The umpire is defined as the person in charge with officiating the game. In many cases they are just an individual who has volunteered because they love the game of baseball. Fans who are willing to take a ton of grief and work for pittance [e.g., 3 hours work plus the drive back and forth].
After the nervous pre-game pleasantries are exchanged between opposing families and fans, Good Luck – Good Luck! The game begins.
We’re happy to get the game started and all is fine from the moment he yells, Play Ball! That is UNTIL something happens.
- A runner called out on a close play
- A third strike in a critical situation
A transformation occurs. The families and fans instantaneously morph into defacto umpires. Umpires who saw the play differently and feel the need to vocally share their displeasure; after all they had a better angle sitting in the stands 50 feet away.
Whatever the emotion, the swell of complaining grows from the parents who felt a bit embarrassed then simultaneously expands to all the parents, the coaches, and eventually the players. All feeling the need to let the umpire on the field know he blew it!
The one individual who is in charge with officiating the game is attacked from every angle of the field in a mob like fashion. Escalating from being upset over a single call, to questioning his integrity, calling him names, to threatening him personally. Bullying!
Worse, just think of the lessons we are sharing with each explicative directed at one individual in front of all the young ears. Attacking one individual as a mob just because they disagree with them. No different than kids bullying kids.
“Do as I say, not as I do,” doesn’t get it.
Until next Blog be a good example and be a good sport versus showing how to be a bully,