The Lafayette Baseball Umpire Association is holding a training exercise this week for new and existing umpires in the area.
The association has been hosting the sessions for more than 25 years, according to Ben Broussard and James Ainsworth, who are both members of the organization.
Beginners and veterans alike attend the training sessions, where they are placed into various game and live action situations and taught the best solutions.
Ainsworth likened the events to professional development classes for teachers - "you have to continuously be able to train and educate yourself to improve every year," he said.
The association is facing a "critical shortage" of umpires, according to Broussard and Ainsworth. They say umpires have gotten a negative stereotype lately and new laws have been implemented that govern behavior with umpires because of "unruly fans." Broussard said if no new umpires begin to train, there will be no way for games to be officiated.
Anyone who loves baseball and wants to participate but is no longer of playing age is asked to consider training to become an umpire.
Visit the Lafayette Baseball Umpire Association's Facebook page or email UmpsEdge@gmail.com for more information or email on how to become an umpire.
Those who are interested can also contact Travis Hargroder at 337-298-1151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We will do everything we can to make you successful and make it enjoyable. You'll have a good time," said Ainsworth. "We really need umpires."