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Introduction to the New Association. History The Mid-America Umpires was founded by the area college umpires who possessed college and high school schedules.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the New Association. History The Mid-America Umpires was founded by the area college umpires who possessed college and high school schedules."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to the New Association

2 History

3 The Mid-America Umpires was founded by the area college umpires who possessed college and high school schedules in an effort to: 1. Bring together the area college umpires as opposed to working against each other. 2. Establish an Executive Board to manage the Association to ensure it does not become a dictatorship and allow common sense to prevail with all decisions. 3. Have a uniform, non-partisan approach to college assignments.

4 4. Bring together the area high school umpires who have aspirations of umpiring college baseball, identify who they are, evaluate and assess their abilities and assist them in moving forward. 5. Conduct clinics and training to help high school umpires move into the college ranks.

5  As the Association continued to grow in numbers, it became evident some umpires joining the association were only interested in umpiring at the high school level with no desire to work at the college level. We separated the association into both a college and high school association.

6  College umpires began moving away from the Association as the CBUA continued to grow and when Rich Fetchiet became the assignor for the Missouri Valley Conference and the GLVC, combined with Drury and Missouri S&T joining the GLVC, the college umpires felt the need to move the college portion of the Association into the CBUA and the Mid-America Umpires became solely a high school association.  The former college members agreed to remain on- board as advisors and assist with education and training. This has not happened and the divide between the college and high school umpires has grown.

7  Since that time the Association has failed to conduct meetings with the exception of training & recruiting. The recruiting and training has been very successful but retention, education and improvement of current members has been lacking. The Association has basically been an assigning association and has put forth very little additional effort.

8  The Officers have not been involved.  Attempts to get them involved have failed.  Active members have come to the conclusion we are at an impasse.  Reviewing the MAU By-Laws, we felt it best to dissolve the current MAU and restructure the Association with new By-Laws reflecting the necessary changes to move the Association forward.

9 Where Do We Go From Here?

10  Moving forward requires re-identifying the Mid- America Umpires. The Association Must: ◦ Lay out a new plan focused on the goals and desires of each individual member, as opposed to attempting to direct individual members towards the desires of the Association. ◦ Understand not every member is currently seeking, or will ever seek, the opportunity to umpire at the collegiate level. ◦ Provide an avenue for each umpire to be successful regardless of their goals.

11 Establishing Goals:  The Association must have goals for the Association as a whole and for our individual members, and share those goals with the membership.  The individual members must have goals for themselves and share those goals with the Association.

12  Get veteran members active.  Make EVERY member feel important and necessary.  Make new members feel welcome.  Establish better camaraderie.  Create a “team” atmosphere.  Increase our membership numbers and number of schedules each year.

13  Restore relationships with the current college umpires and use them as a valuable resource for training and education of all members and provide opportunities for advancement for those members who have indicated their desire to advance to the collegiate level.  Conduct valuable educational meetings to all members using multi-media: video clips, DVD’s, PowerPoint’s, etc. These goals will be explained in detail during this presentation.

14 Moving Forward Part I: Executive Board & Governing Body

15  As we move forward the Association needs people in place who are active and want to see the Association and its members succeed.  There does not appear to be a necessary need for the Association to have a President, Vice President and a Secretary/Treasurer. Several associations across the country are evolving into an Executive Board to conduct its business and an Executive Director to oversee the day-to-day operations and game assignments.

16  The obvious concern in having an Executive Director is giving a single person too much authority.  The Association was originally set up with the Executive Board being the governing body and this shall remain.  The Executive Director will serve at the pleasure of the Board.

17  The Executive Board is the governing body and should consist of various ages, years of experience, and levels of ability that will represent the Association as a whole and an Executive Director who will serve as the spokesperson for the Board.  Establishing an odd number of Board Members will prevent the Director from having the need to cast a deciding vote and should eliminate any implications of a dictatorship.

18  Executive Director: Jason Blackburn  Brad Black  Zac Montgomery  Tony Snyder  Doug Thrasher  Greg White

19  They have been some of the most active, available members the past 3 years.  Having talked with them they want to see the Association succeed.  They have sacrificed for the betterment of the Association.  OVERALL they are a microcosm of the Association – age levels, years worked, and experience levels.

20  The Board is diverse in age, years of experience and levels of experience.  You will be able to identify a board member who best represents you where you are in your career.  That Board Member will be available to you to answer questions, listen to concerns, take your suggestions, and offer advice/assistance.  That Board Member will be your voice on the Executive Board.

21 The Executive Board shall: A. Assign all games the Association has received. B. Serve as rule interpreters for the Association. C. Oversee the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director of the Association. D. Set membership dues and assessments. E. Determine requirements of membership. F. Determine qualifications and policies for assigning umpires. G. Initiate education and training programs.

