In the current era of baseball, even at the amateur level, all umpires must now be conscious of, and in fact expect, the presence of video cameras recording any game they are working. Working at the amateur level does not excuse an umpire from exhibiting the professionalism of an umpire working at the professional level. The HBUA executive consistently negotiates for some of the best game fees in the province and all umpires should consistently strive to represent the association in the best manner possible.
As we see in this video, an innocent practice of “covering the plate” on a rotation is turned into a viral video as well as the accusation of an umpire covering the plate with dirt in an attempt to be able to call the runner out. This is an example of an unacceptable (although innocent) umpire practice which has probably gone unnoticed for decades, which draws negative attention to umpires everywhere thanks to video.
Umpires should not be fearful of video however! Video is an impeccable tool, allowing umpires to review judgment, positioning, mechanics, and field presence. HBUA umpires are fortunate to have the oppourtunity to review their work via highlight videos from any Junior Intercounty game played at Bernie Arbour Stadium.
Every umpire should always seek to improve and learn, especially through video review. Umpires should not hesitate to ask the opinion of other umpires however, NO umpire should criticize another umpire unless explicitly asked for feedback, and especially not behind that umpire’s back.