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2022 Banquet Report

Your fellow umpires and their guests enjoyed an evening at the Maplewood
Country Club on Saturday, September 17th . The staff and chefs at Maplewood did a
great job and the evening progressed smoothly.


The evening began with host Peyton Coffin, Member Services Chairman,
welcoming our members, their guests and the guests of NBUA:

Keynote Speaker, Justin Moser, GM of the Fishsticks, Pacific International League,
team and his guests, Araceli Rios and Patrick and JoAnn McCollum of the
Fishsticks/PIL organization;

Chris Moedritzer, Head Coach of Garfield H S and NBUA Coach of the Year;

Dean Corcoran, President of the Washington Officials Association, and Lisa
Corcoran;

Tom Krause, President of PSSBL, and Nicole Krause;

Our friends and partners from Seattle Elite Baseball, Derek and Carly Bingham
and Wil Snyder, and his daughter Harper.

Peyton thanked Chris VonJouanne — and his orchestra — for his talents and a
whole lotta time in producing the audio/video presentation for an evening filled
with well-chosen tunes, followed by the introduction (after the requisite “war
story”), to the Master of Ceremonies, Mark Clough.

Mark entertained the room and brought up Vice-President Brian Rooney, who
introduced the Board members. Then, Mark asked for a moment of reflection for our passed brethren Bill Ranko and Ryan Green. Our President, Hank Margeson, could not join us, but he extended his welcome in a heartfelt video presentation.

Dinner was served! Raffles of gifts for our guests were held throughout the
evening and, during the delicious dinner, we proceeded to awards and promotions.
Awards

Tom Krause, PSSBL President, presented the first-ever PSSBL Umpire of the Year
Award
to Pete Perry.

Henry VonJouanne, Director of Training, and Dean Corcoran presented WOA
Meritorious Service Pins
to those umpires who were present, with the absent
umpires listed on the screen.
5 Year Pins:
David Jaffe, Chris Lathwell, Ryan McNeil, Chet Morgan, Richard Fried, John
Matson, Brian Tschumper
10 Year Pins:
Mike McQuery, Paul Williams, Mike Opprecht, Brian Rooney, Earl Smith, Greg
Clarkson, Bob Matekel
15 Year Pins:
Ben Bayer, Brian Sweet, Mark Clough, Paul Kahle, Mike MacKinnon, Fritz Timm,
Chris AND Henry VonJouanne, Glenn Campbell, Chris Claflin, Peyton Coffin
22 Years: Bill Fitzgerald
25 Years: John Leeper

We saluted our longest-tenured umpires:
Bill Lewis: 27 years; Thom Denholm: 30 years; Ted Buehner: 36 years and, Tim
Stevens: 39 years. Hey, new umpires! Heed the goals these men have set!

Many of our umpires worked Washington State Regional and Championship
games. Greg Olmstead invited Dean Corcoran (if the President of the WOA shows
up, we’re going to keep him busy), to present commemorative pins to those
present. All umpires who earned state assignments were listed on the screen and
those present were presented pins:
Tony Amado, Phil Bogardus, Glenn Campbell, Greg Clarkson, Peyton Coffin,
Chris Corbray, Reams Goodloe, Jeff Jacobson, Bill Lewis, Bob Matekel, Greg
Olmstead, Michael Opprecht, Brian Rooney, Earl Smith, Tim Stevens, Tim
Sullivan, Fritz Timm, Brian Tschumper, Brett Whipple, Paul Williams

Henry and Corky Trewin asked us to join in their salute to two of our Washington
state honored umpires.
Tim Stevens: Inducted into the WOA Hall of Fame.
Bob Matekel: Selected as the WOA Baseball Official of the Year.

The George Eshleman Award for Service, Integrity and being a Valued Partner on
the Field was awarded to Terry Granillo by Earl Smith, By-Laws and Policies
Chairman.

Taking a break from umpire awards, Peyton handed out the NBUA 2022 Golf
Tournament trophies
. Low score was earned by Dan Borgida’s guest (ringers)
foursome at 63, whose members Derek Lohr hit the longest drive and Jake Nelson
grabbed one of the KP’s. The other KP (closest to the pin) was hit by Bill Fitzgerald.

Mark switched hats to his assignor role and awarded the 2022 Assignor Awards.
These are awarded to umpires who are “any game, anywhere” and have minimal
turnbacks. They are hallmarks of dedication to our craft and our association.
C Tier: Mike Leitner
B Tier: Paul Reynolds
A Tier: Paul Williams
T Tier: Mike McQuery

Corky stepped up to acknowledge an umpire who emotes energy and friendliness
and is our best recruiter. Rick Park earned the 2022 Unsung Hero Award!

Dale Wilson asked Dean Corcoran, president of WOA, to receive the 2022 NBUA
Customer of the Year Award for Unwavering Support of Washington State’s
Sports Officials. As he did, Dale acknowledged that NBUA could not have
succeeded as we have without WOA as a partner in officiating management.

The Leslie Fitzpatrick Rookie of the Year Award is very prestigious. Named after
our long-time, beloved assignor, it recognizes an “Outstanding Umpire of the
Present and the Future.” Brian Rooney, Recruiting and Retention Chairman,
stepped up and awarded it to: Nick Gallagher. Nick crossed 153 games off his
bucket list in his first year as an umpire! Thank you, Nick!

Mark introduced Justin Moser, and Justin entertained us with a pertinent and
humorous chat. We should not disregard the enormous amount of work that
leagues, managers, coaches and support personnel put into getting the baseball
game on the field and the work players put into their game to get out there and
succeed. We owe it to them to always give them our best game as well.

