Umpires are needed in Sylvan Lake and throughout Central Alberta for the upcoming baseball season. File Photo

Umpires needed in Sylvan Lake and Central Alberta

A training clinic will be held in Red Deer in April

Sylvan Lake Minor Baseball is in need of umpires for the quickly approaching season.

Those interested in acting as an umpire this season, whether a seasoned pro or new to the game, are encouraged to attend the umpire clinic in Red Deer on April 14 and 15.

Umpires are needed across Central Alberta, with roughly five needed specifically in Sylvan Lake.

Sylvan Lake often has some of their players take a turn behind the plate as an umpire, though having more to help will never go amiss.

“We often have players umping so more umpires help with the scheduling of games,” said Christopher Harper, Red Deer Softball Umpires Association (RDSUA) recruitment manager.

Players and adults are welcome at the clinics, as there is always need for umpires and the RDSUA trains umpires for all levels of baseball, including adult games.

Clinics are divided into a series of levels, for the kinds of umpiring skills taught. For example, Level 1 entails basic umpiring skills “for town ball” while the higher levels are geared toward games by older teams, like those in the AA and AAA divisions.

The clinic includes in-class instruction, practical sessions, and the Softball Canada exam.

“For adult umpires starting out we get them doing bases at this level and plates at a minor level until they are comfortable with their plate game. Our main concern is making sure no one gets hurt,” said Harper.

Being new to working as an umpire shouldn’t be a deterrent, as Harper says there is a partnership new umpires go through.

“All new umpires will be paired with a mentor to help them through the season,” he said.

The RDSUA website states the associations wants to do “everything possible” to ensure new umpires are placed in game situations where they can be successful, this includes working with senior RDSUA umpires.

Mentorship will also occur during tournaments where a senior umpires will serve as the Umpire in Chief, according the the website.

“Please talk to your son or daughter and ask them if they would be interested in becoming an umpire this season,” Harper said.

If a new umpire is under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must sign-off on the training.

RDSUA has umpires ranging in age from 13 to 70.

“It is a fun way to make some extra money this spring,” said Harper.

For more information about the clinic, umpiring or to sign up visit the RDSUA website.

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