One of the most thankless jobs in sports is to be an official. If the players and coaches aren’t complaining about a call, the fans are expressing their displeasure and sometimes in a very vulgar manner.
As long time baseball umpires retire, there is an increasing need for new replacements. Major League Baseball is looking to make the path a less difficult choice.
Beginning in January 2023, amateur umpires will be able to attend a four week training camp an opportunity to learn from the professionals and carve a path for advancement into the Minor Leagues and even as the players say a chance to “go to the show”.
The camp is free of charge and will be held at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Florida.
Attendees who give an outstanding performance during the camp will be offered an expedited path to work as a professional umpire.
Currently the MLB offers a single day camp in various spots around the country to offer potential umpires an alternative to learn the art of calling a game. A few dozen graduates of the one day camp are currently working as umpires in the Minor Leagues with Carlos Torres and Ramon De Jesus even making it into the Majors.
Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of on-field operations Michael Hill spoke on the new umpire camp saying, “this model will remove several significant barriers for prospective candidates and allow umpiring to become a more desirable career option for those who are interested. This natural next step in the development space will help us find the next wave of talented and diverse umpires who reach the Major Leagues.”
The MLB is hoping that the new Umpire Prospect Development Camp will bring in an even broader pool of potential umpires including women and individuals outside of the United States.