Mike Doherty, Danny Ramirez, Raul Rodriguez, Zach Novick, Larry Norberto, Michael Allen, Manny Frederique, Val Avallone, Howie Palladino, Tom Kienzle & Earl Berry. (Pictured L - R)
Gentlemen, we appreciate the hard work, your dedication to the game of baseball and your commitment to the art of Umpiring. We thank you for your loyalty to the EBUA!
We are currently accepting applications for our upcoming 2020 EBUA Rookie Umpire Class
White Plains, NY
When people say, “There’s no need to get emotional,” that’s probably more true for officials than for the average person. Put a regular guy or gal in front of hundreds, maybe thousands, of screaming fans, a couple of intense coaches and a bunch of psyched-up, keyed-up and fired-up athletes, and you’re going to need a squeegee to put what’s left of Joe or Jill Average back together.
You, on the other hand, don’t have the luxury to feel what the average person feels — you’re an official and there’s a job to do. But emotions shouldn’t be ignored, either. Controlling your emotions means controlling your game and controlling your game is your job. To be effective, an official needs to be a rock, but not a robot. A listener, but not a passive abuse-taker. A professional, but not an egomaniac.
Confidence is one of the “good” emotions that you probably don’t need to control too much (unless you become overconfident, which could lead you to become arrogant, which leads to egomania!).
Being able to handle pressure starts with confidence in your ability. You have to develop a level of confidence that you know the game and you know what you’re doing out there. You develop a feel for the game and what’s going on around you. It allows you to defuse problems before they happen. Knowledge is power and when you’ve mastered your game, a sense of control will follow.
Stay cool when the pressure gets hot. All the knowledge in the world will only take you so far when there’s a lot on the line. Let’s face it, the outcomes of some games have outrageous implications. Some officials are put in charge of events involving tens of millions of dollars, with maybe hundreds of millions of people watching — and careers often hang in the balance. There’s pressure there and you can’t deny it.
Don’t think that only happens at the pro, international or major college levels, though. The folks sitting in the stands at a local high school football or basketball game, or a Little League baseball or youth league soccer game, can be just as — and sometimes more — personally invested in the outcome of a game. The ire of a handful of parents can be more disquieting than the anonymous roar of 20,000 spectators.
It is essential to develop stress-management skills so you can keep focused during the actual contest, when the pressure gets turned up. A big mistake officials make is trying to pretend they have no emotions and nothing can get to them. Though it doesn’t pay to display your emotions for everyone to see, denying your feelings exist can lead to trouble.
Self-talk can help. Instead of trying to be an unfeeling robot, you’re better off being able to identify when you’re feeling stressed and then having a strategy to deal with it.
It can be as simple as developing a quick conversation with yourself:
1. Acknowledge the pressure, direct your mind to focus on the game and assure yourself that you’re in control in a relaxed, calm way.
2. Fairly assess your performance and commit to minimizing mistakes, but also be prepared to move on and develop a tolerance for being less than perfect.
3. Be wary of when your internal conversation becomes hostile. If you find your self-talk starts to run along the lines of, “Damn, I blew that one!” “I don’t belong out here!” “I stink!” or other similarly denigrating comments, stop it immediately, and approach your thinking in a calmer way by turning an intense focus back to the game.
When it gets really ugly. Let’s face it, as an official, you’re not going to be the most popular person in the building or on the field. You’re often going to be the scapegoat for the frustration of players, coaches and fans. You probably already know not to expect hugs and kisses, but what about when the people involved really start to push your buttons?
Maintaining composure can be a real challenge when the words get unkind and the talk gets personal. It’s not enough to have tough skin; you have to anticipate what might come and deal with it. The most important skill to have is the ability to avoid taking anything too personally, which you can do with some mental strategy.
It is essential that you keep in mind up front that officiating is not an activity designed to get people to like you. You may love the game; you may love staying close to it, but don’t come into it thinking you’re going to make friends. If you have a strong need for approval from others, spending your nights and weekends officiating sporting events is going to be a nice introduction to hell. Take an inventory of what draws you to the sports you officiate and be honest with yourself. If getting lots of slaps on the back and camaraderie from the others involved in the game is what drives you, maybe your time would be better spent driving the team bus or manning the Gatorade bucket.
Women often face challenges men do not, especially if they’re officiating games involving male athletes. On top of the usual, “You’re blind!” comments, women will hear catcalls suggesting they aren’t good enough or should “go back to the kitchen.”
In those cases, focus your energy into the game, not on the negative comments or even desperately trying to prove anything to anyone. Whether it is a personal attack, unfair criticism or just plain harassment, the key to keeping cool and performing well is maintaining your focus where it should be — on the game.
When you know you blew one. Every official kicks one once in awhile and everyone knows it. The adage that no one’s perfect really isn’t much of a comfort in our business despite its truth, but there are steps you can take to keep your focus after the occasional and inevitable mistake occurs.
