2018 National Umpire of the Year Award Winner Video: Suzi Sutton

March 08, 2018, 11:11 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - March 8, 2018 - Each week, USA Field Hockey will be celebrating a Hall of Fame Inductee, Honorary Member or Award Winner prior to the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame and Awards Gala, presented by STX, on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Md. 

USA Field Hockey is proud to announce that Suzi Sutton has won the People’s Choice Umpire of the Year Award.

Sutton resides in both California and Pennsylvania, and is a self-employed umpire, property manager and volunteer Firefighter at Lafayette Fire Company 63. She grew up in Dallastown, Pa., where she graduated with honors from Dallastown High School after a distinguished field hockey and basketball career. She went on to attend Northwestern University School of Communication in Evanston, Ill., where she also received a scholarship to play field hockey and played a year of basketball.

She was introduced to field hockey by her mother, a long-time club player, coach and now umpire, and unknowingly started her umpire career while coaching at California Cup with her mom, as the U-12 coaches had to umpire. Injury hampered Sutton's college playing career, but to stay involved after college, she organized and coached a local youth club team and umpired high school hockey in York, Pa. Her umpiring potential was spotted in 2008 by Barb Carreiro and Pat Hayes, the Disney Field Hockey Showcase Umpire Managers, who coached the basics of umpiring before handing her off to Roque Viegas, the head of the USA IDC Umpiring Group. Viegas carefully molded Sutton and helped her get a last-minute appointment to the 2010 South American Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she earned her FIH Umpiring Badge. Since then, Sutton developed her umpiring and has moved within the ranks of FIH Umpiring with a FIH Promising List upgrade at the 2013 South American Championships; FIH Grade 1 upgrade at the 2014 South American Championships; and World Development Panel upgrade at the 2017 FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2016, Sutton unknowingly surpassed 100 senior international caps during one of the many USA test series and earned her FIH Golden whistle, which was celebrated and announced at the women's Hockey Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile.

Sutton loves to give back to other hockey lovers who thrive from the sense of community in this sport by sharing her umpiring story of Faith in God, embracing opportunities, sacrifices, mistakes and ultimately self-defined successes. Although umpiring is a passion of hers, she is blessed with family that includes an understanding and supportive umpire partner, two rescue dogs, both hockey and non-hockey friends that she calls “Framily” from all over the country and world, and the most recent addition of brothers and sisters from the Lafayette Fire Company in Lancaster, Pa. 


Join us as we celebrate and honor all of the 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees, Honorary Members and Award Winners on Saturday, March 17, 2018. Tickets to the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame and Awards Gala can be purchased by clicking here.