StLMSUA Fall Update

The season isn't over just yet

Finish Strong!

It's October. The weather seems to have finally broken. Feels like fall. But wait! We still have some softball remaining. Plenty of work the last 2 weeks in October. Let Greg know your availability if you have not already. We need all hands on deck....and then some.


We have dates to add to your calendar and some training opportunities to share along with a recap of the Championship season.

Annual Holiday Luncheon

Sunday, Dec. 3rd, 11am-2pm

10500 Livingston Drive

St. Louis, MO

Our Annual Holiday Luncheon will be on Sunday, Dec. 3, starting at 11am. Come out, have some food, drink and good conversation. We will have plenty of food and drink. Bring a donation to the local food pantry.

Calendar Stuff

Check our Calendar, often. You will see all of our training opportunities as well as National Umpire Schools and tournament listings.


Dec 1 through Feb 18 - Early Registration

Dec. 8 - 10 - National Umpire School in Kentucky

Jan 8 - Rules Brainstorming - KAA

Jan 17 - Plate Work at ABC

Jan 21 - MSHSAA Rules/Mechanics Clinic at ABC

Jan 22 - Rules Brainstorming - ABC

Jan 24 - Plate Work at ABC

Jan 28 - Local NCAA Clinic at ABC

Jan 31 - Plate Work at ABC


Yeah, Feb and Mar have a similar number of dates. Again, our calendar is on the webpage: stlmsua.com

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Plays and Clarifications

While attending Advanced Fast Pitch Camp in GA this summer, the campers, including our own David Lee, Dianna Wozniak and Shannon Kamp were asked to author and present troublesome plays and their clarifications. These were then published nationally in July. See the work the campers shared and test your own knowledge. July Plays and Clarifications.

2018 Registration FAQ

I registered last year. Do I need to register again? YES


I work JO ball. I did a background check last year. Do I need to do another one this year? YES


Can I register now for 2018? No, not quite yet. The window will open on Dec. 1


How long do I have before the rate increases? Early Registration is being extended to Feb. 18, 2018 this year.


Do I register using RegisterUSA.com? NO. We have our own Registration Form available online.


Then what do I do at RegisterUSA.com? This is where you order your background check, if needed.


Who needs a background check? All umpires who are registering with us for the 1st time, as well as any umpire who works JO level ball (youth) and those umpires who will work a National Championship. If your answer is yes to any of the mentioned situations, you need a background check.


Can I pay my registration online, with a credit card? YES you can. We have this as an item on our Square Store. It costs an extra $2.50 for the processing.

St. Louis Umpires Make Great Showing at 2017 National Championships

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USA Softball National Umpire Schools

NUS are generally offered over a weekend, with Advanced Camp being somewhat longer and held in June. NUS begin in December and go until Feb. The first one for this coming year is in December and will be in Kentucky. They are working on getting all the dates confirmed, but you can check on the National website for updates.


Those umpires wishing to be assigned a National Championship must have attended a NUS within the last 5 years.

Fall Slow Pitch Tournaments a Success!

From the Special Olympics to the Suicide Prevention Tournament, there were several great Slow Pitch Tournaments this fall. Thank you to all the umpires who made yourselves available to work these events.
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Uniforms

All orders for 2017 have been placed with just a few items still needing delivery. When you pack away your things for the off-season, take note of what you might want/need early next season. A call for uniform orders for delivery at our Metro Clinic will be sent out in mid Jan.

X Men’s Pan-AM Championships 2017

Kevin Wallace writes about his experience.

It was an adventure of a lifetime!


It all started when Kevin Ryan called me in April and ask if I would be able to go to the Pan-Am Men’s championships somewhere in South America September 13th through the 25th. I quickly looked at my calendar and realized I needed 5 if not 6, 24 hours days off from work that I had neither planned on nor scheduled. I told Kevin I would need a little bit of time to work this out and I would get back to him as soon as I knew either way. I spoke to several people at work and worked out trade days for 5 days, about 2 weeks later, I called Kevin and told him I was good to go. ------then nothing, zip, nada, no travel plans, no UIC emails, no crew contact. I was being stretched. I contacted Kevin in mid - August asking about my travel plans and got very little reply. I was then contacted by another Umpire- Randy McLamb (who worked with Greg in NZ in 2013 at the world championships) and he told me he would be going with me from the USA. FINALLY about 10 days out I got an e-mail to contact Journey House to plan my flights.


