There are several thankless jobs in the world, but becoming a referee for children’s sports may be atop the throne. Officials may not have the patience to deal with a coach’s shenanigans. Spats can happen in a game, and using these tips for talking to an umpire during a game can come in handy if you feel like you’ve received the short end of the stick.
When you’re working with someone new on the job, the courteous thing to do is to introduce yourself properly. You don’t want to be barking orders at someone before they know you, so use that same logic regarding umpires.
You might not be working with the umpires; however, you want to be friendly toward them. If you act standoffish from the get-go, they will be less likely to even talk to you—let alone listen to your arguments.
Calm, Cool, and Collective
Going in guns a-blazing isn’t going to lead to anything positive. If anything, your aggression will only make matters worse. Instead, approach the umpire and use a neutral voice. As easy as it is to have your emotions get the best of you—especially if the other parents are fueling the fire—you must keep your cool. Do your best to respond respectfully and avoid raising your voice. Finding the right bat before the season is the only thing that’s more demanding than staying calm when bringing disputes to the umpire.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Regardless of your demeanor and how considerate you’re being, an unofficial clock starts the second you start the conversation. Unless you become the first parent or manager in the history of organized sports that gets an official to change their call based on your argument, decisions are unlikely to change. Once you feel like you’re going in circles or feel the tension of the peanut gallery, it’s time to close shop and live to fight another day.
Somebody Is Watching Me
We’ve all seen wild videos of parents losing their minds at their kid’s youth sporting events. You don’t want to be a viral sensation because of a botched ball or strike. Always remember that everyone is watching how you react. This concept even applies to the adults who want to live out their dream of working for TMZ, but more importantly, the children who soak everything up like a sponge.
Lead by example because you don’t know how your kid will react when they see you lose their cool. Watching dad flip out is traumatizing, particularly if it’s outside the norm. Additionally, they could attribute their future questionable behaviors to your major blowup.
As the season approaches and you prepare to become a coach for your kiddo’s team, remember these tips for talking to an umpire during a game. People make mistakes, maybe none more so than umpires, but no one is perfect—including you.