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Sandra Allan

Where are you from?

My hometown is Glassville, NB   a small farming community in Carleton County

Tell us briefly how you got into umpiring / what level are you currently.

Softball was introduced at Carleton North High School during my senior year – we had a great coach and I loved the game.  During the late 1970s and early 1980s, softball was big in Carleton County with every municipality have a men’s fastpitch team.  I began playing at the age of 16 with a women’s team in Bristol. After playing for 25 years, I decided the natural progression was to continue being involved, so I first registered with Softball New Brunswick in 2003.  I retired from umpiring in 2019 with a Level V certification from Softball Canada and and an International Certification from WBSC.

How many years have you been officiating?

I umpired for 17 years, 2003-2019, before retiring.

Do you have any unique pre-game rituals?

As an umpire, pre-game preparation is with your partner discussing anything from the field conditions to weather conditions to responsibilities on the diamond to field conditions.  Personally, I always put my uniform (and plate gear when assigned the plate), the same way every game (I am a creature of habit).

Are you currently involved in softball in other capacities other than umpiring (coaching, playing, administrating etc.)?

Since I retired from umpiring in 2019, I have been helping prepare the 2022 Women’s Canada Games team, from evaluations to coaching (some would say I changed “sides”); but I must say I have really enjoyed the coaching these young ladies and watching them grow as individuals and athletes.

What is one thing you would tell a young person who is thinking of starting as an umpire?

Study the rule book and umpire manual as often as possible and understand the “intent of the rule (s), but most of all “Don’t’ be scared to make a mistake”.

What is your favorite thing about the game of softball?

The people – I have met some amazing people in my travels and am proud to call them friends.

What is your favorite place softball has taken you?

Canada – from BC to PEI. Softball has allowed me to see most of the beautiful country – visited all provinces except Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador

How have you been handling/keeping busy during the COVID-19 situation?

It’s been tough mentally – as a civil servant with the Province of NB, offices were closed for two months which totally threw me off. However, once we were back to work and the temperatures started warming up, I was able to get outdoor more and became more physically fit.  I also was able to spend more time with family, spending four (4) weeks on the homestead.

What is your favorite softball career highlight to date?

Tough question, hard to pick!  As a female official I was given a lot of opportunities on the field.  But, I am most proud of giving back to the umpires’ program, so I would say the career highlight (s) was as Deputy Umpire-in-Chief at two (2) Canadian Championships and helping those eligible to obtain Level IV status. 

Do you have any softball umpiring goals (Or have you hit them already)?

When I started umpiring in 2003, all I wanted to do was to give back to a sport which gave me so much.  The support of the New Brunswick Umpires allowed me to achieve more than I ever thought possible.

*Photo credits to Roxanne Merrill Young*