Bess Chen, Safe or Out, C8
Last year, I was the vice umpire of NTU Softball Freshmen cup. Vice umpire is someone who usually stands behind the first base. It is call lineman.(線審). For most people, when I mention I have the experience of serving as umpire. They would say “Wow! It sounds cool." Well, it’s not cool at all. Let me show you how to become an umpire.
First of all, we have to memorize all the rules, about 100 pages. Second, we need to practice, practice what? In order to let every player and audience understand our judgments, we will use certain gestures to show our judgments. This means loud voice and clear actions are needed. This is the basic training for the umpires. Third, we need experiences. Why? Sometimes players do not obey our judgments and argue with us. How can we deal with such argument? By accumulating more experiences, the more experiences we have, the more confident we are. Experiences make us unafraid to confront those annoying coaches and players, because we know well about our judgments. We seldom change the judgments even though it might be wrong. This is because if we often change our judgments, players and the audience would not believe in us. For a good umpire, we are confident in our judgments and stick to them.
In my opinion, the umpires are like our contest judges. Why Ivan, Claire, Joey sit here? What are their duties? They use their profession to tell everyone that this is a fair contest, so are the umpires. They pay attentions to every play in order to make right judgments and show everyone this is a fair game. That’s why umpires are so important in ball games.
Now maybe you want to know how I make every judgment correctly. Most important of all, how I deal with the arguments? Did I shout at them and get them out of field? Since I was the vice umpire last year, I didn’t have to fight with those annoying players and coaches. So what’s my challenge? It was the terrible weather in Taipei which drove me crazy. No matter it was sunny or rainy, as long as the players wanted to play the games, we had to be there. I clearly remember that once it rained so heavily and the baseball field became muddy. I got wet from head to toe. What was worse? I couldn’t see the ball clearly and had difficulty in making judgments and doing the record on paper.
After hearing my story, you might ask what inspires you to become a good umpire? It sounds like a terrible work. This is my answer. Although we have to stand under the sun or in the rain, when we think from the other side, we are the audience with the best view. We can hear the audience cheer for their teams. We can see all the players put all their efforts in order to win the games. Their passion touches me. Probably they would not play the softball after the freshmen cup, they would not forget the beautiful memories when whole teams fight for the champion together. When the game is over, they will show their appreciation to us which make me forget my tiredness. That’s what motivates me become a good umpire, because our good services make the games go well.
In the end, I have to say whether it is safe or out. Win or loss is not important at all, because softball is in their minds. TME.