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Front Page » May 11, 2010 » Opinion » Rantings and Ravings
Published 1,533 days ago

Rantings and Ravings


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By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate reporter

I spent my Saturday immersed in baseball. I went down and took pictures of the little league parade and was entertained by the antics of the young boys and girls eager to get their season started and beaming with pride as they waved to friends and family gathered to honor them. So much hope and potential walking down the street.

Then I spent the rest of the day at the high school shooting shots from the first round of the state playoffs. The outcome was not what any of us had hoped for for our boys in blue, but that happens.

The best vantage point for me to shoot is over in the opponent's territory so I get to hear their fans cheering and complaining throughout the game. There were several close calls by the umps and the complaints when the calls didn't go the "right" way were vocal.

I was rooting for our boys and I didn't agree with some of the calls, but all were made in a split second under the best circumstances they could do. No replay to watch. All-in all the officials did very good job and I am glad I was up taking pictures and not down calling the game.

Our referees and umpires that step up and call the games are some of the most unsung heroes in sports. I have taken my turns umpiring for softball and volleyball. What a load of pressure.

I remember trying to memorize the infield fly rule so I would get it right. I actually think I can still recite it. I was called names and yelled at, but I never saw any of the parents who complained volunteering to take their turn behind the plate.

Sure there may be games when it seems like all the calls go the other way. I am sure there is a bit of bias from those who are the stripes once in a while. But for the most part, they are really trying to get it right and do what has to be done.

Those men and women that step up to officiate not only have to endure the abuse from parents and fans, they also put themselves at risk for injury every time they set foot on a field.

I have watched umps catch a screaming foul off their face mask. The guys on the football field risk being run over on many plays. We saw one of our football refs carried off the field this season. Line drives, moving bodies, errant balls all take their toll on these men and women throughout each season.

I have to say that here locally, our crowds are not too rowdy when it comes to watching their kids in sports. Oh once in a while their may be someone asked to leave an event, but all in all we seem to stay within acceptable boundaries.

As the summer baseball season approaches, I hope we all remember what a difficult job it is to take on the responsibility of being an official. They are the ones that keep the games in check.

Without those who chose to take on that task, we would not have the great programs and opportunities for our kids and ourselves that we have in our area. No matter what the outcome of a game you may be attending, take a minute to thank the officials.

It's the least we can do.

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