People who witness amateur and youth umpires during a game may wonder why they do it. By all appearances the umpire has weighty responsibilities and in return is shown little respect or appreciation for his or her efforts.
What is the draw that causes you to invest time and money into training, studying the rules and mechanics, and purchasing equipment? You could easily have volunteered to work the concession stand or serve on the stadium crew.
Monetary gains from officiating amateur and youth leagues are secondary reasons why these men and women choose to place themselves in this seemingly thankless role. And sometimes umpiring in youth leagues are strictly voluntary with no monetary rewards.
It isn’t about ego or working a tournament game.
The truth is, most umpires benefit in ways people do not realize. They umpire for the eternal camaraderie among fellow umpires. They umpire because the rewards come as a result of confronting the moment by moment decision-making demands umpires are faced with. Personal gratification is derived from knowing how to meet these challenges in a skillful manner. And probably the most important reason - they umpire for the love of the kids and the game.
Working with the kids, watching them develop and staying in the game are what matters most to Babe Ruth League umpires. They know they are representing a program where the player comes first and their first loyalty is being a role model for Babe Ruth League and its participants.
Most will tell you that baseball and softball are games where you are going to fail more than you succeed, but at the same time you learn a lot more—teamwork, respect, how to perform under pressure...it’s a great game. Once you experience the game, it’s hard to leave. And umpiring is the best way to remain a part of the game long after your playing days are over.