Friday, October 11, 2013

Follow the Umpires Code

While not being a baseball guy as I have admitted in the past, I am a spots (sporting?) guy, and stayed up to watch the final pairing for the ALCS which opens this Saturday (the 12th) at Fenway Pahk.

In looking around for info, I ran across "Baseball's 25 Biggest Unwritten Rules" from the LA Times. While I certainly don't take them as the real set of unwritten rules (some clearly were, some clearly were not), I found one of them interesting ... Follow the Umpire's Code:

I smiled a bit because in thinking about it, there certainly is one, for all officials of the sport. There are traditions that have been around for years and years, and ones that have recently emerged that must be respected too.

One for me is to always, always, wear long sleeves when I referee. Regardless of weather, regardless of location. Some have called this a "Massachusetts" thing for some time, but my reasoning is simple, it is out of deference to how, I believe, referees should dress for a match.

If you take a look at how referees used to dress ...

Photo courtesy of Third String Goalie

... to me it seems clear we have lost our way a bit in referees being a bit more "formal."

Now I understand that a particular uniform is required per the LOTG and local associations, but there has always been something a bit more formal to me about long sleeves ... just a touch more respect for The Game and all of its participants.

With that as a backdrop ... what are your traditions for The Game?

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