Cooperstown Q&A: Wait, we need to provide an umpire?

There are many logistical concerns a team has to account for as it plans to attend The Cooperstown Dreams Park Experience.  From application, to fundraising, to travel planning and more, the whole event will take months of preparation.  One key piece of the puzzle that must be accounted for is the umpire that a team is required to provide for the tournament. Here is some information that will helps properly address that concern:


Q: Does every team need to provide an umpire for their time at The Cooperstown Dreams Park Experience?

A: Yes.  With several hundred games taking place each week, there is a need for umpires to officiate that cannot be supported by local resources.

Q: Will the umpire I bring officiate my team’s games?

A: No.  With several dozen crews available, the schedule planners are able to easily avoid any conflicts of interest that would mar such a significant travel baseball event.

Q: How does the process work to bring an umpire to Cooperstown?

  1. Invite an umpire
  2. Umpire submits Umpire Participation Form
  3. Forms is reviewed and approved
  4. Team (typically) assists or makes travel arrangements for umpire
  5. Umpire arrives at Cooperstown and begins activities

Q: Does the umpire have to be certified by Cooperstown Dreams Park to officiate the games there?

A: Cooperstown Dreams Park does not have its own certification process for umpires.  They do expect that umpires who apply are a member of an umpire association.

Q: What kinds of questions are asked on participation form?

A: General biographical information is captured, along with info on umpiring experience, associations, and achievements.  The forms can be found on the Umpires pages of the Cooperstown Dreams Park site, or it can be downloaded here.

Q: Does the umpire stay in the bunk with the team that he arrives with?

A: No, umpires have separate accommodations at Cooperstown Dreams Park.

Q: I don’t know any local umpires very well; how should I go about securing an umpire for the week my team attends?

A: Message boards like umpire-empire.com are a platform where teams and umpires can make arrangements to fill the requirement.  Users can communicate and negotiate with officials offline to identify a good match.

Q: Is there any cost associated with providing an umpire for my team’s week at the Cooperstown Dreams Park Experience?

A: The team is responsible for covering travel costs for the umpire to and from Cooperstown.  These can vary based on distance, schedule, and other factors; an expected range could be $700 to $1100.  Teams should begin planning for this and make the arrangements as early as possible to ensure the costs are not exorbitant


Teams have many considerations to take into account when planning for their Cooperstown Dreams Park Experience.  Along with applications, travel, and baseball prep, they also need to plan to provide an umpire to officiate games during the week.  This page should answer some of the questions related to that obligation; additional info can be found on the Cooperstown Dreams Park website.

 

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Video Blog: Softball Practice #1

I signed up to coach my daughters’ softball team this year and just wrapped up practice #1 over the weekend.  This is 8U coach-pitch rec softball, with some players who are brand new and others who have played for several years.  The first practice was an hour long, and my objective was to evaluate the players to understand their skill levels and begin to assess what we’ll need to work on in preparation for the season.

Enjoy!

Here’s a summary of the 60-minute practice agenda:

  1. 00-05 minutes – Introductions and team rules
    • Rule #1 – listen
    • Rule #2 – hustle
  2. 05-15 minutes – Baserunning
    1. Home to first to run through the bag
    2. Home to second to learn how to round first base on an extra base hit
  3. 15-18 minutes – Water Break
  4. 18-50 minutes – Stations
    • Hitting: players hit 15-20 balls (plastic balls) off a tee
    • Throwing: players stood by a cone on the foul line, and threw past a cone 50 or so feet in front of them in fair territory
      • Emphasis on proper footwork, throwing hard, and aiming for a target
    • Fielding: groundballs, throwing the ball bag to the coach
      • Emphasis: “Alligator” technique, quick release of the ball to throw back to the coach
  5. 50-55 minutes
    • “Tour” of the defensive positions
  6. 55-60 minutes – Relay race
    • half the team started at home plate, the other at second base

All in all I think practice went OK; thinking back the throwing station could have been better.

 

Looking forward to practice #2 in a couple days!