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Recruiting Volunteer Umpires

One of the many responsibilities of the local league’s Umpire-in-Chief (UIC) is to recruit volunteer umpires for the current season.

Every year the local league will lose some of their umpires through normal attrition. Now is the time to start the process of identifying, recruiting and training new umpires for your league.

As a league UIC, it is imperative that you are included in the registration process of your league. Many registrations are completed on-line, but at some point, the parents need to attend a registration day, with the local league personnel, to prove eligibility for their child. The league UIC must be a part of that registration day.

The league UIC should be in full uniform and have a table where the parent is required to stop and fill out a volunteer application form indicating how they can be a participating member and help the league. At that time, the UIC can explain why it is so important to have a volunteer umpire program. He/she can explain how they will be trained and mentored to help them through the process.

Advertizing in the local papers, websites, and placing fliers at the local league is also a way to solicit new volunteers. The UIC can also recruit at league meetings, tryouts and practices.

Other suggested ways to recruit volunteer umpires are:

· Find people who love the game or show interest.

· Go to service clubs or fraternal organizations

· Use military personnel if available in your area

· Advertize with local TV and radio stations with PSA’s

· Contact youth groups such as Boy Scouts etc.

· Convert paid umpires by telling them about post season assignments

· Contact Senior Citizens centers

· Contact service clubs such as 20/30

· Contact local police and fire department personnel

· Create a Junior Umpire Program

· Contact High School for community service projects

· Use parents from the stands

· Have each team provide an umpire for their games (have an experienced umpire there to mentor and answer questions)

· Use managers, coaches and former managers and coaches.

There a more options than suggested above and might be different in your area. Be proactive and do not give up. Many umpires started their vocation by being pulled out of the stands. Many stayed with the program even when their children aged out. It is very important when you get your volunteers, make sure your board supports and rewards them.

Bill Carter
Western Region Umpire-in-Chief