Promotions:
One of the highlights of our banquet is the announcing of promotions and at this
point, Greg Olmstead, Evaluations Director, stepped up and did so.
Promoted to C Tier:
Adam Carlson, Craig Tashiro, Dan Eck, Richard Hepler, Andrew Alsdorf, Bryan
McNair, Tedd Dideriksen, Mario Padilla, Michael Skarin and, of course, Nick
Gallagher with 153 games!
We had a special promotion awarded to a 2nd year umpire with NBUA (but very
experienced elsewhere, including Europe), and who attended professional umpire
school and was accepted into the college umpire ranks. Promoted from C to A tier:
Chris Castro!
Promoted to B Tier:
Casey Bloom, Thomas Peckham, Jeff Cannon, Tom Niccoli, Dan Borgida, Carl-
Michael Aoanan, Michael Owsiak, Mike Spear, Mike Leitner, Peter Caro and
Loren Ryan with 129 games!
Promoted to A Tier:
Ryan McNeil, Steve Mueller, and (all working over 100 games), Jim Melrose,
Randy Venters, Ron Klamert, Lane Loland (122) and Paul Reynolds – 143 games!
Promoted to Tournament Tier:
Dennis Williams, Brian Tschumper, Hank Margeson, Greg Clarkson
We have several transfer umpires and they have been confirmed as: Gerritt Nelson
to B Tier, Kerry Clark to A Tier and Regina Boyd to A Tier.

The Brian Gooch Award is for outstanding service to one’s fellow umpires and our
association. Terry Granillo, Treasurer, introduced the award and presented it to our
long-time Director of Training: Henry VonJouanne. The many hours, organization,
teamwork with trainers and attention to detail that goes into the best umpire
training in the state is often taken for granted. Thank you, Henry!

Mark meandered in with gracious closing remarks, thanking our guests and
significant others that support us as we hang out under beautiful blue skies
(sometimes) and watch kids playing baseball, skip dinners and have to say “But, I
have a game that day and can’t go…”.

Thank you, Mark, for not only your engaging talents as Master of Ceremonies but
also the countless hours you dedicated to producing the slide show and organizing
the behind-the-scenes production details, and thank you to your wife, Jody who,
once again, organized the beautiful centerpieces and gifts for the raffle. This
banquet would not have been so successful without you, Jody — and Chris
VonJouanne (and his orchestra) who carried the evening with fun and timely tunes
for our enjoyment.
What a team!

Brian stepped in with a closing toast and reminded us as to the importance of
having officials at the game.
“Without us… it’s just practice!”

2022 Promotions and Awards

2022 NBUA Promotions and Awards were announced at the annual banquet,
Maplewood Country Club, Renton, on September 17th , 2022.

The banquet was MC’d by Mark Clough and produced by Mark and Chris
VonJouanne, hosted by Peyton Coffin.

The promotions, announced by Greg Olmstead, Evaluations Chairman:
Promoted from Apprentice to C Tier:
Adam Carlson, Craig Tashiro, Dan Eck, Richard Hepler, Andrew Alsdorf, Bryan
McNair, Tedd Dideriksen, Mario Padilla, Michael Skarin and…

… one other C Tier promotion: The recipient of the Leslie Fitzpatrick Rookie of the Year Award, named after our long-time, beloved assignor, for an “Outstanding Umpire
of the Present and the Future.” Brian Rooney, Recruiting and Retention Chairman,
awarded it to: Nick Gallagher! Nick crossed 153 games off his bucket list in his
first year as an umpire!

We had a special promotion awarded to a 2nd year umpire with NBUA (but very
experienced elsewhere, including Europe), who attended professional umpire
school and was accepted into the college umpire ranks. Promoted from C to A tier:
Chris Castro.

Promoted to B Tier:
Casey Bloom, Thomas Peckham, Jeff Cannon, Tom Niccoli, Dan Borgida, Carl-
Michael Aoanan, Michael Owsiak, Mike Spear, Mike Leitner, Peter Caro, and
Loren Ryan with 129 games!

Promoted to A Tier:
Ryan McNeil, Steve Mueller, and (all working over 100 games), Jim Melrose,
Randy Venters, Ron Klamert, Lane Loland (122) and Paul Reynolds – 143 games!


Promoted to Tournament Tier:
Dennis Williams, Brian Tschumper, Hank Margeson, Greg Clarkson


We have several transfer umpires and they have been confirmed as: Gerritt Nelson
to B Tier, Kerry Clark to A Tier and Regina Boyd to A Tier.

Awards:
Henry VonJouanne and Corky Trewin asked us to join in their salute to two of our
honored umpires:
Tim Stevens was inducted into the WAO Hall of Fame.
Bob Matekel was selected as the WOA Baseball Official of the Year.

Tom Krause, President of PSSBL, presented the first-ever PSSBL Umpire of the
Year
award to Pete Perry.

The George Eshleman Award for Service, Integrity and being a Valued Partner on
the Field was awarded to Terry Granillo.

Peyton presented the NBUA Coach of the Year to Chris Moedritzer, head baseball
coach of Garfield High School. He runs a respectful and talented program
throughout Garfield baseball.

Mark Clough, our valued assignor, named the 2022 Assignor Awards. These are
awarded to umpires who are “any game, anywhere”, and have minimal turn-backs.
They are hallmarks of dedication to our craft.
C Tier: Mike Leitner
B Tier: Paul Reynolds
A Tier: Paul Williams
T Tier: Mike McQuery

Corky acknowledged an umpire who emotes energy and friendliness and is our
best recruiter. Rick Park earned the 2022 Unsung Hero Award!

Dale Wilson asked Dean Corcoran, president of Washington Officials Association,
to receive the 2022 NBUA Customer of the Year Award for Unwavering Support
of Washington State’s Sports Officials.

The Brian Gooch Award is awarded for outstanding service to one’s fellow
umpires. Receiving the award was our long-time Director of Training: Henry
VonJouanne
.

To all awardees: Congratulations and well deserved!

