Today it is my pleasure to review The Virtual Umpire Camp from Immersion Media. My thanks to Rick Perko, president of Immersion Media, for sending a copy and allowing me to use video from the product in this review.
The Virtual Umpire Camp is billed as:
"a unique, interactive CD-ROM for umpires to learn the mechanics and signals for umpiring. Containing more than 100 animations, this product is a must-have for any current or future umpire. It's the only such product licensed by both Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball."
Honestly, I expected The Virtual Umpire Camp to be full of slick graphics and poor content - you know "full of sound and fury signifying nothing."
Boy, was I wrong.
The Virtual Umpire Camp is actually very simple, but delivers a powerful punch. It is the equivalent of a searchable and animated umpire's mechanics manual. The CD-ROM covers 2-, 3-, and 4-man mechanics. The bottom line is that The Virtual Umpire Camp is your printed mechanics manual, only better! Click on the video below to get a sample of three-man mechanics, runner on first:
The actual video within the program is much larger and contains a text transcript, so you can pause the video and read the description - just like your print mechanics manual. As you can see, The Virtual Umpire Camp gives you the basic mechanics in an easily understandable format. This format is both audial and visual, increasing the learning process. The viewer follows the umpires' rotation while listening to the explanation of the positioning. You can pause the video, read the description, and study the rotation while learning at your own pace.
One drawback to the product is that you must have an internet connection in order to register the product. The Virtual Umpire Camp sells for $29.99 and is available from the Immersion Media website.
I highly recommend The Virtual Umpire Camp as a useful learning tool. This product is not sexy, or slick, or high-tech. Instead, it is easy to use and provides all of the vital mechanics information you need in one source.