We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the State and Metro UICs, their staffs and the umpires that attended the 2019 UIC Clinic January 31– February 2in Oklahoma City, Okla. The National Umpire Staff appreciates everyone taking time out of their personal life to attend. We hope everyone had a great time and were able to learn something. We also thank Jim Craig, his committee and all the presenters for the outstanding work they did on this year’s UIC Clinic.
The information shared on Thursday night was enlightening and helpful to all who attended. Those who were present for the Sensitivity Training and the 'How to be a National Championship UIC' are able to be a UIC or Assistant UIC at our 2019 and 2020 National Championships. When walking around and visiting the breakout sessions, it was apparent the instructors had put together some outstanding information and were presenting it in an informative manner. The interaction between the groups and the instructors was exactly what we were trying to accomplish.
We ended Saturday’s presentation with discussion on mechanics that we need to work on and various other items that can help our individual umpires. The final presentation was strictly on communication and the need to get better in every category. Our State and Metro UICs, Regional UICs, Deputy Directors and the Director must find better and more informative ways to communicate.
We ended with the banquet that was a little different this year due to room constraints. However the awards given to those who were surprised as well as those who were not went well. 2021 is already in the works and we hope it will be as successful.
No matter what we think it is those who attended that matter. We need your feedback. You can do so by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JQNRRD8 and voicing you opinion. We can only get better if we get great feedback in what we need to do better. We have 168 opinions so far so keep them coming. We look forward to hearing from everyone to help make 2021 better.
Camps and Schools:
We have had a successful start to our 2019 National Umpires Schools. Schools already completed; USA Softball of Dallas Fort Worth, held in Allen Texas, USA Softball of Alabama held in Montgomery, Ala., and USA Softball of Northern California held in San Bruno, Calif. The new agenda generated by the National Umpire School Committee is still paying dividends, as we are able to adapt the schools on the run to fit the location and facilities, not to mention the students. The National Schools still to be held are USA Softball of Kansas City February 22– 24, in Kansas City, Mo., USA Softball of Rhode Island March 1– 3 in Smithfield, R.I. USA Softball of Wyoming held in Douglas, Wyo., and USA Softball Michigan held in Holland, Mich., both on April 12 – 14, and USA Softball of North Dakota in Bismarck, N.D. April 26 – 28. The year ends with the Fast Pitch Camp hosted by USA Softball of Ohio in Cincinnati June 9 – 13. You can find more information on the web under National Umpire Schools and Camps. Take a look and if they fit into your schedule I am sure you will benefit from the experience.
As a reminder, the 2018 Umpire Manual is no longer in printed version. The 2019 Umpire Manual is complete and posted on the web and can be found at https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Umpires/Umpire-Manual. This year the Umpire Manual has hit another home run. They have added extra pictures and links so you can see firsthand via animated DVD snippets. We are very proud of this new enhanced umpire manual but want to know what you think. Look it over and let us know what your thoughts are. Remember it is a tool for all of our umpires and we strive to make it better for all umpires. I would be remiss if I did not thank the Committee, our layout group Old Hat and Dave Chandler for his daunting work on the diagrams. We also thank Codi, Katie and Savannah from the National Office for all the help on the links. These links and pictures have taken the umpire manual to a new level.
2020 Rule Book
We have already started work on the 2020 rule book. We want to do a total review of the rule book again and make sure everything is correct and accurate. I am sure your Regional Umpire-in-Chief and your Local Association Umpire-in-Chief will be reaching out and asking if you see anything that needs to be made better or corrected. We want to make sure items that help our umpires remain in the book and eliminate or replace those that do not. There is a page count restriction so we need to be prudent on how we accomplish this goal. Please give us your input to help enhance this section of our Rule Book.