For your Board of Directors,
Peyton
Member Services

2022 Candidates’ Question Responses

1. Currently there are no term limits for serving NBUA Board of Directors. Should there be term limits?

PEYTON COFFIN – I believe the term limits are set by members’ votes. If the members believe another candidate is more qualified than an existing board member at election time, they will vote as such.

HANK MARGESON – The nature of life tends to regulate the length of a person’s tenure on the NBUA Board of Directors. Over the past several elections new Board members have joined and have brought their ideas forward. At the same time, there’s a few Board members with a history of serving which adds continuity to the mix. Ideally, the mingling of newer members with veterans enables creativity while honoring our forbearers who helped make the NBUA the fine organization it is.

GREG OLMSTEAD – I do not believe so. Members serve 2-year terms so every two years there is an opportunity to remove board members and replace them with new candidates. Furthermore, every year the new board elects officers so annually there can be a shake up even if no new members join.

Before every election the association has to recruit and plead with people to run. Removing people dedicated to working for the NBUA and who still want to volunteer their time will not make the association better.

EARL SMITH – We are volunteers in our positions…and can be voted out at any time….if this question is asking if we need this “safeguard” I do not think it is warranted. The process now ensures that we have half of the board up for election each year. We can resign, not seek re-election, or be voted out of the board positions….possession of a board position does not mean it is a given we will keep it.

BRIAN SWEET – My short answer is “No.”

The use of term limits is most implemented by voters to prevent the accumulation and abused of political power. This is why the U.S. Constitution was amended to limit Presidents to only serving two terms after President Franklin Roosevelt, who was elected 4 times, died in office.

NBUA is run by a board of directors, who each volunteer their time and efforts to run and manage our organization. Allowing those members who understand and know the background on the issues and also desire to serve on the board should be allowed to continue to do so. But I also believe it is also important to strongly consider new candidates and board members who bring fresh perspectives and ideas to our organization. As voting members of the association, your vote is the most equitable way to implement term limits.

HENRY VON JOUANNE – I generally support term limits for various positions (i.e. city, county, or state positions); however, I do not currently see a driving reason for term limits for serving on the NBUA Board of Directors.  As a current board member, I can genuinely assert that serving on the board is very time-consuming and not many can support this time commitment.  If an NBUA member believes a board member has served too long and is no longer effective or is not serving as an advocate for the NBUA, then the members can elect to not vote for the candidate.

2. How actively do you see your Board of Director position as to actively increasing the marketing, advertising and social media positioning in recruiting new members?

PEYTON COFFIN – NBUA has Facebook and Instagram, which I opened, and our web page. We do well with Google hits. Most of the inquiries we get through the website portal indicate that an umpire suggested the candidate look into the website. A few years ago, I had recruiting cards printed up and we’ve been trying to make sure all members carry a couple in their wallet and lineup card holder if an opportunity to recruit arises. More will be handed out at the banquet. As always, our members are the best recruiting tool.

HANK MARGESON – I think all members of the NBUA have a stake in helping to recruit new members and help keep and retain members. It is my hope that by actively advertising, marketing, and using social media, we’ll catch eyeballs we would have ordinarily missed in our recruiting efforts. But the bottom line is each of us is the best ambassador for the NBUA every time we walk onto the baseball field.

EARL SMITH – My board position does not specifically deal with social media efforts to brand, market, and recruit for the NBUA. We rely on those members of the association that have that expertise to help and guide us in our social media presence. We also realize how the younger generations interact with media and, I believe, we try to have a presence and exposure. In the current officiating environment, it is extremely difficult to recruit and retain officials…. this shortage will have impacts on all of us willing to pursue this vocation. We will be asked to work more, while compensation creeps up slowly. Even if we were to have a robust social media budget, and more aggressively seek recruits in social media advertising, I don’t think the returns would justify the outgoing money.

BRIAN SWEET – Having served on the Recruiting and Retention Committee several years ago and that experience, our recruiting efforts need to go beyond social media. In my 15 years as a member of NBUA, the most effective recruiting tool we have is our current membership and the networks we all have in our work and personal circles.

Over the past several years, many of our recruits have come from PSSBL players. What a great fit. People who love and know baseball. On a personal level, I continue to volunteer my time as an umpire with Washington District 9 Little League (LL) and over the years have been able to share my experience with NBUA and quite a few joined NBUA.

The use of social media could play a significant roll in reaching out to likely the biggest and largest untapped pool of new umpires. High School and College students. In my regular job for the Port of Seattle as Sr. Construction Manager – Airport Terminals & Concourses, I spend quite a bit of time in the hiring of employees, Construction Management Consultants and Contractors. We use social media and marketing to help us find and hire the most qualified. My experience will be a significant benefit to our Board of Directors.

HENRY VONJUANNE – As a current board member, I have promoted increased marketing and social media to recruit new members.  The explosion of social media suggests we can and should increase our on-line availability.  This should be a priority for the Board of Directors.

3. The current game compensation appears to be the same regardless of if the crew is 2-man or 1-man. What do you think about increasing the 1-man game fee over the standard rate listed?

PEYTON COFFIN – There is an increase. High School game fees are set by WIAA/WOA. Varsity baseball game fees are $66.75 each for a 2-man crew and $74.75 for a solo umpire. Sub-Varsity fees are $55.25 for 2-man and $63.25 for a 1-man game. Summer league game fees also increase for 1-man games by at least $11.00.

Where baseball umpires are at a disadvantage is working the 2nd High School game at the same site. An $18.00 travel fee is paid for the 1st game, but not the 2nd. That’s not so bad for basketball or volleyball (the other two sports I officiate) because you basically end game #1, sit down, hydrate, relax, walk back on the court, blow your whistle and get the 2nd game underway. Baseball umpires have to change uniforms, at times in inclement weather. A game fee of $37.25 for the 2nd sub-Varsity game that could go well over 2 hours and include changing uniforms in the cold is simply ridiculous. That is something we are working to change.