22 The Executive Board shall: H. Have the authority to interpret and execute the various provisions of these by-laws and other matters not specifically provided for in these by- laws. I. Announce all Executive Board decisions at the first general meeting following each decision. J. Regarding any substantial matters before the Executive Board, the Executive Board may recommend action to the membership, but may not act without a voting mandate from the membership. K. Determine mechanics of election process prior to balloting.

23  Executive Board Members shall serve a term of two years and may be eligible for re-election. In the event of an Executive Board Member vacancy, the nominee having received the next highest number of votes in the preceding election shall be appointed to the unexpired term.  Current Board Members will serve the 2013 & 2014 seasons. Election of Board Members will take place prior to the 2015 season.

24 Serves at the pleasure of the Executive Board. The position of Executive Director is a non-voting position on the Executive Board. He/she shall: A. Preside at all meetings and shall direct discussions at each meeting. B. Have the power to act for the Association on all administrative matters affecting the Association not reserved or delegated to the Executive Board. C. Shall appoint committees he/she deems necessary to assist him/her in his/her duties and to promote the Association. D. Shall comment and make recommendations on all matters coming before the Association but shall not vote on these matters. E. Control and be responsible for all property and funds of the Association. F. Notify all members by e-mail of all meetings.

25 He/she shall: G. Distribute Association policies for each new officiating season at the first general meeting each year. H. Prepare the official mailing list of all members in good standing stating their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e- mail addresses and provide one copy to each member in good standing. I. Obtain an availability list from each member in good standing and provide copies of these lists to the Executive Board. J. Be in charge of Public Affairs and responsible for the delivery to appropriate and effective media all announcements concerning events of interest to members of the Association. K. Maintain a record for each member of the Association and cause all matters commendatory or derogatory to be recorded therein. Included shall be evaluations by competent authority acceptable to the Association and attendance records useful to the conduct of business.

26  Recruiting Committee - Help with recruiting new members, distributing recruiting materials. ◦ Headed by Tony Snyder, needs help from willing members to distribute posters.  Training Committee – Oversee the training curriculum. Assist with training sessions. ◦ Headed by Jason Blackburn, needs help from willing members to set the curriculum, register & welcome new recruits at the sessions, and help lead training sessions.

27 Moving Forward Part II: Implementing Our Plans

28  By-Laws & Policies/Procedures Manuals have been updated to reflect the changes made. ◦ Available for download/printing on our website –

29 Each Member Should Understand:  Self-improvement must be the achieved regardless of their individual goals.  Remaining stagnant is not an option. ◦ Veterans must assume leadership/mentoring roles to help new umpires achieve their desired goals. ◦ New umpires must position themselves to move into leadership, veteran roles regardless of their desire to advance.

30  Umpire Profile Form - Please complete the form honestly and turn it in before you leave.  You will not be penalized in any way for your answers. ◦ GOALS – We want to know:  What level you aspire to work?  What is your 5 year plan?  What individual goals you want to achieve in 5 years? ◦ COMMITMENTS – We want to know:  If you are willing to do what is required to reach your goals?  If you are willing to serve as a Team Leader/Mentor?  If you will assist the MAU or if you just want games?

31  The Executive Board will be responsible for placing each member into categories based on evaluations and individual goals. The categories are as follows: ◦ LEVEL 1: Members are eligible to umpire at any level the Association assigns. Members in this category umpire at the collegiate level. ◦ LEVEL 2: Members are eligible to umpire at any level the Association assigns, and has made it known to the Executive Board that he/she wishes to be considered to umpire at the collegiate level. ◦ LEVEL 3: Members are eligible to umpire at any level the Association assigns, and has made it known to the Executive Board that he/she DOES NOT wish to be considered to umpire at the collegiate level. ◦ LEVEL 4: Members are eligible to umpire lower level Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman High School baseball. ◦ LEVEL 5: Members are eligible to umpire Junior Varsity and Freshman High School baseball. ◦ LEVEL 6: Members are eligible to umpire Freshman High School baseball.

32  Placing members at these levels allows the Association to communicate and assign based on the desired goals of each member. ◦ If you indicate you do not want to work college baseball, you will not receive communication about those opportunities and will not show up as available when those games are assigned. ◦ This coincides with The Arbiter assigning rankings – each game is given a level, meaning only umpires at that level or higher are eligible to work those games.

33  Game Assignments ◦ Executive Board will review all games, identify the “crucial games” and assign those games to the higher ranking members first. ◦ Remaining games will be assigned using a new concept…

34  Team Concept ◦ We will rank everyone in the MAU, 1-58+ ◦ Everyone will be divided up into 10’s.  1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-58+  The top 10 umpires who choose to participate will serve as team leaders & team mentors.  Team leaders will “draft” their team, 1 member from each group of 10. ◦ We hope to make at least 75% of our assignments to team members. ◦ Team Leaders will evaluate all their team members and submit the evaluations to the Executive Board.

