Softball New Brunswick is pleased to once again offer the Janiva Willis Scholarship to two deserving softball players, to assist with post-secondary education. Apply now!
The Official Hotel Of Softball New Brunswick
The Official Softballs of Softball New Brunswick
My hometown is Glassville, NB a small farming community in Carleton County
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.
I umpired for 17 years, 2003-2019, before retiring.
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).
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.
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”.
The people – I have met some amazing people in my travels and am proud to call them friends.
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
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.
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.
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*