Reminder: Officials will get a $15.00 increase for High School games next season.

HANK MARGESON – Our current game fee structure pays a 1-person game fee of (on average) $15 more than a 2-person crew. If you worked a solo game and were not properly compensated, please contact our Assignor so we can remedy that situation

GREG OLMSTEAD – I am absolutely for this. In fact I believe it should be offered to many levels of our customers as a way for them to save money, NBUA provide more coverage, and individual umpires compensated

EARL SMITH – I was under the impression that the 1-man game fee was compensated better than if the game were officiated over with the two-man system. I would support a better game fee for one man officiating…. but I also believe we should not umpire in the one-man system. I did not join the association to do one man mechanics. We have more games than umpires…. this is a fact…. but then we should retain those customers that best fit our association’s needs and stay within our means.

BRIAN SWEET – I know directly the WOA does increase our game fee for 1-umpire high school games by $8 and it would be great if there were similar increases for all our games when worked by 1 umpire. A higher game fee for 1-umpire games could and should be negotiated into our contracts.

Sounds simple and sounds straightforward, right? However, we need to carefully consider this as there could be unintended consequences by including a 1-umpire game fee schedule in our contracts. One potential consequence may be those leagues routinely scheduling their games with just 1 umpire to save money. Based on your and my experience, we know that 1-umpire games are less effective.

HENRY VONJOUANNE – I believe there are two parts to this question:

1) If a game is submitted as two-man by the customer, and the game is worked by one umpire, I believe the game fee should be increased.

2) Some leagues sign agreements with the NBUA that request one-man only, and the game fee is part of the agreement.  In this case, we allocate the agreed-to game fee.   


4. What do you think about the 2nd and 3rd year WOA fee increase of $3.00 and then $2.00 and keeping the first game travel fee?

PEYTON COFFIN – I think it’s preposterous to not even meet inflation. I touched on this subject while speaking with Todd Stordahl, Executive Director of the WOA, a month ago. He is well aware of the inequity. Those that were heavily involved in the fee increase negotiation with the WIAA, such as your president, Hank Margeson, were mainly concerned with getting the $15.00 bump and battle for following yearly increases after that was secured. They succeeded.

HANK MARGESON – While it would be nice to amend an agreement between the WOA and WIAA for years 2 and 3 of the current agreement, unless the WIAA comes to the WOA to suggest changes are needed, the likelihood of any changes to compensation are slim. Having said that, I have committed to working with the WOA to ensure that umpire’s compensation continues to increase and the penalty for working two games at one site is eliminated. It’s an uphill battle, but something I’m happy to advocate for on behalf of the membership.

GREG OLMSTEAD – I would prefer a flat rate for any game and remove the travel fee – except for very long distances traveled.

EARL SMITH – The WOA is increasing our game fees yes, but our membership in the WOA will also increase……The NBUA makes a member “whole” in the sense that we make the first and second game fees of a double header the same, and we do that at the out-of-pocket expense of the association. The message to the WOA should be, we will dispatch a second crew and not expect our umpires to cover double headers if the game fees are not compensatory and equal. This may jeopardize our relationship with the WOA, but we are being taken advantage of here.

BRIAN SWEET – While $3 and $2 increases seem very small, we must look at the total picture. My understanding is the 1st year increase for all HS officials will increase $15/game in the 2022/2023 school year. In total games fees will go up $20/game over three years or 30% for varsity and 36% for sub-varsity games. Those are very acceptable “raises” for most anyone. So overall the planned increases are very acceptable and very well deserved by all officials, not just umpires.

Regarding the travel fee, my position is straight forward. The travel fee should be eliminated and $18 be included in all game fees.

HENRY VONJOUANNE – The NBUA Board of Directors has learned that game fees in Washington are generally far below the fees in similar urban areas around the country.  The Board of Directors has therefore approached the WOA for game fee increases above the current WOA fee schedule.  I support our efforts to increase game fees because there is no reason to be paid less than an umpire in a similar urban area.  In addition, I believe increased game fees can contribute towards improved recruitment.

Regarding the first game travel fee, I support keeping this fee.  The travel fee is oriented towards umpires in remote areas of the state; however, one can readily drive a long distance – perhaps 100 miles – in a remote area in less time it takes me to travel from my workplace to Eastlake (on a weeknight).

5. With the seemingly increasing parent and coaching umpire abuse, what do you think about the NBUA sanctioning teams, putting them on notice?

PEYTON COFFIN – I believe NBUA should consider sanctioning a team if the coaches and/or spectators are abusive toward the umpires after being officially warned or, in the event of contact, immediately. NBUA does not involve itself with a league’s discipline of a coach, as it should not. However, if necessary to protect the umpires and the sanctity of the baseball game and the youth players, informing a league that NBUA will not be providing services to Team “X” for a week or 10 days is appropriate. I wrote a resolution which the board passed to insure all members had confidence that NBUA could and would act when necessary.

It can be considered a “cooling off” period for that team and it’s a, hopefully never having to be implemented after a warning, tool in NBUA’s toolbox.

Players and spectators tend to conform to the culture of the head coach and assistant coaches. I believe that in the very unlikely event that NBUA sanctions a team, every other team in the league would hear about it within hours and league-wide behavior would change.

It’s also a bit tougher to recruit when the potential recruit has just witnessed uncontrolled screaming and cussing directed at an umpire.

HANK MARGESON – The NBUA generally does not prescribe consequences that a league or team metes out to a player or coach. Rather, we work with the team or the league to ensure that steps are taken to adjust the behavior when umpires are threatened. Examples from the past include advocating for a player to be banished from a league for a particularly egregious action and recommending a one game suspension for ejected participants. During this current season a warning was issued to a league regarding the behavior of a team which had several incidents over the past few years. The warning stated that further service would be withdrawn if additional incidents were encountered.

