Umpires are many things… we are judges, athletes, babysitters… but we are NOT clean. And don’t try to deny it. I’ve worked with enough of you to know that your gear is foul smelling and I don’t know the last time you’ve washed your socks.
Well, this episode of the podcast is dedicated to those of you whose equipment stays in your equipment bag throughout the summer while those little bacteria grow and smell starts to set in. Today, we talk about cleaning umpire equipment.
She took some time out of her writing to talk with UmpTalk.com about how to properly allow equipment to dry between games, clean it periodically and avoid nasty staph infections from the crap growing in our equipment.
This won’t be the sexiest podcast, but someday, it might just save you. This episode is a list of hard-learned lessons about the right items you need to have in your umpire equipment bag.
They were learned the hard way – by not having these things and needing them.
First, let’s define “umpire bag” because umpires usually have a bag for gear that they change out of, drag to the dressing room and they also have a secondary bag (for me, it’s a tupperware bin) with a lot of these other items. Both of these bags are extremely important and should be stocked and checked regularly.
If we’ve missed anything, please let us know in the comments so we can help future umpires make sure they’re well prepared!!
**Items in ALL CAPS are SHOW STOPPERS!! Try umpiring without these.
Shoe cleaning kit and equipment. (We’re going to have a whole show about shoe and equipment cleaning coming up soon!) But at minimum you should have two dish towels, a shoe brush and a bag to put your shoes in (in case they’re muddy)
Sunflower Seeds / Gum / Power Bar (check with your location to see if seeds are allowed. They are less and less nowadays)
Sunglasses/Sunglasses Case/Eyeglasses cleaner
Pair of Socks
Ballbags (different colors also)
Bugspray (if keeping in your bag, put it in a ziploc bag in case of leakage)
Febreeze (ziploc also!)
Extra medication / Ben Gay / IBUPROFEN (totally different ziploc bag)
EXTRA SHOE LACES!!
Pens/Pencil/Lineup Card Protector
Toiletry bag with baby wipes, deodorant
Athletic Tape / Small First Aid Kit
Small notepad or journal
Gold Bond (you know who you are)
Small Sewing Kit
And finally, and we think this was made in jest – but then again maybe not – pepper spray!
What did we miss? Sound off in the comments or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Thanks again for listening!!
It’s cold outside! Due to climate and the way high school and college schedules fall, baseball starts earlier and earlier. Since many of us cannot travel to warmer climates like Texas, the SouthWest or Florida to umpire in the late winter and early spring, we have to get games where we can. And that means games starting in early to mid-February or stretching the season into October and November.
Sometimes, those fields are frozen. Sometimes there’s snow and other precipitation falling. And it’s important to make sure you prepare. Here are nine tips for umpiring games in cold weather. Bundle up!!
Check with AD or Head Coach on what temperature a game will be cancelled at and call ahead. Sometimes a field will clear and games will be played – especially when teams are traveling.
You can look like a boss and wear a plate coat – but since nobody wears plate coats anymore…
Layers is the key here. Not sensible to buy a winter umpire jacket unless you really need it, so you can buy a nice ump jacket a size up and then wear a sweatshirt underneath it. Trick is that you need to fit it all in your pants so don’t wear anything too bulky. Multiple thin layers is key.
These are super nice for the coldest games. It’s so important to trap that heat that’s released from your head. This covers your ears and your head and also neck. Plus it’s thin enough to use under your base had
Umpiring is all about getting in position, doing the right thing, making the right call – but there are certain “Nevers” in umpiring that are important to learn as well. This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but a great start to further conversation.