My 11-year old came up to me the other day and said, "Mom, I just realized! I have a job!" "Yes you do!", I said. This summer my son signed up to be an umpire for the Little League baseball games. All you have to do it sign up, go to a meeting about learning the rules, and ump one level younger than you are. It only pays $9.00/game, but hey, that's more than I give him for his allowance in one week!
I think it's a great experience for him, but I'm also kind of skeptical. Some of those parents are ruthless to the umps. Last summer I didn't think I was going to be able to take it anymore. OK, this one kid actually was a pretty bad ump, BUT he WAS just a kid who was learning, AND this WAS just Little League, not the Major League. Just like you can't get upset when one of the kids doesn't play well because they are just learning, the umps have to start somewhere too. I had to hold myself back when I heard some parents booing the ump and SCREAMING, "New ump!". I debated saying something to these parents, but then I thought they might beat ME up! I LOVED how our coach handled the situation with the bad calls. He just went up to the ump and said, "Did you see that play? Because if you didn't, you can just say that you don't know because you couldn't see. I'm just letting you know." Our coach was frusterated, too, but he treated that ump very fairly.
My son doesn't worry about being yelled at. My husbands only concern is that he will get called ALL the time to ump. I don't think that's anything to worry about. He can always just say no. One mother I talked to at a game was there watching her son ump. She told me she can barely watch the games he umps because she doesn't want to see anyone yelling at her son. I guess it's bound to happen sometime, but hopefully not too often that it makes him want to quit. Did anyone else's son ever ump? Was it a good or bad experience for them?