered by a volunteer are:
1. Worker’s Compensation laws.
2. Internal Revenue Service regulations
3. State income tax laws.
4. Little or no control over paid umpires in an association.

It is a fallacy to believe that paid umpires are better than volunteers. Volunteer umpires can be recruited the same way coaches are obtained. Advertisements in local newspapers can be helpful. During player registration is an excellent time to obtain volunteer umpires. Offer to train them through the District.

Set aside some monies and send them to one of the excellent umpire schools at the Region or Little League International. Compensate them by providing umpire caps or shirts or pins. Provide umpire equipment that the umpire can borrow. Maybe after a few years, give that equipment to the dedicated volunteer.

Assign some veteran umpires with newer ones. Set up a league umpires association or encourage your umpires to join a District or State Little League umpires association.

Don’t get me wrong. I like to have some extra money in my pocket. Heck, sometimes I need it. I umpire recreation, high school and men’s league games. But that is a job. Most of the time, my partner cannot wait to get out of there, grab the money and run.

When I umpire Little League games, there is nothing more gratifying than volunteering, giving back to my community, and having fun with other umpires, who are in it for the same reason that you are: to have fun and help children. That is my vocation - A Volunteer Little League umpire. 

Wednesday, September 12
Where Are All the Volunteer Umpires?
Umpire Mechanics

Every year local leagues have elections, organizational meetings, registrations, drafts, etc.. Then, a week before the season starts someone asks, “What about umpires?” 

 Click on the above link for some items leagues should think about in building a viable volunteer umpire program. The information provided will give each league a way to build a successful volunteer umpire program: From the need to have a league umpire-in-chief on the board of directors to how to keep them once you get them in the program and trained to be efficient, competent umpires.

Umpire's Role in Little League
Great Call
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Often an overlooked aspect of the Little League program, umpiring is one of the most important. The volunteer umpire is as much a part of Little League as the volunteer manager, coach or concession stand worker. Click on the headline above for additional information.