The 2nd Jim Evans European Classic (JEEC) concluded Saturday, April 10 in Prague at the Krč Eagles baseball park. 27 participants from 8 different countries participated in a weeklong umpire-training course given by Jim Evans, a 28-year veteran Major League Baseball umpire. Assisting Jim were his long-time associate Dick Nelson, an umpire supervisor for over 40 years, and Dick Runchey, Regional Advisor of the NCAA Umpire Program and former Director of Umpires for the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). Runchey is also the current Chairman of the Amateur Baseball Umpires Association (ABUA). Assisting on the field with demonstrations were 5 European umpires from the Czech Republic, France, Scotland and Finland.
The Krč Eagles facility was one of the opening round venues of the 2009 Baseball World Cup and proved to be an ideal location for the JEEC. The weather the whole week was spring-like and enjoyable. The Czech Baseball Association (CBA) hosted the event with assistance from the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB), and Honig’s, which is a small shop the entire week with brisk sales every day.
The participants studied in the classroom every morning and spent each afternoon on the field reviewing the morning lessons and afterward running drills putting the new information into practice. Classroom work covered rules interpretations, positioning and mechanics, and various situations with both field and plate umpire skills being trained. The students’ skill levels varied from new umpires to CEB tournament tested umpires.
The 5-day clinic was intensive and as many topics as possible were covered during the week. At the end of the week there was a vast improvement in the students’ abilities as the lessons started taking hold. Jim is a top-class educator and always took a moment or two to lighten the mood with some “war stories” of crazy plays and situations he experienced during his long career.
Plans are already in the works for a JEEC in Italy in late March in 2011 and Switzerland has shown interest in hosting the event in 2012.
For more information on future JEEC events contact Thomas Haywood at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony Jones at email@example.com
Information can also be obtained from the website: www.jimevanseurope.com