IBAF Umpire Training Camp and Technical Commissioner Seminar Drew Hugh Interest from Neighboring Countries
The Hong Kong Baseball Association recent hosted the IBAF Umpire Training Camp and the IBAF Technical Commissioner Seminar in Hong Kong. The two events attracted more than 30 Umpires and Technical Commissioners from all across the Far East to flock to town during the Easter holidays (17-21 April, 2014), all in the hope of furthering their own expertise around the baseball diamond. 

Jim Baba, a senior official for Baseball Canada, was on hand in Hong Kong to present the Technical Commissioner Seminar. “The reason for organizing such a seminar is to provide the IBAF with more options on match officials for future international events,” the baseball lifer explained. “I hope the Technical Commissioners who attended the seminar in Hong Kong can get more exposure from international tournaments such as the Phoenix Cup, in order to continue their development and growth in the Technical Commissioner role.” 

Gus Rodriguez, long-serving official in the IBAF organization, hinted that the international stage should be what his students aim for down the road. “In my mind, these umpires who attended the training camp should strive to force their way into different international tournaments,” Rodriguez said. “As I explained to the umpires who were on hand, the IBAF is organizing a lot of tournaments annually and will require umpiring talents from all around the globe. Therefore this is definitely an attainable goal for the students to strive to achieve down the road.”  

NPB umpire Takeshi Hirabayashi was on hand for the four-day umpire training camp and really enjoyed his time with some of the less-experienced umpires. “I really enjoyed my time coaching the younger umpires because I was once a beginner myself,” Hirabayashi commented. “I really admire the intensity and desire that the students have shown during the training camp. This should be a great opportunity for them to improve.” 

Marco Screti, an Umpiring Instructor who hailed from Italy, was thoroughly impressed by the students’ hunger for knowledge. “The students have all shown tremendous passion for the game of baseball. They are really knowledgeable of the game and have asked some very good questions,” Screti observed. “We had some long hours on the baseball field but the students would still come up to me during breaks to ask questions. They really seemed to have a hunger to improve their baseball knowledge.” 

Local umpire Ricky Wong was delighted with his experience in the umpire training camp. “The instructors on hand were all top class and highly experienced,” Wong offered. “They were really open to sharing and offered us a lot of insights and tips on various situations within the game of baseball, something which I found hugely beneficial.” 

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Filed by Graeme Chan