During the baseball and softball season, there are many things for those who used to play to do to keep them close to the game. You can become the scorekeeper, run a youth league team or if you don’t mind dealing with grown adults acting like children, you can become an umpire for your local parks and recreation office. If you have the knowledge of the sport already, then becoming an umpire is an easy process. You can take the umpire test to become certified and once you do this, you will be set to go. Of course, you will need more than just your certification call a game. You will need numerous essential accessories that will help make your job easier.
It doesn’t matter if you are going to be umpiring for baseball, fastpitch softball or slowpitch softball, the number one most important piece of equipment you could have is a face mask. Those that are new to slowpitch softball, you may wonder why you would even need a face mask since the ball is being thrown underhand. Just like with baseball, foul tips occur and these foul tips can cause all sorts of injuries to your face. Most umpires prefer to stick with the traditional helmet and face mask combination, but the hockey style masks are produced for umpires as well.
When you decide to become an umpire, you need to have all the basics that are required of an umpire including a balls and strikes counter, pouch to hold balls and accessories and brushes to clean off home plate. There are many counters available including the simple counter that tracks balls, strikes and outs, but there are also counters that allow you to track the number of runs scored in an inning. For those umpiring in leagues where official scores aren’t being kept, this will allow you to ensure you accurately keep track of all runs scored.
Being protected as an umpire doesn’t only stop at a face mask. There are many other pieces of protective gear that are essential to save your legs, chest and more. An umpire will end up with the same type and amount of gear as a baseball or softball catcher. There are chest protectors and leg guards made specifically for umpires to allow them to get the most protection needed.