The West Coast League board of directors voted last week to move from 2-man umpiring crews to 3-man crews for the 2013 season. The change was adopted to improve officiating and help further develop umpires in the region by working professionally-run games in the West Coast League. Like the Cape Cod League, the WCL now will feature three umpires at every regular-season game.
“We believe going to 3-man crews will help us develop umpires and keep higher caliber umpires working WCL games,” said WCL Supervisor of Umpires Tom Hiler. “We are excited at the prospects of improving our umpiring with a third umpire and of helping the West Coast League become the most professionally run league in the country.”
During the spring, WCL umpires work DI, DII, DIII, NAIA and JC games. The majority of WCL umpires have DI and DII experience.
The addition of a third umpire will allow the league to develop local talent in each member market and grow its pool of qualified umpires. The change is also a result of higher caliber players competing in the WCL necessitating an additional official and better umpiring positioning to rule on plays.
“Going to three umpires should not only improve our umpiring, but it will allow us to develop young, up and coming umpires,” said Bend Elks owner Jim Richards. “We’re a developmental league, and now we can give extra attention to cultivating aspiring umpires. We feel like this helps us better our product and set the WCL apart from other professionally-operated summer collegiate leagues.”
The West Coast League enters its ninth season this summer.
“Players, coaches, fans and umpires will appreciate this product enhancement. We’re anxious to get things started and enjoy first-class play and umpiring,” said Richards.
For more information on WCL umpiring, please contact WCL Supervisor of Umpires Tom Hiler at [email protected] The 2013 WCL season opens on Wednesday, June 5th.