GREG OLMSTEAD – The reality is our ejections and incidents are on a downward trend. Better umpire training and culture and teams starting to get it. MLB no longer has the huge tirades that fed the culture.

My suggestion is that we allow the league officials we work with to maintain control of their teams and discipline members. That can go both ways as on occasion umpires misbehave and we can use their feedback to make our own ranks stronger. Strengthening the relationship of the league officials and board will make for better long-term results.

EARL SMITH – As we do on the field, we have a process in handling game friction. Ignore, acknowledge, warn, eject……I believe we can and should adopt some sort of similar protocols for teams and organizations that do nothing to offending coaches/teams. We will have ejections, unfortunately it is the reality of the officiating climate today. They may increase annually as the behaviors of players, parents, and coaches have not magically aligned with the tenants of sportsmanship. What this question suggests is withholding services. This could be a way of punishing egregious incidents. We could warn, then withhold our services. We have actually done this in the past with a client who continually had coaching staff ejections. If we were to adopt a policy, it would be difficult to implement as each situation is unique and it can be open to interpretation. We as board members do not often see the ejections firsthand.

BRIAN SWEET – Most if not all of us have read or seen the numerous videos on social media and in the news about abuse of officials in youth sports. As a member of the NBUA Board I would have no issues addressing any situation one of our members encountered with a team or a coach.

If elected, one of the first items I would bring up for discussion will be the inclusion of a contract clause to address this concern. Currently as Sr. Construction Manager for the Port of Seattle, my team and I are updating all our construction contracts to include language for an “Acceptable Workplace”. It is an anti-bullying and anti-hazing requirement with consequences for non-compliance and would be the model for what I would propose to the Board.

HENRY VONJOUANNE – The NBUA currently has a policy to address serious umpire abuse:  

1) we can place a team on notice that any further egregious behavior will result in with-holding services, or

2) we notify a team that we are with-holding services.

Note that the Board of Directors receives all ejection (or behavior) reports, as such, the better we are as an organization in documenting serious umpire abuse, the better we can address the situation with our policies.

6. Currently there is no fall NBUA training. What do you think about NBUA offering training during fall ball games during the nicer fall weather to supplement the February on field training and have those hours count towards the tier training requirement?

PEYTON COFFIN – I think it’s a great idea but, realistically, who is going to do the training?

NBUA’s Director of training, his staff and the trainers put in an inordinate amount of time to coordinate and conduct the annual training. Trying to assign a trainer to a single game is a time commitment a trainer might not volunteer for. The best in-season training comes from your partner’s post-game comments and suggestions –and our mentor program.

HANK MARGESON – The NBUA has a rich history of training during fall ball, mostly by working local Junior College fall games. When the NBUA stopped providing umpires for NWAC schools, we also stopped providing free service for those schools. That’s freed us up to handle more youth fall ball games which could easily be used as an on-field training opportunity, especially for learning, practicing, and perfecting 3-person mechanics. And yes, training credit for the following season would be counted.

GREG OLMSTEAD – Typically, our volunteer training teams are exhausted at the end of the season. I believe in theory this is a good idea, but I worry more about tapping into our resources. I would opt for simply good peer feedback rather than an organized program.

EARL SMITH – This on-the-job approach to training does exist at some levels for our officials…. There is the concept of volunteering in college fall ball situations when umpires are trying to attain the collegiate level of officiating. The training staff works incredibly hard in the spring before games start to give our officials the best training in the area. We do not live in a sunshine state….and asking them to have both a spring and a fall training schedule is a bit much, again, these are not paid positions…..we should all have the mentality of “each one teach one” in our mentorship and partner feedback….I for one, have gotten better by asking for, and listening to, constructive feedback. The collegiate fall ballgames have officials mentoring throughout the live game, attempting to teach, and vet officials for that level…. the system has its advantages for the College Assigner/Association….Participation is “mandatory” for the less tenured officials, and it is a learning opportunity. officials have a chance to work in the three-umpire system, move around the field, and get some repetitions in. I am not saying the NBUA could not do the same thing, but as I said, this is all volunteer on behalf of the officials and the mentors…. the only thing suggested in the question might be a training hour requirement could be satisfied…… Nothing is out of the realm of possibility, but I think the training block in the spring is excellent, and while the weather is more accommodating in the fall, it is a big lift to develop and implement training when it is all volunteer hours.

BRIAN SWEET – This suggestion falls right in line with the new field training we implemented at the start of this season bringing 6-8 umpires to work live scrimmages. The feedback from trainees this past training period was extremely positive and we are looking forward to expanding it next year. Having served on the Training Committee for the past 3 years, I am 100% in favor of the concept of 3-man training in the Fall. I’ve had several conversations with other Training Committee members about this concept during this season.

As with any new program, we should begin with a single training focus. For the “Fall” training, the 3-umpire system was discussed. During the season, there is no time for on the field 3-umpire training, we learn it “on-the-job”. Fall ball fits the bill to provide this training to our members and should be counted toward next year’s training.

In summary, I would also add that I’m proud of the training that NBUA provides its members. It directly reflects the quality of the product we put on the field; however, we can’t rest on our accomplishments or simply relax when we’ve “checked” the box at the end of each preseason training period. One of NBUA’s biggest obstacles to bringing on new umpires is training. With a few exceptions, NBUA does not add new members during the season. When we do find individuals interested in umpiring in April/May/June their training is “trial by fire”. I believe that if NBUA can develop a mid-season training program for new umpires, we can increase our membership by capturing high school and college students among others and provide on-line training through an online platform, such as YouTube. If the internet can show me how to replace a heater coil in a dryer, it can provide the classroom training during mid-season for new umpires.

