League Umpire in Chief, Curt Hensman, has spent a lot of time and energy over the past year to bring in new and talented umpires to Softball America. He's done a nice job.
New umpires in any league need time to adjust to the game, league rules, strike zone, and the players themselves. By the same token, players need time to adjust to new umpires. A good working relationship doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. Curt will be the first to tell you he experienced the very same thing when he started out 12 years ago. Much like the new guys on the block today, he extended a long leash and had a patient finger on the ejection trigger. That came to an end, much like it will for the new guys on the block. Not ejecting a player in obvious ejection situations gives everyone the impression they can get away with anything. That is not the case.
League umpires are to treat everyone with respect. They deserve the same in return. Moving forward, don't be surprised if the mild mannered umpire that previously let you get away with dishing out endless abuse, sends you packing. Umpires will eject any player who becomes blatantly disrespectful or attempts to embarrass them in any way. Berating or embarrassing an umpire by talking to a teammate is the same as if you were speaking to the umpire himself and is not protection from an ejection. If you have an issue, pull the umpire aside and speak with him/her in a mature manner. If the issue remains unresolved, bring it to our attention. Screaming and hollering, ranting, raving, or whining will do nothing more than anger and alienate the umpire, making the game distasteful for both sides.
There are umpire changes forthcoming for the summer season and beyond. As much as certain leagues may not get along with a certain umpire, it works both ways.
All Curt and I are looking for is mature and rational communication, not the 'shoot first, ask questions later' mentality. We don't think that's too much to ask.
General League Announcements and Discussion
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