If you’re going to tomorrow’s 10 am Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach – watch for the softball umpires who are doing it again this year. Leading the way will be West Seattle’s Kayleen Dunson, who shares the news of a big achievement in her storied career as an ump:
Kayleen Dunson, the Umpire in Chief for Seattle/Tacoma, and West Seattle resident, just earned ELITE Umpire Status from USA/ASA Softball.
Less than 1 percent of the 30,000 USA/ASA softball umpires in the country earn their Elite Umpire Status. It is the highest award for an American umpire. Kayleen joins just 14 other umpires in the Seattle area who have earned their Elite.
Only umpires who have earned their Elite Status are eligible to apply to become certified International Softball Federation (ISF) umpires – and only ISF umpires can work international championships – like the Olympics!
Kayleen will try for her ISF certification this July. And it’s looking like softball may make it’s way back into the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Could she be selected to represent the United States there? It’s possible.
But Kayleen isn’t about the glory. “I do this because I’m having so much fun,” she said. She and about 15 other softball umpires will be “Polar Plunging” at Alki on New Year’s Day. “Umpiring is a family – like any family we have the ‘Steady Eddies’ and the ‘Crazies.’ On New Years Day a bunch of my like-minded ‘Crazies’ join me for a Plunge into Puget Sound – in full uniform. It’s a bond as strong as any family bond.”
Seattle needs about 50 new Softball Umpires this year. If you are interested, check out their website at www.smsua.org – or contact “Krazy Kayleen” at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kayleen adds an update about two people who signed up after past reports here: “West Seattle umpires Shani Neamen and Mike Katz both umpired their first National Championship Tournament this past summer. They did awesome!”