SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (April 20, 2010) - The 12 umpires who will be working Little League's 29th Big League Softball World Series in Kalamazoo, Mich., have been selected after going through a lengthy and stringent selection process. Richard Graves Jr., one of the prestigious twelve, hails from Valley Lee in St. Mary's County.
Appointment as a member of the umpiring crew for the World Series is the highest honor Little League Baseball and Softball can bestow on an umpire.
The process for selection to work a World Series includes the umpire being nominated by a District Administrator to the regional office. The regional office, along with the region's Umpire-In-Chief, considers all umpires nominated before selecting those who most closely meet the criteria for selection.
To be considered for selection, an umpire must have previously worked a recent regional in the same Little League division as the World Series they are being considered for. Regional Tournament experience at a division different than the World Series level requested is also considered when making the selection.
An umpire is eligible to be selected for a World Series assignment once every four years.
Selection as an umpire at any of Little League's eight World Series means that person has reached the highest level of proficiency and by virtue of their selection is considered among the best in the world.
Each year, thousands of umpires officiate games with most not receiving any pay. Umpires who are selected to work a World Series are not reimbursed for their travel expenses.
The Big League Softball World Series will be played Aug. 5-11.
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world's largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.6 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.