Northland Umpire Development Alliance, grows officiating in the region

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The 28th Art Von Baseball Tournament came to a close on Sunday.

With over 64 teams across six different age divisions coming out in a celebration of what it means to not only be a Northland baseball player, but also an umpire.

A role that has significanly grown in the region the past few seasons.

“To be quite honest this wouldn’t have been possible a couple years ago. We wouldn’t have had the staff to do it. The NUDA and their group have reconciled the officiating shortage at least at our levels, way ahead of schedule. They are training these kids, protecting these kids, they are creating a good experience for them. It is really rewarding too see that as well,” said Tournament Director Seth Marsolek.

“We started really trying to recruit youth umpires, and it is really important. Not just for this tournament but also baseball in general. There is a big umpire shortage at the high school level, at the legion level, even at the college level. So we took it upon ourselves to form what is called the Northland Umpire Development Alliance (NUDA),” added umpire Keith Johnson.

The NUDA’s main goal is to start teaching officiating to kids at the youth level, then grow their knowledge to high school and beyond.