By European Softball Federation, www.europeansoftball.org
First ESF Umpire Convention held on March 7 – 9 in Olympic Center in Roma was very successful. In total 60 ESF licenced umpires from 19 countries attended this Convention leaded by Bob Stanton, ISF Director of Umpires and Andrea Marcon, ESF Director of Umpires. The main goals of this Convention were introductions and explanations new rules and unifying umpiring at ESF tournaments.
Bob Stanton introduced new rules including changes in the interpretation of some rules. Presentation perfectly introduced problematic interpretations and importance of communication was presented also by short video from Ice Hockey referee communication system. Specific rules as a DP/Flex or Interference/Obstructions were explained by umpires themselves in the workshop groups. The co-operation among the umpires was very effective and hopefully the information presented at the Convention will be brought also to their own countries.
New sponsorship agreement with Tecnovap Company was introduced at this Convention including ESF strategy regarding upgrade of ESF stuff. The Convention attended also FIBS representatives Totoni Sanna and Giampiero Curti.
Andrea Marcon introduced ISF Umpire Clinic in Europe, which will run in Prague on June 23rd – 28th, 2014. Also ESF Fast Pitch Umpire Clinic held in Prague on May 21st – 26th and ESF Slow Pitch Umpire Clinic held on May 7th – 11th were reminded.
Three men’s system and answers to rules test were reminded by Gian Paolo Pelosi including specification for slow pitch announced by James O’Farrel. Finally assignments for ESF tournaments 2014 were also announced at this clinic.
The Convention was excellent time to bring umpire together and discuss on several topics regarding umpiring. This social part is very important for achieving second goal – unifying umpiring at ESF tournaments. The Convention was timely good selected after ISF rule changes Congress and ESF would like to hold this Umpire Convention every four years.