SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Chris Thomas has had his one year on the field as an umpire at the Little League Baseball World Series.
By Little League rules, the Old Forge High School principal is therefore not eligible to do another series on the field in Williamsport.
Little League has, however, found other ways to keep the highly respected umpire involved.
Thomas was on the field for the closest thing there was to a Little League World Series game this year and he’s been close by periodically since.
When the completion of the Great Lakes Regional championship game had to be moved from Indianapolis to Lamade Stadium to finalize the tournament field Aug. 15, three days before the 16-team event started, a four-man crew of umpires from Pennsylvania was put together to handle it.
Thomas was part of the crew that handled the Great Lakes game between Bowling Green Eastern, Kentucky and Essexville-Hampton, Michigan, the first regional final to be played in Williamsport.
During the Little League World Series, Aug. 18-28, Thomas was part of a rotation of umpires serving in the instant replay booth, making decisions on video reviews that are used in the series.
With ESPN televising all games, the video is available from multiple camera angles to take a second look at calls when one of the two teams’ managers makes a request for a review.