The British Association of Softball Umpires (BASU) will once again be running its standard slowpitch qualification course online in 2023, and leagues are urged to sign up now for the few slots left.
The course is designed to qualify umpires to officiate at national tournaments but will also provide excellent training for umpires planning to officiate at league level only.
Online courses will start in January and will consist of six online sessions plus an in-person Practical Day focused mainly on umpire mechanics. Sessions will be spread over a number of weeks, but the aim is for courses to finish before 2023 league play begins.
Assessments will then be arranged for umpires that pass the course.
The content of BASU online qualifying courses is as follows:
- First Zoom session. This will be an initial 10-minute Zoom meeting for all candidates to clarify how the course will run and to ensure candidates are signed up to EdPuzzle. Block 1 videos will be made available.
- Second Zoom session. This session will run for around an hour and will cover Block 1 video content plus a Q&A. Block 2 videos will be made available.
- Third Zoom session. This session will run for around an hour and will cover Block 2 video content plus a Q&A. Block 3 videos will be made available.
- Fourth Zoom session. This session will run for around an hour and will cover Block 3 video content plus a Q&A. Block 4 videos will be made available.
- Fifth Zoom session. This session will run for around an hour and will cover Block 4 video content plus a Q&A. The final Quiz will be made available.
- Sixth Zoom Session. This session will go through the Quiz plus a Q&A.
The last part of the course will be a Practical Day (roughly 10.00 am to 4.00 pm). Local UiCs will need to arrange a practice field and ideally some players to play a game in the afternoon.
The cost for each full course run in 2023 is £200. This charge is per course, so if two leagues wanted one course between them, each league would pay £100.
The money includes a BASU trainer to run the Q&A Zoom calls plus one to run the Practical Day (possibly the same person).
BASU online courses in 2023 will run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings starting in January, with two weeks between tutorials. With many leagues having now booked courses, the only starting dates left are:
- Tuesday 17 January
- Thursday 26 January
Courses already booked are:
- Bristol -- starting on Wednesday 18 January
- East Midlands -- starting on Thursday 19 January
- Cardiff -- starting on Tuesday 24 January
- Windsor -- starting on Wednesday 25 January
For each course, the local UiC should decide a start time for the Zoom calls based on what their umpire candidates think best.
BASU iis currently working to get more tutors trained so that it might be possible to run more than one course on an evening if demand warrants and to provide cover if a tutor can’t make one of their sessions.
In terms of numbers, more than 15 people on a Zoom call can get difficult to handle. Anyone can sign up for a course up until the day it starts, and someone could sign up before the first tutorial (the second Zoom session) and catch up quickly.
Sign up now
For more information or to book a course, leagues should contact BASU Training Officer Pete Saunders.