This is getting a bit off the balk topic, but goes directly to what PIAA says about new umpires. We had an intersquad scrimmage at son's HS a couple Saturdays ago. The local umpiring assoc. brought about 20 umpires out for a training clinic. Most were new or only had a year or two of experience, though there were about 6 that were there as trainers. So far, so good.
Part way through the scrimmage, we've got a runner on first and the hitter drives the ball toward left-center. The baserunner read the ball and sprinted around 2nd headed for third without hesitating. The LF comes in and fields the ball, but for some reason known only to him (it was a JV player) he didn't throw the ball to 3rd where he could have nailed the runner, or to 2nd but kind of where the shortstop would normally be, only the SS was in shallow left-center for a relay throw that LF overshot. He threw the ball to nobody, other than the runner going headed for third. The thrown ball hits the runner and the bases ump yells dead ball and calls the runner out for interference.
Those of us who coach that were behind the fence were cracking up, as were the HS coaches. The new umpire thought that since the ball contacted the runner he was automatically out. The trainer went out and they discussed it for a long time and you could see him teaching the fellow what the rules are. In the end, they called the runner out anyway and said it was a judegement call that he interfered with the ball. HUH? It didn't occur to the base ump that the only reason the throw was anywhere near the runner was that it was thrown in an area he had no business throwing the ball to, but in the interest of saving face the other umps backed him so he wouldn't be embarrased. If the new guy on the bases learned anything, it wasn't good.
Thankfully, this guy will only be working freshman or JV games, but sheesh, they have to learn to get it right. I basically viewed this as supporting a guy when he was totally wrong on a rule, which reinforces bad judgement.