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NFCA Tip Of The Week: Guidlines To Umpires On Maintaining Control

To be a successful umpire, you will have to be proficient in appearance, rule knowledge, mechanics and GAME CONTROL. Your ability to control the game and to handle the situations as they arise is one subject that is difficult to teach. While there are guidelines an umpire should or should not follow, what works for one umpire may not work for another umpire.

There are no rules etched in stone that will make your umpiring problem-free or, for that matter, will work in every game situation. But listed below are guidelines that have proven to help many umpires control their games while developing character and stature as a respected umpire.

RESPECT MUST BE EARNED and this can only come from hard work and dedication.

1. Do not allow team personnel to swarm around your partner to dispute a call. Clear everyone away from the umpire except the coach.

2. Do not have "rabbit ears." You must learn that there are some things you need to hear and some things you do not want or need to hear.

3. Do not get into a shouting match with anyone on the field. Be CALM. Collect your thoughts on the play and your intrepreatation while the person is speaking. Be PROFESSIONAL in your replies.

4. Use a third party to handle an irate person if needed. For instance, if the player is the pitcher, ahve the catcher talk to her and calm her down before you have to do what you have to do.

5. Do not ask a player what she said or called you. This is baiting and intimidating the person. If you did not hear her the first time, ignore it until you do hear something that merits enforcement.

6. Do not stay on top of a close play after making your call. Watch the play until it is completed and they CLEAR OUT.

7. NEVER put your hands or arms around a coach, player or other team personnel. Also NEVER Let them to this to you as well. NO TOUCHING!

Game control starts when the players and spectators watch you take the field. First impressions are so important; sometimes even in the parking lot when you are talking with your partner(s).

You will never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Your appearance should be impeccable and your pre-game duties performed in a friendly, yet businesslike manner. Remember, SMILE!!!!!

No one wants a DICTATOR for an umpire, but everyone wants an umpire who CONTROLS THE GAME.