Flip the Field: Former Little League® Coaches Have What It Takes to Become Effective Volunteer Umpires
By Mark Bernstein
Western Region Umpire-in-Chief
Like umpires, managers and coaches take time to hone their craft. You train and wear many hats. You are responsible for being positive role models to the young men and woman under your charge, and you go through training and strive to be the best leaders possible.
There are plenty of parallels between coaching and umpiring. During the season, managers and coaches spend as much time with our children as they do with their parents. Umpires are a close second.
Too often, current or former Little League managers and coaches don't envision themselves as potentially great volunteer umpires. A 180-degree swing of perspective can quickly change that.
Let's break it down. Managers and coaches know the game; they have some degree of rules knowledge; they’ve watched the volunteer umpires in their league; they know the participants and almost everyone in the community; they know the league; they are well respected; and they understand the ultimate purpose of the program. Sounds like a great umpire candidate doesn't it?
Managers and coaches may feel they don't have the time or the desire to umpire. But, many leagues could not supply volunteer umpires if it were not for managers and coaches stepping into the role. So, it’s crucial to the success of local leagues for coaches to consider umpiring.
The benefits of umpiring are many, and include: remaining active in a league; continuing to be an influential role model in the community; and enjoying the opportunities to umpire in District, Section, State, Regional and World Series tournaments. Above all, the most impactful aspect of becoming a Little League umpire is the ability to keep good, solid, respected, and dedicated volunteers in the program and that can only benefit all Little Leaguers®.
So, if your managing or coaching days are waning or you want to see what “the other side” has to offer, give umpiring a try. We need you, we want you and we respect your desire to remain in the program and continue to leave a positive mark on the community.