Western New York Umpires Association
To: WNYUA Membership
From: Norb Schmalfeld – President & UIC CC: WNYUA Board of Directors
It has come to my attention that there are some people that feel the ‘Clinic Attendance’ is something that doesn’t need to happen. Let me explain that this isn’t a personal issue with me but one that is mandated by The State.
It is advised that if you work HS Softball, they utilize the USA Rule Book for their seasonal play as do some of our ‘non-sanctioned’ tournaments with modifications. We need to be current on rules in those games as well. There is also an updated “Bat List” which will be on our web-site. Having updated rule books is necessary, if you don’t want to buy one you can download one for free.
In the baseball world, the mechanics have also changed in the past 4-5 years. We have never followed them as an Association because our Old Board didn’t want to be bothered trying to teach them. That is also changing as we begin to incorporate youth and Membership into our Baseball Umpire ranks. The new mechanics mirror collegiate mechanics with a few very minor differences. Maneuvering in ‘A’ and positioning in ‘B’ & ‘C’ have changed. Plate coverage of 3rd base on a ‘1st to 3rd’ runner have changed. Some of us still haven’t figured out “The Wedge’ positioning on plays at the plate. This is now used and preached in both Baseball and Softball. We need and will, adapt. This will also include learning the new pitching rules specifically the illegal ‘Hybrid Stance’ – a point of emphasis in the past and even more so this year in High School and Collegiate baseball. Since most of our Summer Recreation Youth Leagues play by HS Rules, these also need to be enforced in our Summer season. We are bringing in trainer(s) from NYSBUA to teach our Classroom session and put on a field clinic. Date and time for the field clinic is TBA as we work to get a facility to handle it. There may be a fee involved to attend so be prepared.
In closing, change is always a difficult thing to handle especially if you are a veteran umpire. However, under the old Board, training was NOT emphasized. This Board IS emphasizing training. We need to be better because right now, we are behind the rest of the State in both mechanics and techniques. We can no longer take an idle approach. The level of umpiring we provide needs to get better and it will.