President’s Message

2016-2017 NBUA Board in Action

It has been way too long since I’ve updated the membership regarding their Board’s actions. That’s not to say we haven’t been busy wrapping up the 2016 season, adding outstanding new members to the Board, electing Board leadership and establishing new committees…we have been doing that and much, much more. I just have not taken the time to share all this with you and for my omission, I apologize.

On Monday the 19th of December the Board met at the home of Mickey Whitaker and got busy with our off-season work. Our agenda included a member’s appeal of improper conduct, a review of our past meeting minutes, a brief discussion on required updates to our training policies, a formal review and approval discussion of our assigning policy, discussion on how to facilitate members requesting locker room facilities for school ball games, and formal approval of game fee adjustments.

The last item will be shared in much greater detail at our General Membership meeting on January 23rd, 2017, location to be determined, save the date. As a teaser, the Board had a spirited discussion regarding the need to adjust our rates and how to balance that need against the needs of our customers. In the end, nearly every level of ball (recall that we don’t control school ball fees) will see a significant increase in 2017.

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

    • Finance Director (Clough) reported on the preliminary year-end financial status. While there are a few outstanding expenses left to address, the association is assured of having the needed reserves to sustain operations until invoices for the 2017 school ball season are issued. Please know that our expenses continue during the off-season for things like our assignor, our accountant, and reserving training space. Plus, we are cognizant that members will want to receive draws starting in June each year, so having funds to cover those expenses are crucial to our existence. We also discussed the very few customers with outstanding invoices that we expect will settle up with us in early 2017. Finally, we are preparing our annual budget for Board action in January and will share the financial status at the General Meeting 1/23/17).
    • Evaluation Director (Granillo) noted that he’s in the process of filling out his core committee as well as identifying evaluators for next season.
    • Training Director (Coyne) shared that his committee is in full planning mode. The training schedule was reviewed and pushed out to the membership. He also updated the Board on the sign-ups for the Black & Blue Umpire Clinic (BBUC) scheduled for February 10-12, 2017. There’s still plenty of time to sign up at the reduced fee. The Board acknowledges that the cost of the clinic may be problematic for some which is why traditional training sessions will also be offered, but know that investing in the BBUC will satisfy all your training requirements as well as give you top notch training by professional trainers. The registration/waiver forms are available under the Forms portion of the Lists tab in Arbiter.
    • Recruiting Director (Whitaker) updated us on three scheduled orientation meetings scheduled for December 20-22 throughout the county. While we do not yet have a firm number of new recruits, we have a start of a decent sized class, but are as always looking for more. That’s where you come in! Referring new umpires is by far our best source for members, and several have already made those referrals. Thank you to each and every one who is promoting the NBUA, keep up the great work so we can build a great class of first year umpires. Mickey also noted that he’s developing a FAQ that can be posted on our web site to address common questions. He also mentioned that his committee is contacting current members to ensure as many as possible return for another season in 2017.
    • Member Services/Communications Director (Christie) provided an update on the General meeting (23rd of January) and that while he has not secured a location yet, it isn’t for a lack of trying. The Board agreed that a central location was desirable. We will update the membership once we have confirmed the location. He also noted that work on our new web site continues and is planning to preview the site at the General meeting (see, there is something to look forward to).
    • Bylaws/Policies & Procedures Director (Neff) reported that the 2017 MSA is being reviewed so as to be ready to share early in the New Year. He is also prioritizing updates to section 8.5 of the Bylaws as well as incorporating the Assigning Policy in the Policies and Procedures document.
    • Assigning Secretary (Fitzpatrick) thanked the Board and membership for an outstanding 2016 and is eager to start assigning games. To that end, she reported that two schools have provided their season schedules so far and will be reaching out to all schools in January.

We finished up with a discussion a tier placement reconsideration, agreed on where to meet in January, set expectations for Directors to present at the General meeting, and noted that some retiring members are willing to part with their equipment either at a reduced or no cost. As we’ve done for many years, we will collect unused equipment and clothing for our new members as a way of defraying the up-front costs involved in umpiring. While we are certainly going to miss our retired friends, we thank them for their altruism and continuing to pay it forward. Our strength is our membership and we are very strong indeed.

I would be remiss if I didn’t wish everyone in the NBUA Happy Holidays (Merry everything) and the hope for a prosperous 2017 for all.


Hank Margeson
President, Northwest Baseball Umpires Association

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