Six European umpires pass ISF course

Tue 14 May 2013

Six European slowpitch umpires – two from Great Britain, two from Ireland and one each from Germany and France – passed an ISF Slowpitch Umpire course run in the UK from May 9-12 by ISF Umpire-in-Chief Bob Stanton, and are now accredited as ISF slowpitch umpires.

The umpires who passed the course are Chris Moon and Pete Saunders from the UK, James O'Farrell and Derek Harnett from Ireland, Ralf Juergen Rex from Germany and Francois Mays from France.

All six umpires are now eligible to officiate at the ISF Slowpitch World Cup scheduled for January 2014 in Plant City, Florida should the competition attract sufficient entries to go ahead.
ISF Slowpitch Umpire Course

Prior experience

The first ISF Slowpitch Umpire Course to be run in the UK was hosted by the BSF and organised by BASU Training Officer Chris Moon.  Because all the participants were already qualified as ESF slowpitch umpires and a certain level of knowledge could be assumed, the course was slightly shorter than normal.

But to qualify for the course, participants had to take a rules theory test by email which had to be returned within four hours of receiving it.  The test contained 100 questions, varying from, as Chris Moon put it, “the 'not too difficult' to 'this one is going to make me think'.”  There was a minimum pass mark of 90%.

Theory and practice

Two days were spent on theory work and plate mechanics at Richings Park on May 9 and 10, and work continued back at the hotel until late in the evening, so the course was fairly intense. 

The umpires were then comprehensively assessed during games at the first Diamond Series tournament at Farnham Park on May 11 and 12, using a three-man system (much to the surprise of some of of the teams!), with each umpire evaluated at first base, third base and the plate.

Chris Moon said: “In all, an exciting, enjoyable and exhausting time.  The thing we came away with that really stands out was that whatever the result we achieved, we learned a heck of a lot during the course and can build on that knowledge and hopefully fine tune and improve it.  We were hugely critical (in a friendly way) of each other and argued and debated every point we could think of.”

“I would like to extend my thanks to the BSF,” Chris added, “especially Mike Jennings, who oiled the waters and was on hand when needed.”

ISF Umpire-in-Chief Bob Stanton was complimentary towards the course organisation and was also impressed by the  scale and organisation of Diamond 1.

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