Thursday, October 8, 2009

Umpire “Starter” Package

Most all equipment retailers offer a new umpire equipment package. Since its raining here, and I’m ignoring my day job for a few minutes, I’ve created a hypothetical new umpire “starter” package, and listed some internet links. Of course, you may be able to beat these prices or you may decide to substitute items depending on the level of competition. Finally, consider this list a suggested starting point and shop around!

I can’t see how a new umpire on a budget can go wrong with a Diamond DFM-UMP mask. Weighing right at one pound with pads and harness, this featherweight mask is strong and the company offers a great warranty. Available in black or silver. The quick-dry pads are an issue, however, and if you shave regularly you may want to consider changing to leather padding. Ump-Attire currently sells this mask for $69.99.

The Wilson Chrome Moliben is an alternate choice, comes with leather pads, and weighs 23 ounces with pads and harness. It is a low-profile design which offers greater visibility, but many have suggested that the flatter low-profile design may increase your chances of suffering a concussion. Joe West sells this mask for $58.99.

Chest Protector
Don't mess around, buy a hard shell protector. The best protectors are made by Wilson (the West Vest Gold and the Platinum). However, for our new umpire on a budget, the Champion Hard Shell Chest Protector is cheap and offers decent protection. The Champion is available in three different sizes: 13" (P220), 15" (P210) , 17" (P200). Sport About Equipment offers the Champion at prices ranging from $38.95 to $44.95.

Shin Guards
CCM Referee SG100 Shin Guards. Comfortable, cool and low profile under your umpire pants. $39.99 from Hockey Giant in 14", 15" or 16" sizes.

The above items can be had for less than $155.00 plus shipping. Of course, shipping costs may vary greatly, so consider that cost in your purchase decision. A weekend of umpiring can pay for the equipment on this list. Not bad for getting you on the field in gear that is actually comfortable and useful.

And remember, this is just one umpire's opinion!

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