SPLL ump Southall gets honor
Southall chosen to work Little League World Series
Ohio District 11 Little League Umpire in Chief and South Point Little League umpire Kevin Southall has been selected as one of 92 volunteer umpires during the various Little League World Series events to be held this summer. Southall has been selected to umpire during the Junior League Softball World Series in Kirkland, Washington July 3-Aug. 5.
“This World Series is one of the most humbling experiences of my life. To be recognized by my league, my district, my state and my region out of the thousands of umpires out there, as someone worth sending to the Series is a feeling I can’t really convey into words” Southall said.
The selection process to become a World Series umpire is lengthy and rigorous. The process for selection to work a World Series begins with a recommendation from the District Administrator, within their district, to umpire in a Regional Tournament. Little League’s nine regional offices then consider all nominated umpires before selecting those who most closely meet the selection criteria.
“For me, this is a great capstone to a volunteer experience that started many years ago,” said Southall. “I got into umpiring when I volunteered to coach a little league team. I didn’t get picked that year and the league president called me to ask if I could umpire. I thought ‘how hard can that be?’, but I found out it was extremely hard. To go to a World Series you have to umpire and be evaluated as an umpire in every level of play.”
According to a statement by Little League International, “volunteer umpires are one of the most important aspects in the success of Little League programs around the world and in the Little League International Tournament.”
The umpires volunteering at each Regional Tournament are then evaluated and can receive one of two recommendations: Recommend working another Regional Tournament or Recommend a World Series assignment.
Once an umpire has earned a World Series recommendation, the umpire must indicate that they wish to be considered further. Individuals who meet those qualifications are then screened annually by Little League International and Regional staffs for selection to umpire in a Little League World Series tournament.
Appointment as a member of the umpiring crew for a World Series is the highest honor that Little League can bestow on a volunteer umpire. An individual can be selected for a World Series assignment once every four years, but being chosen to work the Little League Baseball World Series is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
For the third consecutive year, Little League International will support all volunteer umpires at the seven World Series events with a $400 travel stipend to help offset the costs for the men and women to attend their respective World Series events.
“To get a recommendation you have to perform exceptionally well at your regional. This is a volunteer program and I love it. It’s not about the time or the money for me. It’s about having something I love and work at it daily to perfect it, and it’s important to me to stay involved in my community, and especially the little league program. The closest friends I have are people I have grown close to and met in little league. I think we all share a passion for seeing kids have a positive and memorable experience” Southall said.