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May 1, 2012
56 REGIONAL UICs SHARPEN SKILLS IN MESQUITE
MESQUITE, Nev. – Prior to the first pitch in the Spring Worlds here in March, 56 umpires-in-chief from throughout the country held their annual meeting in an ongoing effort to remain the best of the best in their jobs.
Ray Starwalt, national UIC, kicked off the meeting by going over the newly approved rules modifications of Senior Softball USA for 2012.
After a thorough hearing of the changes, everyone was in agreement and ready to implement the new rules in their areas of responsibility.
In addition, selected UIC’s gave presentations on various topics including umpire mechanics, improving people skills and unique rules and rulings.
The second day’s highlight was a presentation by Corky Pellien, national sales representative, on altered and illegal bats in which he showed several examples of illegal bats.
For many in attendance, this was the first time seeing “rolled” bat, a “shaved’ bat and other examples of altered bats.
The afternoon session took place on a softball diamond at Hunter Park Field. Here the umpires participated in simulated field situations using the new rule modifications and difficult situations that may occur on a softball diamond.
Many first-time attendees called the session the best on-field situational class they had attended because points like identifying obstructions and interference, first base “double base” situations and other unique points were stressed rather than the standard mechanics of position.
The National UIC recognized the SSUSA Umpire of the Year Tom Bussey and several others for their work as umpires in promoting SSUSA programs in their home areas.
When the first morning of the tournament arrived, the UICs headed to their game assignments with lots of enthusiasm, positive attitudes and the desire to say “play ball.”