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USA Softball honors umpires at 2019 UIC Clinic Awards Banquet

Feb. 02, 2019, 10:49 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY — The 26th Biennial Umpire-in-Chief (UIC) Clinic ended this evening with 46 umpires honored by USA Softball. Held at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Oklahoma City, over 400 umpires from around the country attended the biennial clinic as the USA Softball Umpire family recognized years of service, awards of excellence, the Merle O. Butler National Award of Excellence and the Tom Mason Award of Excellence.


Saturday evening was highlighted by the 10 Regional Awards of Excellence and the Merle O. Butler National Award of Excellence that was given to Jim Craig (USA Softball of New York). In its third year, USA Softball also awarded the Tom Mason Award of Excellence to Diane Carden (USA Softball of Delaware), which honors excellence in rule knowledge and application.


The following individuals received Awards of Excellence for their respective regions:

Region 1 Northeast – Tony Roberto, USA Softball of Connecticut

Region 2 Central Atlantic – Jerry Fick, USA Softball of Ohio

Region 3 Southeast – Lee Gray, USA Softball of Georgia

Region 4 South – Ken Allen, USA Softball of Alabama

Region 5 Southwest – James Brau USA Softball of Texas

Region 6 Midwest – Don Newsted, USA Softball of Michigan

Region 7 Mid-America – Dave Epperson, USA Softball of Kansas

Region 8 Northern – Eric Stanton, USA Softball of Minnesota

Region 9 Northwest Mountain – Jerry Forkner, USA Softball of Seattle

Region 10 Pacific Coast – Sue Sawyer, USA Softball of Southern California


The following individuals were recognized for their years of service:

Jim Adkins – USA Softball of West Virginia – 5 years

Darren Elliott – USA Softball of Kansas City – 15 years

Anthony Small – USA Softball of Florida – 15 years

Phil Cappadonia – USA Softball of Utah – 20 years

Steve DeJarnette – USA Softball of Piedmont Virginia – 20 years

Stan Finch – USA Softball of Hawaii – 20 years

John Wright – USA Softball of Washington – 20 years

John Baca – USA Softball of New Mexico – 25 years

John Cambridge – USA Softball of New Jersey – 25 years

Christina Drumm – USA Softball of Southern California – 25 years

Mike Graber – USA Softball of Alaska – 25 years

Laura Head – USA Softball of Southern California – 25 years

Craig Heilbut – USA Softball of Central California – 25 years

Tom Keller – USA Softball of Minnesota – 25 years

Paul Kraimer – USA Softball of Minneapolis – 25 years

James Brau – USA Softball of Texas – 30 years

Cliff LaRose – USA Softball of Connecticut – 30 years

Steve McCown – USA Softball of Dallas Fort Worth – 30 years

Chris McGee – USA Softball of Mississippi – 30 years

Greg Pohl – USA Softball of St. Louis – 30 years

Steve Riswold – USA Softball of South Dakota – 30 years

Kathy Zifchock – USA Softball of New York – 30 years

Don Alexander – USA Softball of Oregon – 35 years

Dave Christiansen – USA Softball of Vermont – 35 years

Rufuss Paul Drake III – USA Softball of Ohio – 35 years

Luau Bowers – USA Softball of Pennsylvania – 40 years

Marvin Cobb – USA Softball of San Antonio – 40 years

James Cole – USA Softball of Northern California – 40 years

Dan Duffy – USA Softball of Portland – 40 years

Susan Johnson – USA Softball of Rhode Island – 40 years

Charlie Moss – USA Softball of Central Virginia – 40 years

Rick Petty – USA Softball of Missouri – 40 years

Steve Roscia – USA Softball of Maine – 40 years

Dennis La Scalla – USA Softball of Newark – 50 years


The following individuals were recognized for having attended all 26 UIC Clinics:

Kinard Latham

Les Novak

Henry Pollard


To learn more about the USA Softball Umpire program, visit


About USA Softball

USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations, and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 120,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. 


As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit,