To All Our Dedicated Little League® Volunteer Umpires:
While we are all dealing with the current global pandemic, I just wanted to take a few moments to personally thank all of you for your dedication to the Little League® program.
As we anxiously wait for the season to begin or resume, I would like to suggest that we all use this time to make sure that our skills don’t get rusty. Spending some time thinking about baseball and softball, right now, is good for all of us.
This delay gives us time to deepen our rules knowledge by reviewing the Little League rulebooks and casebooks, and it’s a good time to download the new Little League Rules App for mobile devices and join the FREE Little League Umpire Registry.
Make some time to practice some basic mechanics and footwork, take advantage of the information available at Little League University, and stay in contact with your league and district Umpires-in-Chief. Following through on any of these suggestions will help keep you connected and game-ready for when it is time to get back out there.
For enjoyment and educational purposes, watch some of the past Little League Tournament games online while working with your indicator. Games can be found on the LittleLeague.org videos page and on the Little League Facebook page. Challenge yourself to accurately keep the count without looking at your indicator after every pitch. Practice taking off your mask with your left hand. Follow the action and rulings, especially on plays that go under replay review. And, take a few minutes to shine your shoes and inspect your protective equipment.
If you have a rule or a situation that you wish to discuss, please, email me, at: TRawlings@LittleLeague.org. I also encourage you to share any “teachable moments” that you have personally experienced. Doing is the best form of learning, so I invite you to share those scenarios and circumstances which taught you how to understand or properly interpret/apply a rule, or a best practice for yourself that may be able to help others become more competent and confident umpires.
If you have any interest in what Little League is sharing about the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Coronavirus update page on LittleLeague.org.
Most of all, as we toil toward a return to the field, enjoy time with your family and stay safe. The kids and the game need you.
Director of Umpire Development
Little League® International