Topics:  ipswich junior sport, jacob o'brien, primary school national softball championships, refereeing, softball

Jacob's national praise

Jacob O’Brien (left).    
Jacob O’Brien (left).     Contributed

JACOB O'Brien has returned from umpiring at the Primary School National Softball Championships in Canberra tired but encouraged.

The Faith Lutheran College year 10 student was commended on his abilities and the example he set for his state.

"It was pretty good," the 15-year-old said. "I went fairly well.

"I got good remarks and feedback from most of the other umpires."

So impressive were Jacob's performances he was asked by the Queensland Schoolgirls' coach if he would umpire at next year's titles in Sydney.

Jacob has been umpiring for three years but still has to work hard to ensure he remains on top of things.

"The biggest challenge (In Canberra) was trying to remember most of the rules and keep up with what is happening," he said. "And keeping awake because there were some late nights."

The Lowood pitcher began umpiring to help out the Ipswich Softball Association between games.

He discovered he had a talent for it and enjoyed it as well.

"I did a few clinics then went on to helping Met West selection," he said. "That led to state titles and it has been three years now."

Umpiring has not replaced playing however, with Jacob waiting to find out this week if he has been selected to play at the national titles in Hobart in January.

As far as umpiring goes, Jacob hopes to continue to improve by taking on all the advice he can get.

"The goal is probably just to keep up with all the rules and take feedback from other umpires," he said.



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