In the May edition of the Director’s Corner, I presented the different levels of administration within the Little League® Umpire Program from the local league level to the Regional level. To follow-up on that article, I thought it would be beneficial to spotlight one of the greatest resources we have in the Little League umpire program, the Regional Umpire-In-Chief (U.I.C.). We are fortunate to have volunteer U.I.Cs appointed in seven Little League Regional Centers. Please take a moment to get to know the U.I.C. that serves your region.
Frank Policano is the Eastern Region U.I.C. He and Dr. Mike Lantiere, Assistant Eastern Region U.I.C., are responsible for assisting umpires from Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
Mr. Policano has held the role of Region U.I.C. for 25 years. He has volunteered as a Little League Umpire for 49 years. He worked in 36 Eastern Regional Tournaments and the 1979 Little League Baseball® World Series.
Dr. Lantiere has held the role of Assistant Region U.I.C. for 24 years. He has volunteered as a Little League Umpire for 27 years. He worked in 27 Eastern Regional Tournaments, the 2006 European Big League Regional, the 2004 Junior League World Series, and the 2005 Little League Baseball World Series. He began volunteer umpiring after his children graduated from the Little League program. Dr. Lantiere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marshall Casey is the Southeastern Region U.I.C. He is responsible for assisting umpires from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Mr. Casey was appointed to the Region U.I.C. position in 2011. He has served as a volunteer Little League Umpire for the past 20 years. As an umpire, he worked the Little League Baseball and Senior Baseball Regional Tournaments as well as the Little League Baseball World Series. Mr. Casey began umpiring when his daughter and son started playing Little League because their league needed more volunteer umpires. Over the years, he has also served as a Coach, District U.I.C., State U.I.C., Southeastern Region Umpire Instructor, and Southeastern Region Umpire Staff Member. He enjoys the opportunity to continue to be a part of the Little League Program and is thankful for the opportunity to give back to the community. Mr. Casey can be reached at Scump19@aol.com.
Jeffrey Knoebel is the Central Region U.I.C. He is responsible for assisting umpires from Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Mr. Knoebel was appointed as the Region U.I.C. in 2010. He has served as a volunteer Little League Umpire for 31 years. Other organizations he has umpired with include Indiana High School Athletic Assoc. (Baseball and Softball 1987- Present), NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA and Professional Baseball. Mr. Knoebel umpired in the 2003 Little League Baseball Regional, 2005 Senior League Baseball Regional, 2012 Senior League Softball Regional, and 2010 Little League Baseball World Series. Other Little League positions that he holds or has held include Central Region Training Coordinator, Central Region Training Staff, and Indiana District 5 U.I.C. He began volunteer umpiring because his father was a volunteer Little League umpire. When he graduated from the Little League program, he continued to be involved as a volunteer umpire. Mr. Knoebel can be reached at email@example.com.
Bobby Walker is the Southwestern Region U.I.C. He is responsible for assisting umpires from Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Mr. Walker has served as Region U.I.C. for 12 years. He has volunteered as a Little League Umpire for 41 years and has also served as an Assistant District Administrator. Mr. Walker has worked in the 1979 Little League Baseball Southern Regional and 1994 Senior League Baseball Southern Regional tournaments. In 1982, he was selected to work the Little League Baseball World Series. He began volunteer umpiring when his local league was recruiting volunteer umpires. Mr. Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Bernstein is the Western Region U.I.C. He is responsible for assisting umpires from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Mr. Bernstein was appointed as the Region U.I.C. in October 2013. He has been a volunteer umpire for Little League for 38 years. He worked in his first Regional tournament in 1995 (Junior Baseball); then in 1998 the Little League Baseball Regional; and in 2000, the European Little League Baseball (Native) Regional. Mr. Bernstein has had the pleasure of being selected to work two World Series, the 2001 Senior Baseball World Series and the 2008 Little League Baseball World Series. He has held positions at Carmel Mountain Ranch Little League, in San Diego, as U.I.C., in District 31 as Safety Officer, Assistant U.I.C. and District 31 U.I.C. He has been involved in Little League since he was seven years old (47 years). His father was involved in their local league (Mid Queens Boys Club Little League in New York), holding numerous Board positions over several years. Mr. Bernstein can be reached at email@example.com.
Brad Johnston is the Canada Region U.I.C. He is responsible for assisting umpires throughout Canada.
Mr. Johnston has served as Regional U.I.C. for two years. He has volunteered as a Little League Umpire for 20 years and has 18 years of experience umpiring in other organizations. He has worked in seven Canadian championships. His interest in umpiring began as a teenager. Mr. Johnston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenju Ogyu is the Asia-Pacific Region U.I.C. He is responsible for assisting umpires in 18 countries, including Chinese Taipei, Guam, Hong Kong, and People’s Republic of China and Japan.
Mr. Ogyu has held the role of Region U.I.C. for two years. He has volunteered as a Little League Umpire for 15 years and has worked in eight Little League Regional tournaments. In 2010, he was selected to work in the Little League Baseball World Series. His interest for volunteer umpiring was sparked when, as a parent, he worked games to help his team. Mr. Ogyu can be reached at email@example.com.
As you work games during regular and tournament seasons, the need for a rule interpretation is inevitable. Just know that your Region U.I.C. is there to assist you with those questions, as well as provide tips on proper base and plate mechanics. This valuable guidance is only an e-mail away. When reaching out to your Region U.I.C, remember to copy your local and district U.I.C. so they too can be aware of your questions and the direction provided.
Each Little League Region has an Umpire-in-Chief. At the 26th Little League International Congress in Minneapolis, convened in April, several of the Region U.I.C.s were in attendance to meet with District Administrators and other District Staff members. The Region U.I.C.s are all veteran volunteer umpires, and available to answer your questions and offer insight. From the left are, Jeffery Knoebel, Central Region U.I.C; Marshall Carey, Southeastern Region U.I.C.; Mark Bernstein, Western U.I.C.; and Frank Policano, East Region U.I.C. Not pictured are: Southwestern Region U.I.C. Bobby Walker; Canada Region U.I.C. Brad Johnston; Asia-Pacific U.I.C. Kenju Ogyu; and Assistant Eastern Region U.I.C. Dr. Mike Lantierre. Pictured at the podium on the far right is Thomas Haines, Little League International's Director of Umpire Development.
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Fairball | July 2014 | URC | Registry