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Apr 21 2017

​USSSA Fastpitch Launches New National Umpire Program ​

Kissimmee, FL- April 21, 2017- USSSA is excited to launch a new, national USSSA Umpire Program geared towards building and developing USSSA Officials across the country. Chuck Beckwell, USSSA’s National Director of officials, will oversee the entire USSSA Umpire Program and work with national directors in each sport to ensure program implementation, program consistency, and national training academies for the continuing education and development of officials. 
“My vision for our program is multifaceted. First, is to insure that all umpires have a consistent and competent training program that works for all situations, age groups and levels. This program will provide support for our umpires and correction when needed as well as standardized uniforms from a stable and plentiful source. Additionally, we aim to provide all levels of ball from beginners and recreational, to NCAA and professional games. I would like to see a place where USSSA umpires can come uninhibited to ask questions and nurture their love of the game freely and with no hesitations. The USSSA Umpire program will provide a place where umpires can grow and learn to be the best they can be both on and off of the field through camps, clinics and online learning,” said Beckwell.
The USSSA Umpire Program will focus largely on training and development of officials.This will include creating a national curriculum to use at local training clinics, creating a curriculum of the Elite Umpire Academy, and creating standard evaluation forms that will be used to evaluate umpires nationally. The national training program will include the development of online registration and certification, including local on field training.
One of the goals of the USSSA Umpire Program is to create a national and state hierarchical structure in each sport. For fastpitch, Dustin Holton will serve as the National Director of Fastpitch Officials and will work with veteran officials Don Briscoe (National Rules Coordinator), Victor Canales (National Training Staff), and Mike Raynor (National Staff Advisor). The USSSA Umpire Program has compiled an extensive list of training consultants who umpire at the highest levels of our sport including NCAA Division I and the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, including Canales and Raynor. Our national staff will work with State UICs to implement similar hierarchical structures and uniformity in state programs.
Dustin Holton has served as a fastpitch umpire for the last 17 years and has worked over 10 national tournaments for various organizations including the inaugural World Fastpitch Championship for USA Elite Select. Holton has a plethora of NCAA Division I officiating experience and brings a national network of top-level officials to USSSA Fastpitch. Holton’s enthusiasm for officiating and passion for creating a national training program will bring great value to USSSA.
Don Briscoe is our National Rules Coordinator. Don has been umpiring for 25 years and is associated with many different NCAA conferences.  He is currently the Georgia State UIC and served as a UIC for the 2016 World Fastpitch Championships. Don’s rule knowledge is second to none and we are very excited to have him on board.
Holton will be in charge of overseeing the national umpire program for USSSA Fastpitch. Further, he will develop plans to train current umpires, recruit and retain new umpires, select umpire crews for National events, and build relationships with State UICS.
“USSSA Umpires must believe that they are an important and vital portion of the entire program. Without their hard work and dedication our events would not be possible. We must continue to allow our strong men and women to strive to be the best umpires that they can be! To the fast pitch umpires I would like to say we have before us as USSSA Umpires, an unprecedented amounted of opportunities. Opportunities not only at our local, state and national levels but beginning this year at the international level as well. 
USSSA Fastpitch National Umpire Staff:
National Director of Fastpitch Officials: Dustin Holton
  • Oversee the fastpitch umpire program
  • Oversee the umpire selection for national tournaments
  • Oversee creation of USSSA Umpire Manual
  • Develop the online certification process for fastpitch officials
  • Develop and continue relationships with Fastpitch State UIC’s
  • Ensure the implementation of local training programs
  • Develop umpire evaluation forms
  • Evaluate State UIC performance’
  • Develop relationships with bat companies to allow quick communication if the legality of certain bats comes into question
  • Work closely with our uniform providers to ensure that the fastpitch officials are getting the best products and have the products available
National Rules Coordinator: Don Briscoe
  • Primary rule interpreter
  • Suggest how to reword rule changes
  • Create new casebook
National Training Staff: Victor Canales and others
  • Develop curriculum for local training programs and Elite Umpire Academies
  • Attend and lead the training for Elite Umpire Academies
  • Assist in writing the USSSA Umpire Manual
  • Attend select tournaments to evaluate umpires and UICs.
National Staff Advisor: Mike Raynor
  • Keeps the national informed on the NCAA mechanics and changes
  • Helps develop the training curriculum and evaluation forms
  • Assists in wording for the USSSA Umpire Manual
  • Coordinates the relationships with NCAA coordinators in all areas of the country
State UIC:
  • Implements local training program
  • In charge of recruiting new umpires to USSSA
  • Works with State Director to ensure that all tournaments are covered appropriately
  • Evaluation of umpires
  • Develop relationships with NCAA assignors in the area

About USSSA: USSSA is headquartered in Osceola County, Florida. USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 4.5 million participants, competing in 14 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA.

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