LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Six years' experience making the tough calls, and Rachel Geier said she still enjoys her summer job.
"It's a good way for me to get back into the game," said Geier. "I enjoy interacting with the kids and coaches. It's just fun for me."
Geier is one of just a few female umpires working with the Shelby Youth Baseball program, but is part of a larger group of kids who have realized the benefits of spending their summers behind the plate or on the base paths.
"I come in at 5:15 every night, and I get home about nine o'clock. So, it's a decent job, and I make good money doing it, too," said Geier.
It's not all fun and games, of course. Geier said there's the occasional argument with a coach or parent, and it does take time to get past the nerves.
She added, "Even though there's a lot of pressure, you have to be a certain type of person to tune it out. And if someone is yelling at you, just stay calm, talk to the other umpire and decide which call is right."
Now however, Geier takes much more satisfaction from a job well done.
"A couple of times today I've had coaches, parents, even kids say, 'You're the fairest umpire I've ever had,'" Geier said at a Saturday tournament. "So, it makes me feel good, and if people say I'm doing a good job, I guess I'm doing a good job."
It's also fair to say with young umpires like Geier, the future of the profession is safe.