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.

 

Top 33 baseball or softball topics to teach to T-Ball and Coach Pitch Players

 

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It’s hard for a new coach to understand where to start or what should be taught when they take on the challenge of leading a group of youngsters in a baseball season.  The list below is intended to serve as a guide for new coaches and a reminder for experienced coaches of many of the objectives that should be covered over the course of a baseball or softball season.  The list is directional and generally comprehensive.  As a coach your goal at the end of a season should be to check off as many of these boxes as possible.

Certain leagues may have longer or shorter seasons, and teams may have larger or smaller rosters, so you will need to consider these variables when deciding what to cover.  The absolute essentials are bolded, start with those, and move on to the others to make sure your players have the foundation they need to enjoy the season and the desire to continue playing.

First Things First

Before we get to the list below, the #1 thing to impress on the players is that they’re engaging in a game and it’s meant to be FUN!  That fact gets lost in the shuffle too often at all levels.  The chance to step on the diamond and PLAY a GAME is a great opportunity that should be cherished.  Sometimes things will go their way, and sometimes they won’t, but a coach should always strive to keep things in proper perspective for the players.  The coach’s prime objective at beginning levels should be to instill an enthusiasm for the sport such that players develop the passion to continue playing and potentially strive to improve.

Shoutout to @CoachYourKids for this reminder!

Overall

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  1. Safety first
  2. Hustle as much as possible
  3. The 9 (or 10) positions on the field
  4. Pay attention and know when it’s your turn to hit
  5. Get in and out of the dugout quickly in between innings

Defense

  1. Pay attention and get ready for every play
  2. Don’t fight for the ball
  3. Infielders – get the ball and quickly throw it to first base (most of the time)
  4. Infielders – get the ball and quickly step on a base to get a force out (sometimes)
  5. Infielders – get the ball and tag a runner (sometimes)
  6. Infielders – don’t assume a play is over just because an out is made – stop the lead runner!
  7. Outfielders – keep the ball in front of you
  8. Outfielders – back up the infielders
  9. Outfielders – get the ball and throw it in – don’t run it in!

Baserunning

  1. Don’t watch the ball when you hit it
  2. Run as hard as you can to and through first base
  3. Break down properly after hitting first
  4. Advance on overthrows
  5. Look at and listen to your base coaches
  6. Run as soon as the ball is hit (most of the time)
  7. Learn the rare times when you don’t have to run

Hitting

  1. Swing hard
  2. Watch the ball all the way to the bat (coach pitch)
  3. Don’t chop down, try for a level or upper cut swing
  4. Balanced stance

Throwing

  1. Look where you’re throwing
  2. Correct Footwork
  3. Correct Arm Action (elbow above shoulder)
  4. Throw, don’t push the ball

Catching/Fielding a Ball

  1. Alligator style on grounders
  2. Two hands on pop-ups
  3. Get in front of the ball
  4. Get your glove on the ground

 

This post is intended to help you as a coach understand what you need to cover over the course of a baseball or softball season when you have a mixed group of new and experienced players who are just learning the game.  If you have older or more experienced players, these foundations are still important, but your focus will be on teaching and reviewing more advanced topics under each category.

 

Good luck to you and have fun out there!