VIDEO: We Went "Beyond the Basics" at the NASO Summit @Home with 5 Officials Sporting Goods Trends

Sep 3rd, 2020

NASO Summit @ Home

While we've attended every NASO Summit since 2007, in 2020 we went virtual. Just as we bring new items to show officiating leaders the trends in-person, we didn't let that stop us this year.

Beyond the Basics

See and hear Jim & Ty go "Beyond the Basics" with these 5 trends in sports officials sporting goods:

  • Supplemental Protection
    Umpires and leaders in the community are realizing that traditional protection is simply not enough . Additional head protection such as skull caps and Uncaps, additional wrist and thigh protection and heat-restricting items such as HeatShields insoles and the KoolBlues chest protector attachment were discussed.
  • Cup Systems
    o longer is the banana cup into a stationary pouch enough, the trend is to wear support that works with specific cups for maximum comfort and performance (aka so the cup covers comfortably and moves with you as you move in and out of your stance).
  • Field & Court Shoes
    Shoes are always trending. We show you the latest from from Asics, New Balance, Nike Under Armour and 3n2. 
  • Product Storage
    fficials spend a lot of money on their gear and apparel, and more are protecting their investment with bags for masks, shoes & shin guards; hard cases for caps and more.
  • COVID-19
    eusable cloth masks for all sports including those that work with a maks and electronic whistles were discussed and demonstrated. 


Umpire Gear Protection: Beyond the Basics

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About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide, a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020 & 2021 and a National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Preferred Vendor. He maintained a long-standing relationship with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy for 10 years. He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.


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