Volume 73, Number 6 | June 9 - 15, 2004

Young umps lay down the rules at J.J. Walker Field

By Judith Stiles

Greenwich Village Little League umpires Paul Lariviere, left, and Kevin Dorsey.

Putting a halt to pre-game chatter, an authoritative “BALLS IN!” was shouted by what seemed to be a veteran ump in a booming voice with a guttural twist that enlivened his every call. The spectators paused and sat up at attention for the Chicago White Sox versus Kansas City Royals game in the Greenwich Village Little League Majors B Division.

It was refreshing to hear an ump so in command of his audience and shocking to note that when he took off his protective headgear, it was none other than 15-year-old Paul Lariviere of Greenwich Village Little League. This ump is going places, with a great future behind homeplate! The theater of his umping was almost as entertaining as the tight rivalry between the first-place Royals and the second-place White Sox, which ended in victory for the Royals in a 2-1 game.

After the game, ump Lariviere consulted with his colleague Kevin Dorsey about the specific rules that come into play next weekend when playoffs begin. “Did you know that an ump can end a game if one team has parents that are too unruly in the stands? It would be an automatic forfeit at the ump’s discretion and it’s in the rulebook,” noted Dorsey, who started his work in the Harlem Little League. They both agreed that they will be very strict in overseeing the playoffs, following the rulebook to the letter.

While relaxing before the next game as they downed some Gatorade, Dorsey remarked that in his 12 years of umping he had never experienced a game being prematurely ended by the manager, as he did the day before when manager Brian Vieira of the Detroit Tigers ended the game against the Royals (Majors B) after the fourth inning, with a score of 11-2. “You never know, a team can bounce back, especially in Little League and I think they should have continued playing,” remarked Dorsey, scratching his head.

“There was an hour left of playing time, the weather was decent, and they should have just played for fun,” added a Royals coach. Why did the manager do it? It was not clear to the umps on the day of the game but they accepted the manager’s decision.

The following day manager Vieira lamented that one of the players had been about to leave and that would have left the team with only eight players. Even more perplexed at the Tiger’s decision to end early, Dorsey added, “The manager didn’t mention to me a player was leaving! But never mind that,” Dorsey continued, as he suited up for the next game. “We are on to the playoffs and it an exciting time for the fans and the teams. I’m ready!”

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