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Grand Park looking for umpires this spring



Westfield, Indiana – Thoughts of spring and summertime necessities are already warming up in Westfield, even if central Indiana is in a deep frost. The city’s main attraction, Grand Park, needs workers to call balls and strikes.

“We’re looking for more umpires!” exclaimed Derek Whitfield.

Whitfield represents United Umpires, the organization that trains and hires officials for baseball at Grand Park.

According to Whitfield, with more games being played than ever before, the demand for officials at all levels has “exploded” in recent years.

He says the role of the umpire is not a simple matter of making the right call. “This day and age, every game that is being officiated is videoed at some point, no matter if it’s the mom that’s behind the backstop that is recording the game or if it’s being live streamed on TV, umpires are under the spotlight more than they ever have,” he said.

According to Whitefield, new hires will receive assistance from him or her as they get the hang of things and begin calling games. This assistance will include places on the field, which will let them understand the pressures that come with calling from both the stands and the diamond.

“We work guys out at the lower levels, the 9U and 10U (age) levels, and you get to figure out pretty quickly if they’re able to handle those games. Because those parents at that age, I tell you, they love their babies,” he said.

Umpires United is recruiting new officials by going outside the usual avenues. Giving high school athletes opportunity is one way to do this. Whitfield claims he goes to Westfield Schools once a week to get in touch with young potential clients.

To assist war veterans and their families with training and work the plate and bases for low or no cost, the group is also launching a new cooperation with Protect the Game. This month, a series of clinics begins.