35  All members will work at least 1 game at the freshman level. ◦ Veteran members/Team Leaders are allowed to work both games on the bases, serving as an evaluator/mentor.  Pre-Season Requirements: ◦ Teams will work at least 1 scrimmage game. ◦ Teams will work at least 1 cage session. ◦ Team Leaders/Mentors will lead the training and evaluate/assess the team.

36  Meetings ◦ We will hold meetings each year that will be rules & mechanics oriented. ◦ We will show video clips of plays and break out into groups to discuss and present our rulings. ◦ These meetings will be moderated by the Executive Director, but run by the individual members. ◦ We will continue to build up an instructional library and welcome any suggestions to add to it. ◦ We want to know what areas you feel we need to focus on.

37  Advancement ◦ The Executive Board will identify the members who desire to advance to the collegiate level. ◦ Umpires who express an interest in advancing must attend clinics, work scrimmage games for free, and be evaluated by the Executive Director.  Board Evaluations ◦ The Executive Board will use Midwest Nationals fall baseball games to evaluate as many members as possible. Especially newer members. ◦ Probably for little or no pay. ◦ Gives the Board an idea of what needs to be covered in training and meetings.

38 We feel by implementing these changes we are:  Becoming more active with our current members, placing responsibility on our “veteran” members to evaluate and educate the newer members.  Better positioning ourselves to retain our current members.  Identifying the goals of each member and will help us help you achieve those goals.

39 Moving Forward Part III: The Future

40  Continue our recruiting and training for future members.  Establish a successful mentoring program.  Veteran members must work lower level games with newer members to provide feedback and mentoring.  Conduct meaningful, educational meetings for the entire membership.

41  Enter into a training/recruiting program with the Greene County Park Board umpires. This will allow us to give avenues for new recruits, current youth level umpires, and current high school umpires to achieve their goals.  Get members active in community events to establish better camaraderie, help in recruiting, and display community involvement – giving the officiating community a better overall reputation.

42  Establish off the field, end of the year activities for umpires and spouses and/or families to better overall relationships.  Position the Association to be prepared for expansion.

43 On a Personal Note

44  Being an assignor is a thankless job that most do not want to do.  The only people who “like” you are those who get the most games.  Everyone else thinks they are getting “screwed”.  My job is to keep everyone as active as their schedule allows.  No one has ever (or will ever) received games by “sucking up” and no one has ever been penalized by making me mad.

45 My goals:  To help you be the best umpire you want to be.  Teach anyone who wants to learn about umpiring…the most fun you can have with your clothes on.  To give an opportunity for anyone who wants to advance to the college level.  To see to it that the Association is the BEST.  To carry on what Gary Mitchell envisioned.

46  A lot of rumors float through the grapevine about me and my “agenda”. Here is the TRUTH… ◦ I am in this to get the best games. TRUTH: I’m not even HS certified. ◦ I am in this to increase the number of umpires who attend my umpire clinic. TRUTH: In the last 2 years 94 umpires have attended my clinics. 11 of those 94 are members of the MAU. ◦ I am in this to get rich. TRUTH: I have never paid myself a dime of the Association’s money or used the Association’s money to pay bills even though most of my phone & internet bills are umpire related.

47 ◦ You have to “suck up” to get games. TRUTH: The more you suck up to me, the more annoying you become and the fewer games you will get. ◦ If you make him mad, you’re screwed. TRUTH: If I penalized everyone who’s ever got under my skin, I’d have to work every game by myself. ◦ His e-mails are threatening and/or demanding. TRUTH: You cannot read emotion in an e-mail. If offense was ever taken, it wasn’t intended. I keep e-mails short, sweet and to the point. You won’t read a 5 page e-mail and I don’t have time to type it. If I ask for response, I do expect a response. Responding doesn’t make me mad, not responding does.

48  To give you as many games as you want.  To give you as much information as you can retain.  To help you get wherever you want to go in your career.  To give you the opportunities others do not.  To protect you from those who try to backstab.  To defend the defensible with coaches, administrators and MSHSAA.

49  This Association CAN function without me.  This Association CANNOT function without you.  You are the most important thing about the MAU.  MSHSAA requests that the MAU submit names for the Final 4. I have and will continue to submit names of those the Board feels should be considered.  I have the connections to get you go wherever you want to go…Weaubleau or Wichita State and I will help anyone who wants it.

50  Our association is held to a higher standard. Therefore, my expectations of you are high.  I understand and accept you may not want to advance to higher levels.  I will not understand or accept anyone umpiring without professionalism and integrity.  Many good umpires paved OUR way. It is OUR job to carry on that tradition.  TOGETHER we will achieve this.

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