After 2008 in France, 2010 in Czech Republic and 2012 in Switzerland the 4th edition of the Jim Evans European Classic umpire clinic took place in Austria. With the support of the Attnang Athletics baseball club the Amateur Baseball Umpires’ Association Austria organized this international clinic. Participants of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Poland and Tunesia learned and trained 5 ½ days under the supervision of the former MLB umpire Lim Evans and his assistant instructor Dick “Sarge” Nelson.
The schedule contained 2-men-system, professional techniques and rule interpretations and of course a lot of drills on the field. The 4 instructors emphasized footwork, proper use of eyes and communication. In the cage the students worked on a correct plate stance, tracking the pitch and proper signals.
The organizer had luck with the weather so it was possible to work on the field daily from 1- 6 pm. Classroom lessons started at 8 am and went throughout 12 noon.
Friday evening the clinic ended with the graduation banquet. As a highlight the certificates were handed over and the chairman of ABUA-A and the vice president of Austrian baseball federation were present as special guests. During a tombola a lot of nice prices were given away.
The resume of the clinic is clearly positive: The students learned a lot and had some laughs together, weather was fine, the organization was very good and also the finances were balanced.
Hopefully JEEC will come back again in 2016, this time maybe in Germany. ABUA-A wishes the future organizer good luck – looking forward to see all of you again! Till 2016 we wish all the graduates a lot of good calls and don’t forget: You learn from every single mistake.
Official gallery: http://www.umpire.at/jeec2014pics