The 2022 Softball New Brunswick award applications are now open. If you know a deserving member and would like to show your appreciation for their softball accomplishments, consider nominating them today!
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!
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My name is Matt Whipple
I am 27 years old.
I am very lucky to call Fredericton my home.
I like to think I was born into it. Growing up, my dad was umpiring at a high level and I would often tag along to tournaments and hang out with the umpiring crew. I have been very fortunate to learn from those people and jumped at the opportunity to join the umpiring ranks in my teens. Currently I am a level 4 umpire with Softball Canada.
In 2018 my partner and I got pretty good at juggling and we would spend our pregame doing that. We also played a lot of cards and listened to music in the locker room. Now I keep it pretty relaxed and spend most of my pre-game chatting with my partner.
I am currently in an administration role with Fredericton Fastpitch Association, and help coach the Learn to Play Program as well. I also returned to the diamond as a player in 2019 and have been enjoying that as well.
I would tell them that it is the best summer job they will ever have. Not only do you get paid to be at the ballfield, you meet some incredible people and learn a lot about the game. It will open so many doors and is a great way to make yourself a better player or coach.
The people. I love the game, but it is the people that keep me coming back each year.
Growing up a Red Sox fan, I wish I could say Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers, but it is a Yankees affiliate that takes the crown of my favorite place. Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island was one of the coolest stadiums I’ve gotten to work in during my umpiring career. I remember standing behind Homeplate and being in awe of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty beyond the centerfield fence. It is considered one of the best views in Minor League Baseball for good reason, and I always looked forward to those Staten Island dates on my schedule.
We were fortunate to have softball being played in the province this summer, so that helped keep me busy. Since September I’ve spent most of my time doing schoolwork and getting ready for next summer.
In 2014 I was lucky to be selected to umpire at the U16 Boys Canadian Championship at Prospect Street Park in Fredericton. We had a great crew which made for a fun week on and off the field. It was also really cool to get to work at home and share that week with the people that had helped me develop as an umpire.
I look forward to graduating soon and hope to be a teacher in the future. As far as my umpiring career goes, my on-field work has been put on the backburner for a while now. I do hope to stay involved off the field by giving young umpires the same level of support that was given to me.