By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Following a World Baseball Softball Confederation meeting held in Cartagena, Colombia last month, BVI Softball Association Chief Umpire, Glenford “Chappy” Maduro, has been appointed as director of umpires for the English Speaking Caribbean Amateur Softball Confederation (ECASC).
Maduro who attended the meeting received his confirmation letter at the end of October, from association’s Secretary General, Dianne Miller. He told Island Sun Sports that ECASC which was formed five years ago, has held several tournaments using umpires from Latin America heading their events. Now that they have the authority from the World Baseball Softball Confederation, they decided to appoint a certified umpire within the region to be its umpire’s director.
The BVISA chief signal caller’s duties will include: supervising and collaborating with all umpires to improve and maintain the umpire program across the Caribbean. Chair all umpire committee meetings and delegate tasks. Detail a list of umpires to officiate at ECASC sanctioned games.
Oversee the compilation of player’s statistics in conjunction with the statisticians. Appoint instructors for all levels of umpires and assign a host to the Level 3 and 4 umpire clinic and establish a location.
“Being in this position, I will have to do some training in terms of the different English speaking countries and getting them prepared to become certified once they complete the online tests and once they complete that, the mechanics, field organization and the likes, I can certify them off that,” Maduro explained. “When it comes to the Virgin Islands on a whole, Bobby Thomas who was just elected Senator in St. Thomas and I, were certified in 2002. In the BV we have Shane Freeman, Faith Maduro-Powell and Avery Percival who has taken a break from umpiring. We have some certified umpires in Aruba, Curacao and Belize. I’ve been contacted by St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, to come and work with them. Jamaica doesn’t have any and Anguilla is not up to date with their affiliation fee.”
Within the region he’s overseeing, Maduro said he’d like to see 30-40 trained umpires—especially women—as women’s softball is back in the Olympic Games program. He said there has been a lot of hype to be there and showcase women in the Olympics and the ISF he noted, is interested in women officiating the Olympic Games.
“They would like to see a lot more women coming out and being interested in officiating games,” he noted. “I don’t know of any in the English speaking Caribbean, only in Latin America.”
When asked what it means to be in the position, Maduro said it’s a privilege and an honor. He thanked former Sports Officer Patrick Harrigan who brought Arthur Thompson from the Bahamas to qualify umpires to become International Softball Federation certified umpires.
“After he brought Mr. Thompson, I qualified to go along with Cynthia Martin, Dickie Davis and Hanbrock Mercer, but they were not successful in being ISF umpires,” he noted. “Hanbrock, he got regional certification but he has bowed out of umpiring because he found that teams had no respect for time.”
Softball rules are changing constantly and Maduro said within the Virgin Islands, he’d like to see umpires keeping up on the changes. He said the ISF is basically concerned with umpires’ mechanics.
“When you go on the field representing them in a tournament, they want to know your mechanics is up to par for television, since games are televised,” he said. “They want to know you look professional on the field—your dress, actions and signs. I’d like to see umpires on a whole practice their mechanics and their rotation. Once they do that, it would be easier for them to become certified. When you’re out there looking shabby with your signs, it causes confusion and they don’t want that. They want you to look professional on the field.”