HENRY VONJOUANNE – As the current NBUA training focal, I have awarded training credit to those that supplement their NBUA training by training with outside organizations (e.g. Black and Blue, pro-school).  

Note that we are hoping to conduct training at the upcoming fall-ball games at Lake Washington High School.  The focus will probably be on 3-man mechanics; however, we are considering mixing-in two-man mechanics as well.  We anticipate this training will count towards the tier training requirement.   

2022 Combined Candidate Statements

Henry Von Jouanne

I am honored to be considered again for an NBUA Board of Director position.  I have completed two terms – four years – as a board member and I am eager to continue serving for another term. 

Why am I interested in serving on the board?  Because those that went before us built a great organization and I feel compelled to do all I can to maintain the quality and reputation of the NBUA.  I served as the Training director the past four years and I am proud of the training programs we put-together.  If selected to continue as the Training director, I pledge to continue developing high quality training programs – leveraging on the great umpiring talent we have available. 

My goal as a Board Member is simple:  to fully and enthusiastically support the NBUA mission.  That is, “We deliver the highest quality service to our customers by umpiring all games to the best of our ability and with fairness to all participants via state-of-the-art training and evaluation and demonstrated examples of inclusion.”  The NBUA has – in my opinion – always separated itself with a strong training program – so I believe our excellence and “highest quality” starts with training.  And I believe the training starts with emphasis on the basics:  superior rules knowledge and superior mechanics knowledge.  Of course, this begins with the formal pre-season classroom, field training, and cage training.  The training extends to the mentorship program and the important and valuable pre-game and post-game discussions.  A strong and comprehensive training emphasis should convince every member that the NBUA strives to support their improvement as an umpire – and their eventual promotion as a result.

What qualifies me to be a Board Member?  First of all, I believe the NBUA is an exceptional organization and I am committed to be a strong advocate for our organization.  I maintain my collection of experiences and skills serve me well as a Board member and NBUA advocate.  As a helicopter Instructor Pilot in the U.S. Air Force, I was responsible for developing and teaching the ground-school and flight curriculum.  I learned the age-old truth that instructing is the best way to learn.  As an aerospace engineer, I was expected to develop systems in a systematic manner – driven by facts and data – while also leading with energy and passion.  As a manager, I have identified seven good rules to follow:  1) it is impossible to over-communicate, 2) in all ways, be completely honest and overt in your actions – no agendas, 3) from this day forward, always do the right thing, 4) make mistakes, 5) learn from your mistakes, 6) the most important job you’ll ever have is the job you have now, and 7) sweat the details – really understand the facts – before making a decision.  These rules are not rocket-science – but they have served me very well and I intend to hold myself to these rules if elected again to the NBUA Board of Directors.

I believe the NBUA is a great organization – filled with great people.  I am proud of our members and the quality of the product we place on the field.  As an NBUA official, I take great pride in knowing I walk onto the field with a partner who 1) loves the game, 2) loves to officiate, 3) wants to be there, and 4) wants to improve. 

If elected again to the Board of Directors, I pledge to continue as a strong advocate for the NBUA.  Thank you for your consideration.

Brian Sweet

2022 marks my 15th season with NBUA. In that time NBUA has taught me plenty about baseball and being an umpire. During these past 15 seasons I’ve helped and worked on the various committees (Recruiting & Retention, Evaluations, & Training) which make NBUA a great organization. As many of us know and have directly experienced, there is a shortage of officials in all sports, including baseball. When I first joined NBUA in 2007 we had nearly 200 officials in the group. Today that number has dropped to just under 140 and yet we still officiate the same number of games and in some cases turn customers away. Increasing our numbers and retaining our members is vital to supporting the youth baseball programs in Washington.

I’ve decided to run for the NBUA Board to work with the Board leadership and our membership to reverse this trend. Unfortunately, there is no simple or single solution that will fully fix this trend. I’ve have had many pre/post game discussions on how to improve our numbers and have heard many ideas worth further consideration. As a member of the board, I will be better able to bring these ideas to the entire leadership team for action.

Earl Smith

Dear Members,

Thank you for your dedication to the vocation of Umpiring. We all have felt the mounting pressures on sports officials and we all know it is becoming a tougher environment to work in. Don’t let it tarnish your love for the game……

It has been my pleasure to serve on the board for the last four years. As the board member who oversees our By Laws, and our Policies & Procedures, my duties have included navigating these waters and implementing this content when necessary. I have served on the Evaluations Committee, as well as chairing the Elections Committee. I have had influence in our bargaining with our customers, and improving our wages and working conditions.

My background as a 17 year Prevailing Wage Compliance officer / Field Representative for the Laborer’s International Union of North America has helped me in my officiating, and in my participation as a board member. Collective bargaining for 5000 members in King County alone, my participation in labor management negotiations has translated well to the same types of approaches in representing our members with our customers. We have a great association that has, and will continue to produce, the best umpires in our service area! We train better, we bargain for the best game fees we can secure, we show fiduciary responsibility with the member’s money, and we ensure that we have customers to assign our umpires to. You belong to the largest baseball umpire association in the state of Washington, and the most highly regarded one!

If it is the will of the members, I would like to continue to serve on this Board of Directors and continue to step out between the lines as an eleven year member of the Association

Greg Olmstead

Hello. 

I have decided to run for a second term on the BOD. I have previous experience on the football (PNFOA) BOD and am honored to have been given the opportunity to give back to both associations.  I feel I can bring a calm and thoughtful approach to issues that arise to help support the membership of the NBUA.

My 2 years have been spent as chairperson of the Evaluation committee.  In that role I have eliminated the task of scoring a partner after every game and replaced it with a one-time request at the end of the season.  This has yielded much more useable peer feedback in determining placement.  I have endeavored to make post-game feedback more constructive and eliminate any unnecessary in-game feedback. 

