Category Archives: Meeting

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


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!


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

2020 General Meeting notification

The 2020 NBUA General Meeting will be held January 27th at 7PM at Bellevue Christian High School (1601 98th Ave NE, Bellevue WA 98004). Your Board of Directors will discuss what they’ve been up to since the end of the season and what is planned for the new year. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions.

2019 NBUA Banquet recap

The weather was fantastic, the people were great, and the banquet concluded with a warm and familiar toast from emcee Jay Neff. About 100 members and guests attended the banquet on Saturday evening and were treated to the announcements of promotions and award winners and a rousing tribute to Chuck McQuery.
After 31 years with NBUA, working more than 32,000 innings, seeing more than 1.2 million pitches, officiating with more than 500 different partners, and driving more than 65,000 miles in the Puget Sound area, Chuck has decided to move, full time, to Arizona. A man of great moral character who was there for the right reasons is one way a fellow umpire described him. Chuck, you’ll be greatly missed and NBUA wishes you the best. Come back and work a few games when it is too hot in AZ!
Award winners included Allen Christie (George Eschelman Umpire of the Year), Dave Johnson (Unsung Hero), Lakeside Industries (Jack Miller Customer of the Year), Dale Dolesji from Kennedy Catholic High School (High School Varsity Coach of the Year), Lane Loland (Rookie of the Year), Steve Mueller, Dale Wilson and Tim Stever (C, B, and A Tier Assignor Awards), and Hank Margeson (Brian Gooch Distinguish Service).
The promotions were many and well deserved. To see the list of promotions see the following post. Congratulations to all of the umpires that got promoted and thank you for your hard work and dedication to improving your skills and knowledge of the game.
A special thank you goes out to everyone that helped in making this a memorable and successful evening. Tim Stever for his audio and DJ skills, Jody Clough for the table centerpieces, Jay Neff for his excellent emcee duties, Mark Clough for a lot of things but most importantly putting the evening’s presentation together, Sondra Stever for helping set up and clean up the room, Leslie Fitzpatrick for organizing the golf tournament and taking care of the raffle prizes. And lastly, thank you to all who showed up and celebrated another successful season of umpiring.
Until next year, have a safe and happy off-season.

Allen Christie
Chair, Member Services and Communications Committee

2019 NBUA Promotions

The 2019 NBUA promotions were announced at the Annual Banquet on Saturday night.  Congratulations to those that got promoted and please congratulate your fellow umpires that moved up.

Apprentice to C Tier

Jim Berg

Tyler Alberts

Tom Niccoli

Mike Spears

John Norris

Daniel Borgida

Carl-Michael Aoanan

Kyle Nilson

Kurt Nilson

Keith Smith

Mark Kaye

West Hanold

Jim Duwe

Jim Jeffries

Paul Reynolds

Luis Tejada

Lane Loland

Ryan Grenn

C Tier to B Tier

Scott Allen

William Guest

Michael Lauritzen

Jim Melrose

Andy Null

Dave Richardson

B Tier to A Tier

Jeff Borgida

JC Cowan

Chet Morgan

Mark Snyder

Paul Williams

Dale Wilson

A Tier to Tournament Tier

Phil Bogardus

Cody Curnutt

John Matson

Earl Smith

Tim Stever

Chris VonJouanne

Henry VonJouanne

Ryan Wilson

2018 Award Winners and Promotions

On Saturday September 15th, NBUA held its annual banquet to celebrate the 2018 baseball season and to bestow awards on deserving umpires and to promote umpires to higher tiers. Many thanks go out to those that helped make this a wonderful event. Jody Clough made beautiful flower arrangements for each table, Tim Stever provided great music throughout the evening, Wes Behrend handed out name tags, Mark Clough put together the awards presentation and Jay Neff kept us on schedule as the emcee. Thanks also goes out to all of the guests and significant others who put up with us during the year and allow us to do what we do.
The day started off with with our golf tournament, organized by Leslie, which was won by the foursome of Tony Amado, Scott Guhlke, Chris Hinton, and Don Warfield. Ernesto Avelar won the Closest to the Pin competition and Zach Habben (Mt Si High School) won the Longest Drive competition.

Award winners were:
George Eshelman Umpire of the Year– Henry VonJouanne
Brian Gooch Distinguished Service Award– Rich Johnson
Unsung Hero Award– Peyton Coffin
Rookie of the Year – Dave Richardson and Jim Melrose
Jack Miller Customer of the Year Award – Darrel Sakamoto – Taylor Baseball

Assignor Awards:
C Tier – Ron Klamert
B Tier – JC Cowan
A Tier – Mark Clough

Promotions from Apprentice to “C” Tier
Josh Brookshier
Alex Evenson
Mac Clark
Michael McGuire
Glen Cushman
Michael Lauritzen
Scott Allen
Dave Richardson
James Melrose
David Koon
Andrew Null
Steven Mueller
Russ Sarbora
Michael Shaw

Promotions from “C” Tier to “B” Tier:
Craig Cawelti
David Jaffe
Pete Perry
Ron Klamert
Jaime Archibald

Promotions from “B” Tier to “A” Tier:
Paul Garifalon
Brian Tschumper
Michael Opprecht
Timothy Sullivan
John Hennessey
Wesley Behrend

Promotion from “A” Tier to Tournament Tier:
Ron Beal

Congratulations to all the award and promotion recipients. It was (and still is) a great season and I hope everyone had a good time.

