Volunteer Umpires Get ‘Spring Training’ for Little League World Series

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- While the Little League World Series is still months away, it was game on at Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport.

This was a regular season game for two Little League teams from Warrior Run, but it's actually the umpires who are here to test their skills.

This is the umpire clinic held in the spring where the volunteers who will umpire the world series work real Little League games at Lamade and Volunteer stadiums to get ready to play ball.

It lets them ease into their roles early and get to know the fields and each other, rather than going in cold in August.

“Give them a chance to actually go out and work live games on the stadium fields they're going to be on in August, so it gets rid of some of the pregame jitters,” said Tom Rollings, the director for LLWS Umpire Development.

Among the 15 men and one woman who were selected from around the world to umpire the series is Rich Fronheiser, a Lehighton native. He expects to see old friends at the games.

“A few of them said they're going to actually come up during the series in August and come and watch some of the games, and we'll get to hang out,” said Fronheiser. “I haven't see some of those people in a long time.”

The manager for one of these Little League teams says when he heard the umpires were here for the umpire clinic, he reached out to the organization.

“Made an inquiry about it and luckily the guy returned my phone call and scheduled us for a game tonight,” said Derrick Zechman.

Zechman says both he and his kids are thrilled to take the field most Little Leaguers can only dream of doing.

“It's just a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing, so it's going to be cool,” said player Griffin Harrington.

“Once in a lifetime, kids are so excited. They've been excited,” said Zechman.

The umpire clinic runs through Sunday in South Williamsport.

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