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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Fairball Newsletters > 2010 > Fairball - July 2010 > Little League has Served as a Feeder System for Higher-Level Baseball and Softball Umpires From its Early Years.

Little League has Served as a Feeder System for Higher-Level Baseball and Softball Umpires From its Early Years.

Once these umpires have attained a certain level of competence, they enter the world of high school ball, college ball, and even the professional ranks.  These umpires find that the skills and knowledge they have obtained have a marketable value and many make a nice side income from their talents.  Sadly, however, once these men and women have the taste of profit in their mouths, it is difficult to regain their services without a monetary cost.

Pro bono publico (usually shortened to pro bono) is a phrase derived from Latin meaning “for the public good.” The term is generally used to describe professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment as a public service. It is common in the legal profession and is increasingly seen in marketing, technology, and strategy consulting firms. Pro bono service, unlike traditional volunteerism, uses the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them.

Umpires who have moved up the ranks to higher levels of ball, generally associate their work with professionalism.  I contend that “professionalism” means more than merely collecting a paycheck. It means acting as other professionals do.  As stated above, this includes a certain amount of work using their skills as umpires to the benefit of those who cannot, or have difficulty, affording those services.

I would encourage leagues who have trained umpires who have moved on to higher levels of play to contact those umpires, and encourage them to give back to the local leagues. Ask these umpires to act for the public good.  Encourage them to donate their time and expertise to mentor a young person wanting to be an umpire.

Jeffrey Knoebel
Indiana District 5