Umpire Volunteers Needed!
Hello, and welcome to the Fort Hunt Little League Umpire Page – we hope you are open to giving this unique role a try because we are an all-volunteer group (although we do compensate junior umpires – see below) and we always need more umpires.
You will be glad to know that umpiring at this level is not nearly as daunting a job as it looks from outside the fences, that we provide you significant training and mentoring and that we are blessed here in Fort Hunt with players, coaches and parents who tend to be very supportive and thankful for their volunteer umpires.
FHLL Chief Umpire Jasper Thomson (assisted by other senior FHLL Umpires) and LL District 9 Umpire Staff provide numerous training opportunities for interested parents and teens before the Spring and Fall seasons start. These training sessions (both classroom and field work) are designed to help you build a strong familiarity with the rules and to provide some practice on how to recognize and make the calls in the field and behind the plate.
At our training sessions you will be given tools to help you succeed: rule books and rules interpretation materials, a ball/strike/out indicator and we also provide a basic starter umpire “uniform” (FHLL Umpire hat and shirt). We want to teach you both umpire positions – behind the plate, and the field/bases. If you are more comfortable just doing bases or want to just start out by doing just bases, that is also fine. If you are interested in learning how to work the plate, you don’t need to invest in all the gear when you start – we have used umpire gear in the equipment shed you can borrow (if you like it and stick with it, you will eventually want to invest in your own plate umpire gear). After training, we aim to always pair new umps with experienced FHLL umps during games, so that they can mentor you as you go during the first year.
You also do not have to commit to working a “minimum” number of games and you won’t be randomly scheduled. We send out an updated schedule of games via email each week, and our volunteers pick and choose which games work with their schedule. We provide umpires for the FHLL Spring Season (April to June) and the Fall Season (September and October), as well as the District 9 Fun Tournaments and District All Star Tournaments (June and July). Like the players, it is just necessary to prepare your best and try your best – no one expects we will get 100% of the calls correct, despite that being the goal – the umpires at the MLB level who get paid the big $ cannot even meet that standard!
We aim to provide two umpires for each game at the AAA, Minors, Majors, Juniors and Seniors levels – this is more than 150 games in a typical season! In the 2019 Fall season, we introduced plate umpiring for Junior umpires at the AA level. Each season we seek to cover all games with two umpires (except AA where we just provide a plate umpire), but we often fall short due to a lack of available umpires. Additional umpires are needed to ensure the best experience possible for the players by getting as close to 100% coverage as we can. We typically have a mix of adult umpires whose kids have completely “aged-out” of Little League, some adult umpires who currently have kids of various ages in the FHLL, and former players (and/or current FHLL Juniors players) – and we always need more folks willing to get trained and work games.
There is nothing we like better than to see young graduates of FHLL “giving back” to the league by stepping up to umpire the younger kids’ games. We accept young volunteers age12 and older for training, and they are usually restricted to working the bases (until age 15). Junior umpires start off working AAA and Minors games, but can move up to working Majors games after they gain experience and demonstrate necessary skills and knowledge. Junior umpires begin their plate umpiring experience working either AA or AAA games. The league offers compensation ($25 for bases, $35 for plate) for Junior Umpires for each game, with games usually taking about two and a half hours. We always attempt to pair Junior Umpires with an adult FHLL Umpire.