You Should Ump!
There are several reasons you should umpire. All are equally important. Pay attention closely…
Learn the rules. Get out there and learn the calls to make so that you can learn them yourself. Umpiring forces you to pay attention and maybe keep up with the rule book yourself so that you can confidently make calls on the field. Knowing the rules while you’re playing will prevent unnecessary turnovers from breaking the rules.
Umpiring is a great way to give back to your sport. Ask not what polocrosse can do for you, but what you can do for polocrosse! Analogy: Stop complaining about the poor teachers not getting paid enough money and find a teacher and you give them money personally. One of the biggest challenges we face as a polocrosse organization is our lack of qualified umpires. Bad umpires who miss calls creates dangerous, unfair play. Dangerous and unfair play makes for resentment and people leaving the sport. You be the best umpire you can be. Give your time and be professional. Others will learn from you and follow suit.
Umpiring will give you a new-found respect for the position. The next time you think about complaining about a call, maybe put yourself in the umpire’s shoes. The umpires are out there typically trying their best. Some aren’t confident enough to make calls and some are out of position to see the call you think should have been made. Very few umpires are just lazy and bias, but they do exist!
Umpiring is an honorable and many times thankless duty. If you’re not yet certified, find a good umpire and shadow them. Learn positioning on the field and be confident on the calls you’ve made. If you see something dangerous unfold, blow your whistle and either refer to the other umpire or make the best call you can. Even if it could be wrong, you’ll be protecting the players on the field and possibly preventing more dangerous situations.
COMMENT below about your experience with umpiring. How do you feel about the position and what steps will you take to change your mindset?