Sometimes — not always — admitting a mistake to a coach earns their respect. But doing that too often destroys your credibility. Insisting on perfection in your own performance will backfire, not just in the relationships you develop with the players and coaches, but it will also interfere with your performance. It sets you up for unrealistic expectations and you’ll wind up trying to convince yourself that you’re always right or feeling that you’re incompetent and don’t belong in the profession.
It’s often said that the legendary Bill Klem, the late Hall of Fame baseball umpire, could often be heard proclaiming that during his entire 35-year NL career he felt he “never missed a call.” Officials who hear that story usually roll their eyes.
Instead of demanding perfection of yourself, your focus should be on doing the best you can and searching for ways to improve.
All things in balance. Keeping your emotions under control is a matter of keeping everything at the game, and in the rest of your life, in perspective. Balance is the key. Too much of anything — mistakes, ego, abuse from the spectators, etc. — can throw your emotions all out of whack. Not everyone is born with the skill to perform with grace under pressure, but it is something you can learn. The key is to know your game, know yourself and understand human nature.
If your motivation is to be the best official possible — and that’s a pretty good motivator for any official — putting it all together is simply a matter of practice and self-awareness.
EBUA provides Umpires throughout Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Dutchess Counties, The Bronx, Manhattan, Western Connecticut and Fairfield County. This past 2019 Season - Spring, Summer and Fall combined - we provided Umpires for over 1,200 teams and assigned over 10,000 games!!! As we continue to grow leaps and bounds, we'd like to thank all of our Staff and Umpires for their continued support and tremendous effort in making EBUA one of the strongest, most talented, professional and respected Umpire Associations in the country.
The Elite Baseball Umpires Association was formed to provide youth baseball with quality Umpires. Our Umpires are dedicated to supporting the integrity of the game and promoting sportsmanship amongst the Players, Coaches, Parents and Officials.
The EBUA trains its Umpires not only in the proper fundamentals and techniques of officiating baseball; but to also know, understand and articulate the difference in rules amongst the many governing bodies of youth baseball, such as Little League, Cal Ripken and Federation.
Providing fair and balanced adjudicating of the games within a partnership with the Coaches is paramount for the EBUA. It is our intent to demonstrate that Coaches and Officials can and should work together to make playing baseball fun for the participants. EBUA understands the great responsibility that our Umpires have in being role models not just for the players, but to other constituents that help make baseball the greatest game ever invented.
Here at EBUA, we strongly believe in investing in yourself and your craft. We want to be the vessel in helping you improve at whatever level you want to work. Whether you want to be the best Little League Umpire, High School Umpire or are considering becoming a College Official, we want to assist you in bettering your skill set. These are some of the schools, clinics and camps that we recommend you consider.
EBUA proudly supports the heroic Men and Women who serve and have served our country proudly while risking their lives to defend our freedoms and way of life. We are very thankful and appreciate them for their bravery, courage and dedication to making and keeping America the greatest country in the world. God bless the USA and may God bless our Military Men and Women.
Bravery is doing something without the presence of fear......Courage is doing something despite the fear.
Jason served in the United States Navy from May of 1996 to April 2000. He attended boot camp and “A” school in Great Lakes, Illinois and was selected for honor duty onboard The USS Constitution “Old Ironsides” which is the oldest commissioned war ship in the world and is most famous for it's role in the War of 1812. He was also part of the crew that sailed the ship under its own power with only wind and sails for the first time since 1881 on July 21, 1997.
Josh joined the military while he was in high school on March 29th 2011. He joined the Military as a 35G (Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst). After graduating, he left for BT on July 18th that summer. He has learned a ton of life lessons that have made him the man that he is today. Josh is currently transitioning into civilian life as an officer with the CCPD.
Earl did his basic training in Fort Jackson, SC and then was stationed in Panama from 1986-1988. He was there during the conflict with Manuel Noriega and was in the 1st of the 508th Airborne Infantry. He left the Military in 1989 as a PFC and joined EBUA in 2018. He also works as an Umpire for the New York State Baseball Umpires Association as a member of the WCBUA for BOCES.
Emilio served in the US Air Force from 2004 - 2014. He entered as a Military Police Officer and was deployed to Tikrit, Iraq, Camp Fallujah, Camp Victory, FOB Grizzly and Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He was a member of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was also tasked with completing combat related missions in accordance to Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Afterwards, he became a Sergeant and was stationed at the Incirlik AB in Turkey. He was initially a Quick Reaction Force Member and worked his way up to become a Protection Level-1 CCTV Monitor.
Mike Pereira, NFL and NCAA football rules analyst with Fox Sports, has been selected by NASO as the recipient of the 2019 NASO Mel Narol Medallion. Pereira will be honored with the Medallion at the Celebrate Officiating Gala on July 30 at the NASO Sports Officiating Summit in Spokane, Wash.
The Medallion recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the betterment of NASO. These activities include organizational leadership, education, training, promotion of officiating and other events. The award is named for Narol, a longtime legal columnist and consultant to NASO, who died in 2002. Narol received the award posthumously in 2003, when the Medallion was named in his honor.
Visit our Recruit A Veteran page or click on Mike to find out more!