I understand the promotion process can cause great disappointment amongst members. I have tried to make this process more transparent by posting all methods online and by listening to our membership’s suggestions for improvement.

While the umpire shortage has created challenges for the committee it has also provided great opportunities for our member umpires to work at levels it used to take 5 or 6 years to be offered – often with our most experience members.

If re-elected I will continue to work hard in whatever role I take and will always look to strengthen the relationships within our membership and with our customers.

Hank Margeson

I am continually humbled to serve this fine association as a member of the Board of Directors, and it is in service of the association that I seek to be honored with an additional 2-year term. Over the past two years we’ve survived a zero-income year (2020) by managing our expenses and still putting more dollars in members’ pockets. We also solidified our relationships with Puget Sound Senior Baseball League and Seattle Elite Baseball, ensuring members are provided with opportunities to hone their umpiring skills while working the best available baseball in the area.

Over the next two years it is my goal to continue to push on the WOA to adapt their payment processes such that each contest is properly compensated. I intend to start advocate for a paradigm shift with how travel pay is handled with the goal of increasing game fees to reflect the professionalism needed to officiate each game.

Additionally, I will work with my fellow board members to address game fee increases considering inflationary pressures for our annually contracted summer ball customers. At the same time, I will work with the board to ensure the reserves we used to carry us during 2020 are replenished with minimal impact to members.

Finally, I want to make sure the association is not just on firm financial footing, but also recognize a changing demographic and adapt our processes and procedures to ensure benefit the whole association. While some processes are well grounded in our history, we should examine all to ensure the benefits are accruing properly.

I would be honored to continue to represent you as a member of the NBUA Board in 2023-2024.

Peyton Coffin

Fellow Umpires,

I’d like to thank you for electing me to the NBUA Board in 2020. After 17 years. it was about time for me to get out from behind the plate and contribute to you, our members.

Two years ago, I presented my past work and volunteer resume so there’s no need to reiterate, and for those newer umpires who didn’t have to wade through all that, I’ll trust you to rely on your current experiences of me.

Once elected, the Board members appoint committee chairmen, and I sought out the Member Services and Communication Committee. One reason was that our member communication needed an upgrade and another was that our entire training procedure was going to have to be changed to a virtual model. Somebody was going to have to organize all of that. We had a lot of help from our fellow tech-savvy members and a Training Committee that adapted expertly, and I believe we did a great job by working together.

You all also did a great job by adapting and excusing the few hiccups we experienced.

I have tried to open the communication within NBUA and have always tried to solve any issues brought to my attention by you, our NBUA members. That so many of you have felt comfortable to approach me with their issues, comments and suggestions has been one of the rewards of the job.

Our mid-season bulletins have been favorably received and I plan to continue with those, even in the off-season, as we prepare for 2023.

I trust these past two years have proven to you that your choice two years ago was the right one as I have tried to improve the communication and service to our members.

I ask for your vote to continue my efforts for you in 2023-4.

Thank you,

Peyton

The first RTO’s are on the WOA Central Hub & other stuff

Umpires!

The first RTO’s are posted on the WOA Central Hub / Eligibility Center, then go to RTO and “Enroll”.

You’ll see a couple of red X’s where you can take a couple of clinics.

The first: Baseball Rubric: Preseason Self-Evaluation,  is a very useful tool if you take the category specifications as tips and great guidelines of what to work on in your game. Definitely worth taking some time and introspection. Lots of thought went into the criteria, so take advantage of it.

There will be a few more RTO’s (if you don’t know what an RTO is, take a guess — answer’s at the bottom*) coming up as in-season clinics and quizzes to keep us sharp, and keep us learning — and they are prerequisites for post-season assignments..

Speaking of quizzes, have you downloaded the Referee Magazine 2022 baseball quiz? Might be a question or two you have to look up … so you get it right in a game.

Here’s a fun video: What happens when a batter/runner overruns 1st base on a walk?

https://baseballrulesacademy.com/what-happens-when-a-batter-runner-overruns-first-base-on-walk/

Now, what if we’re playing under FED rules? After you answer, you can see if you got it right with rule 8-2-7 and Case Book 8.2.7.Sit. A.

We’ll be mixing up MLB and FED rules quite soon so we will have to be able to switch gears as smoothly an F1 driver.

Some new field designations, if you haven’t been there yet, are now cross-referenced on your NBUA website/members/field locations — umpire parking. Do yourself a favor and check out the parking suggestions. Might save yourself a walk or not knowing where the closest restroom is. Check out SWAC, SEAC, NWAC, new construction at Inglemoor HS, and others. If you are fortunate and get a High School Classic at T-Mobile park, directions to drive there by entering at the guard gate, parking and how to get to the staff entrance are also on the website.

If you have any parking suggestions that help our members, send ‘em to me.

Want to get info about a school that’s in a game you have coming up? Hit up MaxPreps:  https://www.maxpreps.com/search/default.aspx?type=school&search=&state=wa&gendersport=boys,baseball

Type in the name of the school, pick Varsity or JV and find their win/loss record. If you then go to Roster – Staff and you can even, in most cases, find the names of the coaching staff.

Have fun!

Peyton

2022 Training Schedule is posted

The training schedule for all Tiers has been posted for 2022. You can view this schedule in two ways. It is posted as a grid under Members/Training and it is posted as a series of individual events on the NBUA Calendar. The Calendar can be reached here. Or by going to Information/Calendar. The Calendar shows up as a list by default but you can modify your screen by choosing the “Month” view style. You can also sort through the events for those that apply to your Tier by using the Calendar search function and putting in “Apprentice” or “T-Tier” for example.

There are a number of events which are listed as TDB for time and/or location so, keep coming back here to find out where and when those events will be held. It is also possible that last minute cancelations might occur so make sure to check on the day of to get the most recent information.

