In 1999 I was officiating a baseball game. I remember this game for a simple reason. I was behind the plate and a pitch came in, I called the pitch a “ball”. Still to this I have no clue wether it was a ball or strike. Most of the pitches I called that day were accurate but I was unsure of a lot of them. The reason I was unsure is because my vision was terrible. I could not see where the ball was entering the strike zone. It bothered me for days and I lost sleep over it. It wasn’t because I missed a few calls due to my impairment, it was because I had not prepared myself and I was not performing to a standard that those athletes deserve. So with that I went to the eye doctor and had my vision corrected, haven’t missed a call since.
Now my problem was something that could be easily fixed and I did it so that I could be fair and accurate for those athletes. What bothers me today is officials that are lazy. I was watching a softball game last night, there was a runner at third and the base umpire was in position “C”, between second and third, the ball was hit to second. When the ball was put in play the base umpire did not move and made an out call at first. The plate umpire had not moved either nor did she look at first. The issue with this call is that the first basemen had pulled her foot. Base umpire did not ask for help and was way out of position because she did not move.
Now, take the lazy factor out of that play and you have a different ball game. If the correct call had been made then the team on offense would now be down by one with a runner on first. Could have changed the outcome if laziness disappears.
Officials need to understand why they officiate sports. It’s not for a check, it’s to ensure that no team gains an unfair advantage and in order to do so you must hustle.
One thing I’ll always remember when I first started was, “look professional and hustle”. This standard has disappeared.