Do You Have What It Takes

To Umpire the BEST?

Fifteen Blues (and a son) Plunge on Jan 1, 2015

Calling em OUT before Plunging IN

Calling em OUT before Plunging IN

It was colder outside – 32 degrees – than it was in the water – 50 degrees. The sun was bright, the air was still, and the Seattle Blues rocked the Beach for the 2nd Annual Polar Bear Plunge into Puget Sound on Alki Beach.

Check out the video here.

Malcolm Boyles, Mike Cavanaugh, Steve Choi, Charles Coburn, Kayleen Dunson, Jerry Forkner, Mike Katz, Bob Lewis, Kris Mack, Wayne McDonald, Tim Murphy, Mike Sepe (and son Derek), Sean Wells and Craig Williams held hands as they plunged together into the sound.

Wild Bill Silves heard there was a party so he showed up to watch in his bright orange mittens!

Wild Bill's Bright Orange Mittens

Wild Bill’s Bright Orange Mittens

Friendship. Family. Fun.

And a great free publicity opportunity to help recruit umpires. Thank you Jerry Forkner for bringing that beautiful American Flag (and that small bottle of “cheer”) and thank you West Seattle Blog and West Seattle Herald for your excellent coverage – with photos and video! And professional sports photographer Dale Garvey was there and he has graciously provided a link with free downloads for his amazing photos.

Check out the West Seattle Blog Articles – Pre-Dunk and Post-Dunk and the article in West Seattle Herald  here.

After the plunge there was hot cocoa (with added “cheer”), changing into warmer clothes, and a great time to just hang out with fellow umpires.

One of the dunkers texted later in the day, “I had a blast today. Seriously, you make me really enjoy not only being an umpire, but being an SMSUA umpire.”

Friendship. Family. Fun.

Here’s to more of this in 2015!

Plunging into 2014

Are we all crazy?

Kayleen Dunson, Malcolm Boyles, Mike Sepe, and Mike Rabin plunge into Puget Sound in full uniform to help recruit new umpires (not pictured but there, was Sean Wells).

Kayleen Dunson, Malcolm Boyles, Mike Sepe, and Mike Rabin plunge into Puget Sound in full uniform to help recruit new umpires (not pictured but there, was Sean Wells).















wellsBooyles handThe answer is “YES.”  But five of us braved the freezing temps of Puget Sound on New Year’s Day to show how much fun ASA Umpires can have! Thanks to Malcolm Boyles, Mike Rabin, Mike Sepe, Sean Wells, and Kayleen Dunson for the 2014 Polar Plunge!

This may become an ANNUAL EVENT! Think about it!

Malcolm Inducted into Hall of Fame

Malcolm HOF1Congratulations to our very own Malcolm Boyles who was inducted into the Northwest Region Hall of Fame January 26, 2013  in Wilsonville, Oregon

A  big thank you to all of the SMSUA and Region 15 Umpires who attended  If you would like to send Malcolm a congratulatory note, email him at 


Tell Us How to Recognize You!

SMSUA Members:

We want to know how best to recognize you! Please fill out this very short survey (it’s only 8 questions) to let us know what kind of an end-of-the-season Awards Ceremony you would most like to have next year. Your responses are completely confidential and will help us design a ceremony that is most meaningful to you.

The survey is now closed but if you have any additional feedback, please email Kayleen.




Congrats to Award Winners

Gerald St. Clair is Umpire of the Year

We had food and games and lots of time to talk with friends during our 2012 Awards Picnic. Oh yeah, and we handed out some awards.

Here’s a full list of award winners:

Commissioner’s Award: Don Hough
Commissioner’s Distinguished Service Award: Lori Bish
Rookie of the Year: Steven Choi
Slow Pitch Award: Alex Momb
High School Umpire of the Year: Steve Sax
President’s Award: Kayleen Dunson
Umpire of the Year: Gerald St. Clair

Congratulations to everyone!

Even the smallest kids loved putting on the uniform and equipment!

We also had plenty of good food, an annual egg toss (won by Dean Fitzsimmons and Mark Jordan – check out their photo on the SMSUA Facebook page), a water balloon toss (and subsequent “fight”), and a relay race where kids had to don full umpire uniform and equipment.

A huge thank you to Erin Peterson, Megan Rabin, and Wally Chocklon for organizing the picnic, cooking the food, and making sure we had awards to hand out this year.

We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Are You Checking Bats?

We all should be checking to make sure bats are legal before each game we do.

All bats should have the ASA approved certification mark for 2000 or 2004 and be free of burrs, dents, cracks and rattles.

Check out this handy “Quick Guide” on how to inspect bats. The ASA website is the best place to go for more resources. Here’s a link to the one-page color list of bats that HAVE the 2000 or 2004 stamp but have become “Non-Approved.” This is a handy reference guide you should print out and keep with you when you do your games.

Hope this helps to refresh your “bat check skills” and make it easier for all of us to check bats every game.


Get Regional Clinic Presentations

ASA Region 15 Clinicians – Wild Bill Silves, Kevin Ryan, Malcolm Boyles, Bob Stanton, Brian Van Os, Lori Bish

What an amazing learning experience!

Thank you to all of the fantastic clinicians who gave so much of their time and expertise to help make all of us in Region 15 better umpires.

Nearly 250 umpires gathered for a great weekend of learning, building relationships and having some great fun. The head umpires from ASA in the United States, Softball Canada, and the International Softball Federation engaged everyone with their expert knowledge and creativity.

The Canadian’s sing for the Clinic – Thanks for being here!

We are especially thankful to the great contingent of umpires from up north who treated us to a rousing rendition of their National Anthem as well as sharing their thoughtful expertise and fun!

We’re working on a complete Clinic update, but until then here is access to some of the presentations:

Playing Rule Changes
Balance in Umpiring
Name That Game
Train the Trainers
ASA Evaluations
Batting Out of Order

Thank you to all Clinicians, all staff who helped make this so successful and especially to ALL THE WOMEN AND MEN IN BLUE who attended.


School Ball Rules Changes Here

All high school and middle school games are governed by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Rules. Although there aren’t many significant changes to the rules or mechanics this year, Gerald St.Clair went through some of the more significant changes for the members at the February 6 meeting.

If you missed that meeting, or want to refresh what you learned there, check out this slideshow that includes all of Gerald’s slides.

If we can help you with more or better training tools, please let us know.


Congratulations to Our Two New ASA Elite Umpires

Tom Henderson Receives his ASA Elite

Congratulations to Tom Henderson and Troy Fields for earning their ASA fast pitch Elite Umpire Award.

The ASA Elite Umpire Award is the highest recognition for ASA umpires and is the first step towards earning International Softball Federation (ISF) certification. To become an ASA Elite Umpire each umpire must be selected to work two major tournaments (Men’s, Women’s, or 18 Gold) and earn an ASA “Excellent” evaluation in each of those tournaments.

Troy Fields Receives his ASA Elite

Only a very small number of all umpires ever earn their ASA Elite Award.

We’re proud to have two new ASA Elite Umpires here with SMSUA. Give them a handshake or a hug next time you see them.