Travel Journal

Hey Mr. Umpire

(Wednesday 1 October 2014) by Rick Clot
Umpiring is the only job where everyone in the world thinks they can do it better than you. Three days a week I umpire softball games for the local Park District. Two games each on Tuesday and Thursday nights in a men's league and two more games on Sunday afternoons in a coed softball league which I'm not crazy about. Coed softball is less competitive and no one seems to know the rules which can make the umpire's job tougher. The only good thing is that if you have to explain a rule to someone, you can make up anything as long as you sound like you know what you're talking about and usually they'll buy it. The Tues/Thurs men seem to be better at the rules. At least up until last night that's what I thought. Last night I had a game from Hell. It all started in the second inning when an outfielder dropped a ball and they argued he caught it. In my judgment he didn't have it long enough to make it a catch. That set the tone for the rest of the game. Two innings later a player was caught in a rundown. When a defensive player inadvertently made contact with the runner, I ruled obstruction. An argument ensued because they didn't know the rule. Then a ball hit down the third baseline that went over the bag but hit foul past the bag I ruled a fair ball. The third baseman fielded the ball but made no play. He just stood there and argued while all runners were safe. That's the first thing you learn not to do in little league. Anyway, suffice to say I'm glad that game is over.

Until Next Time,
Laughing in Surprise,


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