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City of Waco to begin umpire training

Jan. 27, 2010

Contract job offered to locals, students with promise of flexibility

By Caty Hirst
Staff writer

The city of Waco is offering umpire training for slow pitch softball to people who are interested in becoming contract employees for the city of Waco.

Reggie Jackson, the athletic supervisor for the city of Waco, said umpire training will be held at 6 p.m. every Wednesday at Riverbend Park.

The dues are $75 and cover registration and insurance for the entire year.

Dennis Trotter, an umpire for the city of Waco, said he enjoys being an umpire and that it is a fun hobby.

Trotter said one of the best parts of being an umpire is getting to watch the people, he said there are always funny stories.

"Somebody may be running real hard for the ball and miss it, and have no reason at all to run for the ball," Trotter said.

Umpires will work the adult league, which is played Monday through Friday.

Four games are played on each field a night, and umpires will be required to ump all four games on the nights they work.

The first game starts at 6:30 p.m. and the last game starts at 9 p.m.

Umpires are paid $16 for every game they work, and the days they work are flexible.

Jackson said he recommends the job to college students because of its adjustability.

"Basically what happens is I take the days you want to work and I try to work around that," Jackson said. "You set your own days that you want to work."

Training is every Wednesday until the season starts on Feb. 22 and games run through November.

People interested should attend umpire training today at Riverbend Park, where they will be given the necessary paperwork to fill out.

Trotter said umpires earn the respect of the players, although sometimes the game can be frustrating.

"You are always going to be 50 percent right and 50 percent wrong," Trotter said. "One team is always going to think you are right and one team is always going to think you are wrong."

Trotter said people who are interested in being an umpire must have a great deal of patience and be careful about being hit with the ball.

Trotter has been hit two years in a row and had to miss a day of work because he was injured by a ball.

"A lot of people say softball is a sissy's game, but if that ball hits you there is nothing sissy about it," Trotter said.

For those interested, registration for 2010 adult softball leagues begins in February and the registration forms can be found on the City of Waco Web site, http://www.waco-texas.com