Wearing Blue is an honor. But life behind the mask isn't always easy.
We love to hate umpires; love to blame them for our team’s misfortunes. But, truth be told, there is no other group of men or women in baseball/softball more deserving for their dedication to the purity of the game. Umpires get little respect from fans or players, they don’t get paid a lot, and it is certainly no fun being in their particular spotlight.
You should never kick dirt on their shoes, call them something unprintable, or offer to pay for new glasses. If you do, you are asking to get tossed.
Umpires can be the most powerful people on the diamond, and they certainly deserve our respect.
The role of the umpire must be recognized and respected by the coaches, the players, the scorekeepers and the parents. The umpire has complete authority over players and coaches from the moment he/she walks onto the field until the game is over.
Good umpires like good coaches, can also take constructive criticism and realize that their craft can stand improvement. But no matter how justified a coach may be, there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach an on-field official.
Coaches, players, parents and spectators should never argue the decision of an umpire, make negative or derogatory remarks or gestures towards an umpire, or otherwise behave improperly to disturb the normal course of play in a game. Not only is this behavior setting a bad example for young players, it distracts the umpire, makes the coach’s job harder, and takes away from the enjoyment of the players, other parents, spectators and fans. Remember, umpires are not the enemy. They do not have a stake in who wins. They are there to officiate the ballgame.
The bottom line is we should approach all umpires with respect and courtesy. As coaches, parents, and responsible adults, we are important role models and mentors in the lives of young ballplayers. Just as an umpire keeps his/her eyes on the game, we must keep our eyes on our own behavior. Kids are constantly watching adult’s behavior. They learn from us. We must make sure our behavior of the behavior of any of the players is not disrespectful to the umpire. In doing so, we teach the true meaning of sportsmanship and the spirit of competition.