Umpire-In-Chief: Passion Behind The Mask

Feature Video Interview: ARNE AUSTRING (UMPIRE-IN-CHIEF) - "I am officiating the game that I love; with people I enjoy working with, and with players who enjoy the game."
SURREY, British Columbia - April 17, 2013 - PRLog -- ARNE AUSTRING - PASSION BEHIND THE MASK
by Thomas Bell

South Surrey White Rock Minor Softball Association's Umpire-In-Chief Arne Austring developed a passion for the game of fastpitch softball from an early age. As a young boy growing up in Pitt Meadows, Austring was already behind the mask as a catcher playing B level hardball until he was eighteen years old. His passion for the game and his experience seeing balls and strikes behind the plate has transitioned into a thirty-two year career as a minor league fastpitch softball umpire.

Arne first became an umpire in 1981 after earning Level One certification from the Canadian Amateur Softball Association (“Softball Canada”). Softball Canada was founded in 1965 and is the National Governing body for softball. Their Coach and Umpiring Development programs are recognized internationally as leaders in the sport. Softball Canada umpires are regularity selected by the International Softball Federation (“ISF”) to officiate international events including the ISF Junior and Women’s Championships and the ISF Junior and Men’s World Championship.

Softball Canada has five levels of certification.  Level one is required for local minor and adult softball, level two provides eligibility for minor provincial championships, adult provincial C and events such as the B.C. Summer Games. Level three exposes an umpire to many different levels of softball including National Championships at the midget or master level. Level four and five are needed for international tournaments, championships and the Olympic Games.

Arne Austring is level three certified and has completed the technical requirements for a level four certification. His certification and years of experience have qualified him for his current role as SSWRMSA Umpire-In-Chief (“UIC”).  Arne has officiated at many big events including provincial championships but when asked to recall the most memorable event of his career, Arne responded,

“Each new season is memorable. I thoroughly enjoy working with new umpires both young and not so young but officiating at the 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney Australia where 192 teams competed was great fun.”

Arne enjoys teaching and mentoring new umpires and has trained and helped certify over  one hundered men and women officials, many as young as 12 years old. Older new recruits can draw on life experiences to position themselves for success as a game official; the young umpires rely heavily on Austring and other experienced umpires.  Austring advises new umpires to be patient and with time most of the rules of the game will become clearer. He tells them to learn from the experience of other umpires as each inning, game and tournament has a new twist or exposure to some of the more interesting rules.

Arne is still a fan of the game and he continues to watch as many games as possible. He can usually be found behind the backstop keeping an eye on new umpires as they call the game. Arne instills in his ‘Blue Crew’ members that they are in charge during the game and yes, mistakes do happen. Arne always takes time after the last out to mentor members of his team by providing encouragement, compliments and also constructive advice on how the game could have been officiated better. “It is important for new umpires to also listen to the comments from parents and coaches and to think about what they could have done differently, or not, to change the outcome.”

After thirty-two years behind the plate, Arne is not ready to hang up the mask just yet! He is still a passionate fan of the game. "What I like most about fastpitch softball is the game itself, the pace, the hits, catches, throws, safes and outs as well as the tremendous comradery and teamwork among players and the blue team."

When asked about his future goals as a fastpitch softball umpire Arne commented, “I recently completed Softball Canada's Educators and Evaluators program which will help me improve my skills in working with new or newer umpires. I could not be happier. I am officiating the game that I love; with people I enjoy working with, and with players who enjoy the game."
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Tags:Softball Umpire, Umpire In Chief, Olympic Softball, New Umpires, Certification
Location:Surrey - British Columbia - Canada
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Page Updated Last on: Apr 17, 2013
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