2021 NBUA Banquet Recap

Fellow Umpires,

As you know, the NBUA 2021 banquet and golf tournament was held Saturday, September 18th at Maplewood CC.

The evening was fun and yet a bit poignant since we were honoring Leslie Fitzpatrick, our NBUA assignor for 18 years, as she officially retires from NBUA.

Most of us have known no other assignor until Mark Clough transitioned into the role this year. While Mark has done a very fine job, especially considering the changes to school AD’s inputting games (a real furball) and the Arbiter pay system to monitor and verify (more fur), but there will never be another Leslie.

Joe Townsend was our keynote speaker and could not have been surpassed as one whose experience as a long-time coach and player, love of the game, passion for instilling respect and virtue in our young players and integrity qualified him for the role.

Thank you, Leslie and thank you, Joe.

Very important events of the evening were the announcement of promotions and the 2021 awards.

Promotions for this year are are listed in a previous post

It is important to note that most of the apprentices that were promoted to C-Tier this year started in 2020 and took that year’s training. With almost no games in 2020, they were moved to a special category of “Apprentice II” and had to wait another year — and another Apprentice/C training — to get on the field enough to move to a well-deserved C Tier. I personally, and all NBUA members, thank you for hanging in there.

Every year, NBUA honors our own for their outstanding service. Several awards are named after those who, over their years of tenure with NBUA, have inspired their fellow umpires and given their all to our association.

This year, one of our more important awards was honored by being named after one such person. The Rookie of the Year award was renamed the “Leslie Fitzpatrick Rookie of the Year Award” and shall be so in perpetuity. Leslie always looked after our new umpires as they are the future of our association. If a new umpire contacted her with an issue it was dealt with immediately. She was a unique example of strength and discipline tempered with empathy.

Leslie Fitzpatrick Rookie of the YearChris Castro

Every year, the assignor selects an umpire from each tier who have done many games and have also always been available to get to games “anywhere, anytime, any game”.

Umpire of the YearC Tier Marc Kaye
Umpire of the YearB Tier Bill Guest
Umpire of the YearA Tier John Leeper
  

The following award’s criteria were read at the banquet and honor exemplary service to us, the members of NBUA. Past recipients are listed on our website under “Members” and “Awards”.

George Eshelman Umpire of the Year Brian Tschumper

Brian Gooch Distinguished Service       Bill Fitzgerald and Bill Lewis (Da Bills)

Unsung Hero Award                                  Paul Kahle

Jack Miller Customer of the year          Puget Sound Senior Baseball League

                                                                        Tom Krause, President

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Golf Tournament Results:

Due to a variety of circumstances, including weather, we had a small turnout of only 5 foursomes.

Despite torrential rain at times, Jeff Jacobson’s team of his son, Aaron, Dale Dolejsi (coach at Kennedy Catholic and Coach of the Year awardee of 2019) and Adrian Bagley stuck it out and were the only finishers at 5 under par. The winning team of the 2021 NBUA Golf Tournament!

The Longest Drive was won by Kevin Spear, our umpire Mike Spear’s son. Way to go, Kevin!

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That’s all for now but if any NBUA news crops up, please call me and keep me informed. This is OUR association and it takes all of us to make it carry on and grow better.

Thank you to each of you, my Umpire Brethren!

For your NBUA Board of Directors,

Peyton Coffin

206 280 8633

Member Services and Communication

2021 NBUA Election Results

Fellow Members of NBUA,

We’ve had some days full of events and results. We had our annual golf tournament, the 2021 banquet announcing promotions and awards, the completion of the 2021 election and the appointment of committee chairmen and board positions.

Please welcome new board members Corky Trewin and Terry Granillo. Dale Wilson and Brian Rooney were, by our votes, returned to the board. Our thanks to all those that ran for office and did not get elected. Your offer of service is very much appreciated and, more than anything, demonstrates your commitment to our organization.

Our new board members round out the board with great experience and a diverse set of backgrounds.

Our 2021-2022 NBUA Board members and Committee Chairmen are:

Hank Margeson        President

Brian Rooney            Vice President and Recruiting & Retention Chairman

Dale Wilson              Secretary

Terry Granillo           Treasurer

Greg Olmstead          Umpire Evaluations

Henry VonJouanne  Training

Earl Smith                  Policies and Procedures

Corky Trewin            Recruiting and Retention Vice-Chairman

Peyton Coffin            Member Services and Communication (& Technology sub-committee)

We voted in Reams Goodloe to continue in the important position of Member Liaison. Reams is your go-to guy if you have an issue or suggestion and would rather seek his counsel and advice instead of contacting a board member directly. He has been invaluable in the past and will be so in the future. Thank you, Reams.

That said, every board member is always available to all members, even if the issue or suggestion might be in the remit of another.

We are all members of the NBUA and we are all partners on and off the field.

For your Board of Directors,

Peyton Coffin

206 280 8633

Member Services and Communication

2021 NBUA Promotions

The 2021 NBUA promotions were announced at the Annual Banquet on Saturday night. Congratulations to those that got promoted and please acknowledge your fellow umpires that moved up.

Apprentice to C-Tier

Bloom, Casey

Cannon, Jeffrey

Caro, Peter

Castro, Christopher

Duke, Martin

Garcia, Cesar

Lee, Dominic

Leitner, Mike

McCoy, Mitchell

O’Rourke, Patrick

Owsiak, Michael

Peckham, Thomas

Ryan, Loren

C-Tier to B-Tier

Berg, Jeff

Green, Ryan

Kaye, Marc

Loland, Lane

Mueller, Steven

Reynolds, Paul

B-Tier to A-Tier

Keepers, John

Richardson, Dave

Trewin, Corky

A-Tier to Tournament

Olmsted, Greg

Rooney, Brian

Sweet, Brian

Wilson, Dale