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Northwoods/Atlantic Leagues Success at Umpire Schools

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As the Northwoods League Supervisor of Umpires, I have to get on here and commend and congratulate the 12 Northwoods League umpires, 1 NYCBL umpire, and 1 Atlantic League umpire from our 2012 Oceansid

That is great! Congrats!

Jocko-sometimes you need to stop chopping so you can sharpen your axe.

I don't mean this as a negative at all. But I think two rounds at umpire school, plus two rounds of OUTS, you had better be at PBUC or I think you can conclude that umpiring isn't your thing.

I was wrong...I double counted two people...


33 out of 39...

20 out of 20 so far of guys who have been through PBUC camp made it into MiLB


And nobody has been through OUTS twice in that group except Dave Albertson...

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bob i came to your camp twice.... although the second time i went i didn't go to umpire school though, and johnny it's not so much that we went to bob's camp even though I have to credit him with the majority of where I am as an umpire today, but I would say that what really helped me to make it to PBUC this time was my experience i gained employing Bob's and Wendelstedt's instruction into real life situations in the NWL

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Bob can you please explain what OUTS is all about? I believe it's in Florida. Is it open for anyone or a select group?

Ok...Here's what we started as, what we turned out to be, and where we're headed...lol


This camp is open for anyone.  I've had people ask me if it's a "tryout" camp, but it's really not.  Let me explain:


My original idea was to have a small umpire "school" in Florida, about 10-14 days, for people who could not afford to attend a big school for five weeks, but still wanted to be instructed by current and former professional umpires from Minor League Baseball.  I also wanted a place where we could work live games and instruct, as opposed to only camp and control games.  Hence, why we were originally at Cocoa Expo (big thanks to Jeff Biddle and Matt Yurish)


In 2009, the economy hit the skids, and we were going to have hardly anyone since a number of people I refunded money to because they lost their jobs (I too, was furloughed from my job at the same time).  At that time, I contacted the Northwoods League and said, "Why not bring the guys you're thinking about hiring, and let me work with them since I have the facility and games, etc., to do it with."  That's how the NWL connection got started


I was a member of the original umpire staff 20 seasons ago in the Northwoods League, and that's why it's important for me to give back to the league that got me the confidence to make it into MiLB.


I like to think that now we've become the "add-on" class to the big league schools...Umpire School 2.0, for a lack of a better word.  We teach the things that make people not just better umpires, but make them LOOK like better umpires.  We still have the games, although as the Expo is being rebuilt, not as many, but we still have numerous umpires who are simply there to learn more.  Last year we had a retired US Navy Commodore in attendance at age 61, and several over the age of 40...so you can tell we are more than just trying guys out for the NWL and AL.


The extra added benefit is it just so happens that I am the supervisor of umpires for the Northwoods League, as of last year, and Mark Facto and Marty Bauer are two instructors with connections to the Atlantic League (Facto stepped down this year, but still has input).  So if I find the people I want there for the Northwoods League, I will hire my staff from there.  I never over promise anything to anyone...I have the 18 positions open for the NWL, but if I don't find the right PEOPLE to work for us, I will have to look elsewhere...so far, that hasn't been an issue over the past four years.  We also will be looking for potential umpires in the Atlantic League, but there is no word on how many potential positions there are in that league at this time.


I like to prepare all the umpires who attend for a potential return to umpire school, or, potentially a first time to umpire school if that's what they choose to do and pursue a job in MiLB.  We have three umpires on staff with AAA and MLB spring training games under our belts, and one instructor currently in his second year in MiLB


I have shortened the program the past two years because I don't have the time I would like to have to make it two weeks...but we may go back to the old way next season, God willing!  :)


Like I posted above...20 for 20 so far with guys going back and getting jobs in MiLB...don't know how long the perfect streak will continue, but there are other camps around the country and nobody has our staff experience, or track record, with getting young umpires where they want to go.


Hope that helps!  Here's the website:  www.oceansideumpiretraining.com

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Thanks Bob! Very interesting! I would be highly interested but its right in the middle of our high school season. But I will consider it. If not there is next year.

No problem!  Tell any of your young umpires in the association to feel free, if they have a few days in March, to think about coming...the more the merrier!



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Have you considered possibly offering instruction in the fall? After MiLB season and MLB regular season? Alot of us are calling games and can't attend in early spring.

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Jocko-sometimes you need to stop chopping so you can sharpen your axe.

While I don't disagree, the time to sharpen the axe is when you don't need the firewood yet. Other camps are offseason (both of Tony's, MidAm, Tx, TUS, HWUS, JEUA to name a few). Just sayin...
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