Well my streak of 100% on my test scores ended today. I missed the question that I thought I would. Oh well, 3 in a row is not bad and I will just have to start another streak. Bill missed one on this test also, so I’m still ahead on points, not that I’m counting. We have a one dollar running bet for all the remaining tests even though I’m not sure how many test are left. Hope it doesn’t cost me too much. We didn’t have one today, nor will we have tomorrow. I know most of the students won’t agree with me, but I actually look forward to the tests. It gives me something to look forward to each day and is actually kind of fun. Of course, I’m not looking for a job, so I’m not nearly under the pressure most of the students are here. I know most of them have been staying up real late and I’m sure they welcome the break from studying. Today in class we continued learning about interference and obstruction, followed by more of the 2 man system. We use the rule book and the PBUC umpire manual for rule study, and the PBUC manual for the 2 umpire system for mechanics. If you don’t have a PBUC umpire manual, I would highly recommend it. Not sure where they are available, but great manuals to have.
After lunch we hit the fields for work on steals from 2nd base, and rundowns between 2nd and 3rd. One thing about pro school is that they are very particular about footwork and positioning while working the bases. Most of the plate work mechanics I already incorporate into my game, with a few variations of course. And they aren’t too difficult to pick up. Most of us do a lot of plates in our local associations or leagues, but its the base work that is the most challenging and I think under taught in most areas. I think a lot of umpires, myself included, never realize how difficult getting the proper positioning, angles, and reads on plays are. The base work by far is the most challenging for me. There is so much to it and you really have to work to get angles and positioning in a 2 man system. While I have some pro training, the bases are what I wanted to work on the most here at TUS, and boy are we getting it! Each day they throw a little more at us. We also went to the cages again today and had a good session. I think each day we will get a different cage instructor so you get good feedback from a number of people, each who can see different things and really fine tune your plate stance. Our crew had a good session, and we worked well together in the cage, like a machine!
Since I don’t really have any POE’s from today, I thought I would give a shout out to one of the students here. While it is my policy to not mention any of the students and instructors by name, I’m going to break from protocol for a good reason. I also can do this because he is one of my Little League colleagues and should be recognized for his accomplishments. Not only is he here at TUS and working his tail off, John Dowdy from District 55 in California has been selected to work the 2015 LL World Series in Williamsport. It’s the highest honor that can be bestowed on a LL umpire and one that is well deserved. He is out here working and having fun, and it is cool to be here with him. Congratulations John, for a job well done!