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Big Apple Umpires, of Bethpage teaches, students to make the calls at baseball games

At Bethpage-based Big Apple Umpires, instructors drill potential umpires on the official baseball rules, how to manage a game and how to deal with unruly parents and coaches. "We train you on the mechanics of umpiring and, more importantly, how to be a professional," said Joe Goldstein, president of Big Apple Umpires. (Credit: David Handschuh)

Ever wanted to make the calls behind the plate of a baseball diamond? There’s a camp on Long Island for that.

Joe Goldstein, president of Bethpage-based Big Apple Umpires, said that for more than 45 years the group has been dedicated to producing excellent umpires for recreational leagues in Nassau, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx and providing them with part-time job opportunities.

Over the course of 12 weeks, from Jan. 9 to March 27, during three-hour weekly sessions, Big Apple’s instructors drill potential umpires on the official baseball rules, how to manage a game and how to deal with unruly parents and coaches.

“We train you on the mechanics of umpiring and, more importantly, how to be a professional,” said Goldstein, 56, of Bethpage.

Officials are paid between $55 and $80 per game based on the players’ age level, which ranges from 8- to 12-year-olds in Little League to adult men.

The spring season starts on April 14. There are also summer and fall seasons, keeping play going until Nov. 4.

Big Apple has 160 umpires and a class of nine rookie candidates to cover 21 leagues.

Big Apple Umpire School students, left to right,
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Geoffrey Hernandez, far left, Max Braccia, Irvin Panetto, Josue Martin and Ernesto VanEiker, students at Big Apple Umpires in Bethpage, go through a drill during which they call strikes on Feb. 20, 2018.

Big Apple Umpire School student Geoffrey Hernandez brushes
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Big Apple Umpire School student Geoffrey Hernandez brushes the plate off during a pre-season game in Forest Park, Queens, on March 25, 2018.

Big Apple Umpire School student Irvin Panetto gets
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Irvin Panetto,left, gets tips on how to stand while watching a play from Joe Goldstein, president of Big Apple Umpires.

Big Apple Umpire School instructor Steve Callahan has
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Big Apple Umpire School instructor Steve Callahan has some fun with student Geoffrey Hernandez as he shows Hernandez exactly where an umpire has to hold his head behind the plate.

Big Apple Umpire School student Irvin Panetto, right,
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Irvin Panetto practices a “safe” call at Mineola High School as an instructor and fellow students watch.

Big Apple Umpire School student zeros out their
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

A student learns how to use an umpire indicator to keep track of balls, strikes and outs.

Classroom work at the Big Apple Umpire School
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Students keep their eyes on the instructor during a classroom session at Mineola High School.

Big Apple Umpire School students Max Braccia, right,
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Big Apple Umpire School student Max Braccia, far right, dons shin guards before working behind the plate in a pre-season game in Forest Park, Queens.

Big Apple Umpire School students and instructors take
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Students and instructors at Big Apple Umpires take turns officiating a pre-season game in Forest Park, Queens.

Big Apple Umpire School instructor Steve Callahan, right,
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Big Apple Umpires instructor Steve Callahan, near left, shows student Geoffrey Hernandez how to call a strike.

Big Apple Umpire School students Max Braccia, right,
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Big Apple Umpires instructor Steve Callahan, near left, shows student Geoffrey Hernandez how to call a strike.

Big Apple Umpire School President Joe Goldstein shows
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Big Apple Umpires President Joe Goldstein shows students how it's done during a pre-season game in Forest Park, Queens on March 25, 2018.

Big Apple Umpire School student zholds their mask
Photo Credit: David Handschuh

The job has mask appeal for this umpiring student during a practice session at Mineola High School.

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