***DUA UMPIRE TIPS***
Part of being a good umpire is looking professional on the field. As the umpires enter the field before the game, the first thing the teams notice is their appearance. Showing up to the game in a clean, well-fitted uniform goes a long way in helping your credibility.
Before you arrive at the game site, make sure your uniform is clean and wrinkle-free. Your shoes should be shined and clean at the start of the game. They will get dirty as the game progresses, but they should never look that way at the start of the game. Hats should be clean and blocked. Belts, shoes and socks should be black, although a white logo on the shoes is fine.
Some tips to keeping your uniforms clean and ready for every game:
1. Duplication. Unless you want to wash your uniform every night, it is a good idea to have more than one shirt and one pair of umpire pants. By having multiple uniforms, it is easy to have a clean one available, especially when you work games on back-to-back days. This includes all necessary undergarments, i.e. t-shirts, compression shorts and black socks.
2. If possible, have a way to hang your uniforms in your vehicle. This will keep them neater and wrinkle-free, rather than just throwing them in the trunk. Also, keep the uniforms covered in your vehicle to prevent fading from the sun.
3. Clean and polish your shoes prior to every game.
4. Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle Items like needle & thread, safety pins, extra buttons, spare shoe strings, bandages, tape and first-aid supplies will be there when you need them.
5. Keep you hats in a hard plastic case. This will help keep them clean and in proper shape. Use a plastic cap cage to wash your hats in the laundry. Allow them to air dry.
6. Carry a spray bottle of clean water, a bottle of fabric freshener and a clean rag in your vehicle. When working multiple games in one day, spray water on your shoes and wipe them dry with the rag to remove the dust between games when you don’t have time to re-polish them. Spray the fabric freshener on the inside of your plate gear and in your shoes to prevent odor. A dryer sheet stuffed into each shoe will also prevent shoe odor.
7. Periodically, check your shoes and plate gear for wear and fit. Adjust, or replace straps as needed. Your plate gear is there to protect you. Make sure it is well-maintained. Replace worn-out shoe strings before they break during a game.
The important thing, as you walk onto the field for every game, is to show true professionalism. Wearing a neat and clean uniform and properly shined shoes gives a great first impression. Look professional. Be professional.