Umpire Volunteers Needed!
Hello, and welcome to the Fort Hunt Little League Umpire Page – we hope you are here to explore the possibility of joining the distinguished ranks of the FHLL Umpire Corps, because our all-volunteer group certainly needs you! We current have a mix of adult umpires who’s kids have completely “aged-out” of Little League, some current parents who currently have kids of various ages playing in the FHLL, and former players and other youth volunteers (who can get paid) – and we always need more folks.
You will be glad to know that umpiring at Little League level is not nearly as daunting a job as it looks from outside the fences, that we provide you significant training and mentoring and that we are blessed here in Fort Hunt with players and parents who tend to be very supportive and thankful of their volunteer umpires. FHLL provides numerous training opportunities for interested volunteers throughout the year (see below for details) but mostly before the start of the Spring and Fall seasons. These brief sessions (classroom and field work) are meant to give you the rules basics and some repetitions on common on-field techniques.
At these training sessions you will be given rule books, written training guides, a ball/strike/out indicator and a basic starter umpire “uniform” (the FHLL Umpire hat and shirt). There are two different umpire “positions” we can train you for – the “Umpire-in-Chief” position (behind the plate calling balls and strikes), and the “Field Umpire” position (calling plays on the bases).
If you are more comfortable just doing the Field Umpire position, or want to just start out by doing just bases, that is fine. If you are interested in learning how to work the plate, you don’t need to invest in all the gear when you start – we have umpire gear in the equipment shed you can borrow for this purpose (if you like it and stick with it, you will eventually want to invest in your own plate umpire gear). After training, we aim to always pair new umps with experienced FHLL umps during games, so that they can mentor you as you go during the first year.
You also do not have to commit to working a “minimum” number of games and you won’t be randomly scheduled. I send out an updated schedule of games via email each week, and our volunteers pick and choose which games work with their schedule. Like the players, it is just necessary to prepare your best and try your best – no one expects we will get 100% of the calls correct, despite that being the goal – the umpires at the MLB level who get paid the big $ cannot even meet that standard!
We have over 150 parents each year who volunteer to Manage or Coach in FHLL, but a small fraction of that number who volunteer as umpires. We aim to provide two umpires to each game at the Majors, Juniors and AAA levels – this is usually over 125 games in just the Spring season! Last year we covered only about 75% of the available umpire slots, so additional umpires are needed this year to ensure the best experience possible for the players by getting as close to 100% as we can.
There is nothing we like better than to see young graduates of FHLL “giving back” to the league (and all the volunteers who invested time in them) by stepping up to help umpire games for the younger kids. We accept teenagers age 13 and older for training as base umpires and pay $25 per game. At age 16, junior umpires can also train for and work as plate umpires ($35 per game). Youth can also use their time (usually 2 ½ hours per game) umpiring to satisfy community volunteer requirements since FHLL is a non-profit. By Little League rules, Junior Umpires will also be paired with an adult FHLL Umpire for their games.
ONLINE UMPIRE TRAINING RESOURCES
Little League Baseball has an excellent online “Umpire Resource Center” that you can find at this link: http://www.littleleague.org/umpires/urc.htm
The Umpire Resource Center is packed with educational content and video clips on plate and base mechanics to print and news articles. The resource center enables umpires to remain updated on the rules and regulations, exchange ideas and offer suggestions that will continually improve their game.
It allows you to follow up FHLL training with additional explanations and reminders on proper technique, and is available 24/7, so please take a look at these resources and use those that are helpful for you.