Tue
May
24
06:30 PM
Saskatoon Lunar Eclipse
Saskatoon Fury
Tue
May
24
06:30 PM
Saskatoon OBI
Saskatoon Royals
Tue
May
24
06:45 PM
Martensville Prairie Heat
Saskatoon Sr Eclipse
Tue
May
24
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Blue Selects U19 B
Saskatoon Grand Aces
Tue
May
24
06:45 PM
Delisle Diamond Dogs
Saskatoon Diamondbacks
Tue
May
24
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Tint Center Cubs
Saskatoon SIGA Selects U17
Tue
May
24
08:00 PM
Saskatoon Grand Aces
Saskatoon Blue Selects U19 B
Tue
May
24
08:30 PM
Bruno Merchants
Delisle Pride
Tue
May
24
08:30 PM
Schaan Healthcare Merchants
Conquest Capitals
Wed
May
25
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Import Auto Selects U19A
Saskatoon Selects U19AA
Tue
May
17
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Blue Selects U19 B
Saskatoon OBI
8
5
Tue
May
17
06:45 PM
Delisle Pride
Saskatoon Diamondbacks
11
3
Wed
May
18
06:45 PM
Saskatoon G Force
Saskatoon Synergy
9
0
Wed
May
18
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Selects U19AA
Saskatoon Shock U23
7
1
Wed
May
18
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Fury
Martensville Prairie Heat
9
3
Wed
May
18
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Royals
Saskatoon OBI
8
4
Wed
May
18
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Red Selects U19B
Saskatoon Grand Aces
2
5
Wed
May
18
06:45 PM
Saskatoon Diamondbacks
Saskatoon Angels
2
3
Wed
May
18
08:30 PM
Delisle Diamond Dogs
Delisle Pride
4
3
Wed
May
18
08:30 PM
Hanley Merchants
Saskatoon Selects U20
7
2

A History Saskatoon Softball Umpires 1972-2014


A History Saskatoon Softball Umpires  1972-2014

 

Just as we have many decorated players and organizers with a long history the SASA has been fortunate to have a tradition of excellence with it’s umpires. The Saskatoon Softball Umpire Association (S.S.U.A) was formed in 1972 with the amalgamation of the group led by Ed Bitz and the group of Eugene Hearne (seen on right). The Hearne group had been working the lower divisions of the S.A.S.A. and the Industrial League, etc. while the Bitz group worked Sr. A Men’s and the Special Men’s division. They had 43 members of which about 24 were rated to do Sr. B Men’s or higher.
The association grew to 45 members in 1980 and 4 of those members: Harvey Hildebrandt, Jim Grant, Doug Schultz and Dave Moore were selected to umpire the Sr. A Men’s and 3 more: Ed Bitz, John Haider and Ed Reimer  were UIC’s for Canadians. The association reached a high of 64 members in 1984, dropped to 55 members in 1988 and 44 members in 1992 and this included both Fast Pitch and Slow Pitch members. The number of umpires continued to drop to 42 in 1996, 36 in 2000, 30 in 2004, 22 in 2008 and then up to 31 in 2012 but with only 12 members rated to do Sr. B Men’s or above. The S.S.U.A. changed it’s name to Hub City Softball Umpire’s Association (H.C.S.U.A.) in 1985 and to Saskatoon Bridge City Softball Umpire’s Association (S.B.C.S.U.A) in 1994.

 

One has to go through a rigorous evaluation process to become level 5, the highest level in the world. During it’s long and illustrious history the association has produced 9 level 5 umpires who have umpired over 25 International Championships and supervised many Softball Canada or Western Canadian Championships. The names of the Level 5 umpires (in order of their appointments) are: Ed Bitz, John Haider, Harv Hildebrandt (seen at left) , Ed Reimer, Jim Grant, Brian Rae, Dave Moore, Jimm Barr and Lyle McGowan. Three of these members have been inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame and three have been selected to the Softball Canada Hall of Fame. The level 5 members also contributed to the initial Level 1 to 4 manuals and the S.C. Casebook and all are still in use today.

 

Harv Hildebrandt Ed Reimer Dave Moore

 

Perhaps the most renowned of the prestigious umpires from Saskatoon was Ed Bitz (seen to the left). A dislocated shoulder ended his athletic days and he turned to umpiring. Ed distinguished himself as an umpire during a 29-year career which began in 1963. During this time, he was the first Softball Canada umpire-in-chief (1972-1984), served as Umpire-In-Chief for 33 national championships, initiated and developed the first softball officials' program in Canada, conducted numerous clinics across Canada, and was responsible for national rule interpretations. On four occasions he attended umpire schools in the U.S. and was on hand at seven world championships. His knowledge of the game and his excellence in officiating has taken him to New Zealand, El Salvador, and China, along with many centers in the U.S. and Canada.

 

Ed Bitz

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