At this time, Hurricane IRMA was in full swing heading towards the Dominican Republic (which is where I found out we were going), and headed towards Florida. OK, plan is to fly to Miami and then to Santo Domingo, and then had flights home ticketed as well. Still, I had no idea who I was working with or for, no UIC contact or crew info. OK, I’m set to go, don’t have much information but I’m as ready as I can be! Wednesday afternoon the 12th, about 4 PM, I received a call from Kevin saying plans have changed… we could get to Miami but not out! Sooooo, about 9 PM I get the word we are going through Atlanta and that a 3rd umpire Glenn Brown would be coming from the USA. Greg picked me up and dropped me off at the airport and I was off! I met up with Randy and Glenn at the Gate in Atlanta and they both ask me to fill them in on the details, I had NOTHING! We arrived in Santo Domingo and looked at each other, now what??? We processed through customs and were asked, where are you staying - we all looked at each other with no information, finally the one customs agent just stamped our passport and pushed us through (I’m still not sure what happened!). We got our luggage and proceeded to ground transport hoping to find someone with a sign or something……. Nope…. Nothing….


We stumbled across some players we knew from Argentina but that was about it. Then we found a guy with a softball Canada shirt on and introduced ourselves to him, turns out he was our Asst. UIC and had the same information we did… absolutely nothing. We finally connected to the WIFI and got an e-mail out to USA Softball and received a response that someone should be there to pick us up. After about an hour or so we went over and grabbed a bite to eat, as we finished, a guy walked up to us, pointed to us and indicated he was our driver and off we went! Again… no idea where we are going or who we needed to find. The drive was eye opening, open ocean on one side and shacks and huts on the other. We arrived at a sports complex that had volleyball, basketball, badminton, soccer (futbal), baseball, and of course softball. We got off our bus and met umpires and our UIC, Santos, had a bi lingual umpire meeting/clinic on 4 umpire system, ate dinner and loaded into a bus and off to our home for 12 days. Mind you I don’t speak or understand much Spanish so I was doing a lot of just following - more stretching. I checked into my room- adventurous as that was, I didn’t speak Spanish and the lady didn’t speak English, but we got by. Bus leaves at 10 in AM…. Everyone went to bed, I didn’t know what to do, no WIFI, no communication- anxiety set in, about that time a guy walked in and I knew him, Rey Mora, I had umpired with him in the past, from Puerto Rico but lives in Orlando- my suite mate for the week! Shew – I went to bed and slept like a rock.


Rey got up and spoke to a local police officer and had breakfast homemade for him and I then brought to our room for about 50 pesos ($1) 3 eggs, plantain (banana like) and sausage. All the other umpires wanted to know where he got it! Off to the ball park we went, again the drive was unreal, 45 minutes to an hour though poverty stricken area, many sleeping on the sidewalks, open markets, vans and cars packed with people, motorcycles weaving in and out of tight spaces, families on motorcycles- families of 4, 5 and yes 6! The rules of the road are biggest vehicle gets it’s way, most important working part on the vehicle- the horn of course! Not the brakes, brakes are for the weak!

We arrived at the ballpark and have about a 45-minute meeting and receive our day one assignments, I have the 8 pm plate Dominican Republic VS Brazil. It’s 11:45 AM, what do I do for the rest of the day??? I ventured out a bit. I watched some games, watched some umpires, then I found GOLD! Egg guy! As we called him. A guy on his bike with a cage on the front full of limes and a few oranges and a few pallets of eggs, buns and ham and cheese. Behind his seat was a panini press and a place to fry eggs. Randy and I had an egg, ham and cheese sandwich and a fresh squeezed limeade. We were hooked! The rest of the week we visited egg guy, sometimes more than once in a day!