Allen Christie
Chair, Member Services and Communication Committee
Northwest Baseball Umpires Association

April NBUA Board Meeting

The Board met on Monday the 11th at the home of Scott Guhlke. The meeting began with a general discussion around a documentation project about to be undertaken by the Board. We discussed putting in writing all the duties and responsibilities for each member and in our roles as Directors of an activity, such as Training or Finance. While we have been blessed with outstanding support from those who have gone before us, with annual elections comes inevitable new Board members. We all agreed that having something documented (even at a high level) would be helpful for those considering a run and for those fortunate enough to earn election from the membership. There’s no timetable, other than we’d like to see this in full swing over next few months.

I kept my part short this month, which enabled us to reviewed the minutes from our March meeting before moving to one item on our new business agenda. You may recall that in the New Business area of my report from last month I mentioned a long list of High School Playoff eligible umpires was reviewed. Well, this month we got down to the nitty gritty and the Board reviewed and took action on our short list that will be used when the WOA comes to call for our umpires.

We then moved into reports from the various Committee Chairs. Here are few details from the Committees:

    • Finance Director (Clough) and I presented the report from our recently completed Financial Review and discussed the three recommendations in the report. One recommendation of note centered on the importance of the Board Treasurer and suggested we have a solid person fill that role as well as a training plan for anyone assuming the duty. If you read between the lines of my opening, you’ll see that we’re taking this input seriously and applying it across the spectrum of our operation. Mark then reviewed our financial statements, including our budget to date, cash flow and accounts receivable. He reported that our cash flow is slightly ahead of 2015, but we noted that we have a few bills of our own to pay. And when we settle with one customer on what we’re owed, we will be able to close out 2015 for good. He also noted that several of our newest umpires have met the first hurdle for their incentives. Congrats to those and keep working hard folks.
    • Evaluation Director (Granillo) was unable to attend the meeting, but provided a short note regarding the status of some early season formal evaluations. He also asked that we adjust the tier of a returning member to better match his skills and abilities.
    • Training Director (Jensen) noted that he learned a lot in his first year as a Director as have many of us newly elected to the Board. In general he’s reviewing the steps and processes used for the off-season training and is seeking input from his committee and the membership in general. If anyone has a specific suggestion for how to improve training, please contact Eric. The Board shared some ideas for how to get more guys trained during a lively conversation at the meeting. He also reported (in concert with Directors Christie and Clough) on the progress of the second wave of trainees.
    • Recruiting Director (Christie) initially tapped Director Jensen to give the update on the second wave, see above. He then moved into a review of a member who had met the minimum number of training hours, but was originally thought to have fallen short. There was a good discussion regarding the need for accurate record keeping, ensuring those attending training remember to sign in, and understanding the impacts to all involved when minimum hours are not met.
    • Member Services/Communications Director (Neff) noted that the High School Coach of the Year nominations will go out in a couple weeks. Be thinking of who you’d like to nominate. Also, he shared that his committee has narrowed down the timeframe for the banquet to three weekend dates in late September/early October. The exact date will depend on facility (and golf course) availability. More to follow as plans take shape.
    • Bylaws/Policies & Procedures Director (Coy) noted that his committee is still working on some suggestions shared by the Member Liaison (Reams Goodloe) for how to improve the By Laws and Policies and Procedures.
    • Assigning Secretary (Fitzpatrick) noted that since schools tend to schedule their games on Wednesdays and Fridays, she’s feeling the pinch on those days. If you have time and can be available on those days, you will earn her gratitude. Since school ball lasts just a few (8 total), it gets intense trying to fit games in when we are weather dependent. Or as Leslie put it, please open up your availability!

The new business section was brief as we only needed to select our next month’s host. Thanks for stepping forward Leslie! For the good of the order, I reported that the Northshore School District will be adding a new High School (North Creek HS) in the 2016-17 academic year. That means one more school for us to service next season. Not sure I have to say this again, but yes, we are popular umpires…we deliver a good product, which makes it important that we continue to bring in outstanding new folks to our association. It is never too early to start recruiting for next year.

That’s about all for now folks, hope to see you all on the diamond.

Hank Margeson
President, Northwest Baseball Umpires Association

See below for the school ball fees:

News from the WOA:

The accounting for school games has changed. Previously, schools paid the WIAA for the RTO program, and then the money was filtered to the WOA who administers the program. Also, an administration fee was billed as a percentage on top of the total assessed game fees. Now, the WIAA is no longer involved with the RTO payment process. Money goes directly to us, and then to the WOA. More importantly, the admin fee (percentage) was removed, so schools will pay one game fee for the entire crew. It is up to each sport and Board to determine how that game fee is split. If you would like more information, please contact Hank at

For members of the NBUA, the bottom line is we are receiving an increase in our school ball game fees. Varsity games will increase by $2 per umpire and sub-varsity games will increase by $1 per umpire.