This is a mass email to all CBUA members . . . please read this entire email, as there is something here for everyone.

NOTE to Division I Conference Crew Chiefs--(Big 12 Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big East Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Mid-American Conference, Horizon League--at the end of each conference series, enter evaluations of your crewmates into our Arbiter assigning system--do not send them to me.  Do send to me your self evaluation via email, mail or fax and I will enter it into the system--Arbiter will not allow you to enter a self evaluation.  If you're having issues entering your evals into Arbiter, contact CBUA umpire Deron Brown.

NOTE to Big 12 Conference Umpires--the conference will be enforcing the $450 mileage reimbursement limit for travel.

All CBUA Umpires--

CCA Manual--All CBUA umpires should adhere to the mechanics specified in the CCA Manual--no exceptions unless optional coverages are outlined in the manual.   I'm well aware of what is done/taught in federation and at pro school, independent leagues, etc.--when you're working those leagues, follow their protocols; when you're working college baseball, follow the CCA Manual. 

Closed Dates--Please keep your Arbiter record updated with your closed dates.  When an assignor sees your open and offers you a game, our expectation is that you accept it.  We've already had too many situations where guys have declined games (when they show open) and then email to tell us the latest reason why they couldn't accept the game.  We don't hold it against you for closing dates for any reason you deem necessary.  It is frustrating, however, for us assignors who offer you games when you say you're open, only to have the opportunity declined.  Quite frankly, for me once an umpire has done that to me a couple of times, I simply no longer offer him anything.

Ejection Protocol--If/when you have an ejection, please make it clear to all who are impacted (your partners, etc.) that you've had an ejection.  While I am not encouraging you to be overly demonstrative, you certainly need to be strong enough so that your ejection is known to the participants and your partner(s).  After an ejection, do not overly delay resumption of the game, but do not restart the game until the ejected person is off the field/out of the dugout and on their way to being out of sight and sound.

Rules Knowledge--There is no excuse for not knowing the rules.  If you're not 100% sure about something, get the correct answer from your rule book, your partner, Jim Paronto, me, somebody, before giving incorrect information to a coach, AD, etc.  I can give numerous examples from just the past two weeks of umpires confusing situations and bringing problems upon themselves because they don't know the rules--when you give a coach an incorrect rules interpretation and they subsequently find out you were wrong, your credibility is damaged.

Professionalism--I was fortunate to spend time recently with long-time NFL and multiple Super Bowl referee, Jerry Markbreit, discussing "professionalism" in the world of amateur officiating.  While I could write volumes on the things we talked about, for the sake of brevity I'll share some of the highlights in this and future bulletins, as I think these are things all umpires should think about as we proceed through our season . . . the best/most respected umpires/officials have many of the following qualities . . .

Leadership ability--true leaders are trusted by others . . . their crewmates/partners are treated like family and they know they have each other's back on and off the field.  They have charisma -- not easily defined -- but, we all know when an umpire has "it."  They are confident, yet not cocky; their very presence puts coaches and players at ease; they've earned a respect over time, yet they continue to work at "it" every day.  Charisma is not easily learned or earned and some umpires never attain "it."  Charisma is tough to quantify or explain, but it is easy to spot in those officials who have "it."  Charismatic umpires don't have to check their egos at the door, because their egos don't publicly exist.  If you ever watched Dick Honig run a college football game or Dick Runchey run a college baseball game, then you know what I'm talking about.

Passion--they work every game like it is game seven of World Series--they don't have to be reminded that the game they're working is the most important game being played for the players and coaches involved.  It may not look like the biggest game on that umpire's schedule, but he works the mid-week D-III game just like he does the D-I conference championship game.  You never see comments on his evaluations like "he seemed bored," "he was just going through the motions," "he looked like he didn't want to be here,"  "he wanted everybody to know where he worked last weekend in the Big Deal conference," "I guess this venue wasn't big enough for him," "he big times us every time we see him," "why does he come out here if he dislikes being here?"  You can't fake passion . . . if you don't love umpiring, do something else that you do enjoy.

Next bulletin I'll discuss more about the five "C's" in umpirring . . . Commitment, Character, Communication, Competence, and Courage.

I'll close with a note from the world of "really, c'mon, is that true?"  Did we really have a college umpire carrying his cell phone on the field so he could take it out and check March Madness scores between innings?  LIke I said . . . more on professionalism next bulletin and likely every bulletin.

Keep working hard and enjoy umpiring!

Rich Fetchiet
CBUA Coordinator of Baseball Umpires

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