WHY LITTLE LEAGUE® VOLUNTEERS CHOOSE TO UMPIRE
By Mark Bernstein
Western Regional Umpire-in-Chief
What does it really mean to volunteer as a Little League® umpire and why do you do it? What is the draw that causes you to invest both time and money into clinics, keep reading and studying mechanics and rules, and purchase equipment?
If you wanted to get involved, you could have easily volunteered to be a scorekeeper, rake the fields, hand out equipment, or work in the concession stand. All noble and necessary duties of course, but instead, you chose to give back to your community in a way that many adults applaud, but few would be comfortable enough doing themselves. You chose to be an umpire.
It isn’t about ego; it isn’t about reaching a Regional Tournament or World Series or someday becoming a Major League Umpire. It is about two of the opportunities our craft allows, which are the essence of the Little League program: The inclusion in the greatest club on the planet, and more importantly, positively affecting the lives of children.
There exists an eternal camaraderie amongst fellow volunteer Little League Umpires. It is a group willing to mentor, provide advice, protect, and collectively enjoy the role they have taken on. Being a volunteer Little League Umpire makes us all brothers and sisters without hesitation or reservation.
Little League prides itself on not being just a baseball or softball program, but is a true leadership program where adult volunteers are able to teach those life lessons to children that will allow them to become productive adults. What an incredible responsibility, but more importantly, what a great opportunity. Each time you work a game, you have the opportunity to look and carry yourself professionally; teach the points of fair play, enforce rules in an equitable manner and make the experience for those children the best, most fun and most positive it can be.
You are a role model, and the next time you are preparing for your game, keep in mind that you are making a difference.