Last weekend, I was luckily enough to be selected to umpire in the 7th annual Kuwait National Baseball Tournament hosted by the Kuwait Little League. I umpired 7 games during the tournament, and had an absolute blast! Teams from all over the Middle East participated, including the countries of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates. It was a busy few days, but it was a ton of fun and a well organized event, with some outstanding teams participating!
One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the atmosphere! The fans had so much energy, for the entire weekend! They were chanting, clapping, singing, and even playing bongo drums. The atmosphere felt more like a World Cup Soccer game than a youth baseball game, but it was so much fun. They were cheering so loud, that I could hardly hear myself calling balls & strikes behind the plate sometimes. At one point, between innings, I asked the catcher, “Isn’t this awesome?!” By the look in his eyes I could tell he was so jacked up, and he answered with an enthusiastic, “I LOVE THIS!” The atmosphere was like nothing that I have ever seen at a baseball game before, it was so awesome!
Everyone who participated in the tournament was super friendly. It was fun to meet people from all over the world and share our experiences from living abroad together. A majority of the participants were expats from the U.S.A. or Canada, who are currently working in the Middle East in the oil industry, as teachers, etc.
This tournament concluded the Little League season here, which started last September. I thought my season was going to be over too, however I was invited to umpire in a regional baseball tournament in Dubai next month! One of the tournament organizers was in town for the Kuwait Tournament, approached me after one of my games, and extended an invitation to me. I’m super excited about the opportunity to participate! (and I get an all expenses paid trip!) Apparently teams from all over the world (including the U.S.A and Australia) will be playing in the Dubai tournament.
I’m a little bummed out that the Little League season is over. I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed my time this winter with everyone. I made some great friends and memories, that I will always cherish. Regular season games are played weekly on Fridays here, so it became a part of my weekly routine to see everyone at the ballpark. I was able to umpire a lot of great youth baseball games, some adult softball games, a few girls softball games, and even a couple of championship games this season! I’m already looking forward to next season!