After the success of the umpires webinars in May, the European Softball Federation organized a second session for umpires in June. The virtual meeting focused on the mechanics of the game.
Mechanics is vital for the job of the blues, defying the ideal position in which the call should be done, considering the play, the direction of the throw, the possibility for the player to slide, and many other factors.
ESF and WBSC umpire Arjan de Wever said that the mechanics often needs to be adjusted because there is no such thing as the perfect play: "we need to be ready to move, to adjust to a new position to make the right call. If we land on the X - the "universal perfect position" - we might be mechanically flawless, but the play may ask to move 2 or 3 steps further down the line to make a better angle or a bigger picture", De Wever also added: "this webinar showed us what might help in getting to a better "perfect position" than the old one."
The goal behind the webinars is the one for the umpires to learn, exchange points of view, and experiences, also related to the countries of origin and the different competitions the numerous umpires participated. The ultimate goal is to get better.
Additionally, June should have been the month of Women's and Men's European Championships, and the webinar allowed the blue team to stay connected. "After the webinar, the virtual room stays open for us to socialize with our fellow umpires" Arjan de Wever explained.
The 2020 season is a unique one in history, with postponed or canceled games. Europe is getting back to the fields just now, months later than usual. With virtual education, the umpires partially made up for the lack of championships and games.
Next umpires webinar is scheduled for the beginning of July.
/ Elda Ghilardi