Umpires from around the Midwest traveled hundreds of miles to attend the 2014 National Umpire School in East Moline Saturday, March 1, 2014.
Seventy-five umpires attended the event. The three day class is part of the Amateur Softball Associations national tour. Umpires get lectured and participate in drills to help them better themselves as an umpire.
“What we basically do at these schools is what we refer to as mechanics,” said Jim Craig, Eastern Territory Director who has been umpiring for 41 years.
Craig leads classes ranging from communicating with other umpires, to making sure your loud and punctual when making a call.
Students range from more than 20 years experience, to first time umpires. Danielle Warner is a 20-year-old college student who will be officiating for the first time this summer.
“I had honestly no idea that there were like specific angles and positions that an umpire always had to be in. I kind of just thought you had to follow the ball,” said Warner.
Warner’s father has been umpiring for several years and she attributes her passion to him. Beginners like Warner had a prime opportunity to learn from some of the best officials in the country.
Sunday, March 2 will be the final day of the class. And the umpires here will go back to their hometowns as better officials.
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