It rained, rain delay, finally game time. I got ready for my plate- off we go not knowing what to expect, locked loaded, focused- play ball, top of the 1st was quick, bottom of the 1st not so much. 8 runs The Dominican team was far better than the Brazil team, the upside: the Brazil catcher spoke English. 2. 5 innings- later we were done 15-0. I think it took 45 minutes to play the game. 45-minute drive back and a stop at the Ole grocery store and back at our room. Saturday, it rained all day, we drove to the park and sat around for 5 hours, then back to our rooms. Because we had lost Saturday we had an 8:30 start so on the bus at 6am, no homemade breakfast that morning. Little did we know at this point that was going to be the norm. We had rain every day of some sort, delays, lots of sitting in a 12 x12 umpire room with 10-12 other umpires. I struggled with understanding the schedule, we had 24 umpires, 4 umpire system, 6 crews if you will, 2 fields. We not only worked back to back games we worked base then plate games, then sat all day. We arrived at the park together in a bus and left the park together on a bus-so that wasn’t a reason to stack games – yep growing me again!


Because of the next hurricane on its way (Maria), games were cancelled for Thursday and our early morning and late nights continued to finish pool play by end of day Wednesday. 4 days of less than 4 hours of sleep a night started to wear on us. No place to sleep at the ballpark, well I would lay down in the locker room with my legs over my umpire bag and did get some cat naps. Long days, short nights! On Monday we were contacted by the USA team and told we could possibly be leaving Wednesday due to the hurricane. As the Hurricane hit Puerto Rico HARD, it turned north and the decision was made to stay. Games continued, and so did the long days and short nights. We gelled as a crew and the friendships grew, I started to pick up on understanding the Spanish but still could not speak it- I was getting pretty good umpiring in Spanish! Tres y dos (3 and 2).


We packed our bags and brought all our stuff to the ball park Wednesday as they relocated us – moving us away from the ocean. We arrived at the “athletes village” Wednesday night about 11 pm. As we were checking in a player from Belize saw me and asked what we were doing. I told him and he invited me to a Belize Independence Day celebration that night in the conference room. (I had umpired them earlier that day and I made some new friends). I enjoyed some good conversation and getting to know my new friends, I also got them some information on some tournaments here in the USA as they are really working to develop Men’s softball in Belize. Thursday morning we slept, ahhhhhh. We got up and milled around the athlete’s village and contemplated going for a walk about. We were advised against it, lol. The Dominican umpires got a van and a couple of cars and the plan was to go sightseeing… yes sightseeing in a hurricane. Oh, well I said it was and adventure! Off we went, the local policica would not let us close to the shore so we got as close as we could and drove around the old city, ending up at the big Professional baseball stadium as the rains began to really come down. We stopped at the “Dugout” an open air bar close to the stadium. The rains pounded on us, I think 8-10 inches in about an hour. The streets flooded and many locals were out pulling up manhole covers and clearing drains – of course marking them with bar stools as motorcycles and cars were still driving up and down the streets. As the rains let up we headed back to the athlete’s village.


Up early to begin Bracket play Friday morning. We arrived about an hour before game time and had a 45 minute clinic on 6 umpire system. Yes 15 minutes before game time we got out daily assignment. I had 2nd base, so I was ok. I had worked 2 plates at this point and none in front of the UIC 6 innings total between my 2 plates. I thought maybe I was done working plates. Saturday morning more of the same, I was notified I had the plate on the Canada v. Mexico game. 7-6 great game (Glenn at 1st and Randy at 2nd)- the 2nd baseman for Mexico made an ESPN top 10 play to end the game with a catch with runners at 1st and 2nd). The boss called me in and I had no idea what he was going to say, he shut the door and my heart started beating out of my chest, I thought I had a good game. He shook my hand and told me in broken English GOOD F*#$%ing game! Shew!


More rain and we didn’t finish Saturday night. Sunday morning up bright and early and at the ballpark at 8. 8:30 game time at 8:20 The assistant UIC told me I had the plate on the 5th/6th place game. Canada VS Cuba winner qualifies for 2019 loser is out, I see it as big big game! Because of the overnight rain the humidity is around 80% and temps in the high 80’s, no breeze at all. As the game progressed I got hotter and hotter, Ice pack on my head, water, water and more water. My ball bags sweated through! Cuba won a hard-fought battle 3-2 and I was shot! What an awesome experience! I was able to cheer on the USA team as they lost to Venezuela taking the bronze medal (1st time they medaled since the early 2000). We got up at 3 am to get to the airport and get back to the US of A. I can’t describe how proud I was to wear our colors and to represent USA Softball, and USA Softball of St. Louis. While many thing were not as I had become accustomed to, I could not imagine a better or more fun adventure for an umpire, an American or a person!

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St. Louis Metro Softball Umpires Association