To my fellow umpires, alumni and future campers:
I want to take a moment and thank you for checking out our new and improved 2016 website, as well as thank you for your interest in the Black & Blue Umpire Camps. We are the premier umpire training program in the Western United States. We look to launch your career or take you to the next level of your amateur baseball umpiring career. If you’re serious about your umpiring, please take the time and do your research on your training options carefully and feel free to contact me personally if you have any questions about umpiring or umpire training. Whether you are aspiring to umpire at the D-1 level or just want to improve your skills at whatever amateur level you are at, our program is designed for you.
Let’s take a moment and look back at the success of our training in 2015. Last year we had a successful transition and a move to Southern California and Riverside, Ca. We had 95 campers attend our training in 2015 from all over the Western United States. We had all of the conference coordinators in attendance; Dave Yeast with the Pac-12 and Big-West Conference, Tom Hiller with the West Coast Conference, Jim Poranto with the Mountain-West Conference and Dan Pedersen with the Western Athletic Conference. The Courtyard Marriott-Riverside served as our home base during our camp. The professional team at the Courtyard Marriott led by Dawn, made our stay comfortable and relaxing, while doing a tremendous job making sure we had adequate space to conduct our meetings. We would also like to thank the following programs for their support and cooperation during the 2015 camp; UC Riverside (Mike please fill in) the staff was led by Chief classroom/field instructor Steve Mattingly; field group leaders Joe Burleson, Pat Riley and Billy Jo Speck. The staff was assisted and the students where privileged to learn from the finest staff in all of college baseball umpiring. We also honored longtime umpire and friend of the program, retiring umpire Rich Padilla. The campers got to spend time with Rich and got to listen to his many stories about his career and all of the great places, the great experiences and great people he has been fortunate to have met during his umpiring career. In a nut shell the 2015 BBUC camp was a huge success!
Once again, the success of the 2015 Black & Blue Umpire Camp wouldn’t have been successful without the love and support from all those who helped plan, support, organize and participate in them. I am always humbled at the great turnout and support of our campers. We are always grateful to the umpires that trust and dedicate their valuable time and money to allow us the opportunity to train and guide them during their time with us. The staff had an awesome time getting to know all of the great umpires in attendance and look forward to having each of them back in 2016!
Now we need to look forward to the fall of 2016. We are excited to announce 2 BBUC Camps. BBUC 2-Man & BBUC 3-Man. The 1st camp (BBUC 2-Man) will happen in Sacramento the weekend of September 30th- October 2nd. The 2nd camp (BBUC 3-Man) will happen in Riverside the weekend of October 19th-23rd 2016.
Our program is designed to accommodate umpires at every experience level and from any program. In 2016 we will be conducting 2 training programs for you to decide on. These sessions of the Black & Blue Umpire Camps will focus on the 2-Man system and the 3-Man umpire system. BBUC 2-Man (Sacramento) will be for those umpires looking to better their 2-man skill set to better understand the fundamentals of umpiring; basic foundation building of your plate and base work; while allowing you to practice on you mechanics and creative styles to set yourself apart from others not attending training. BBUC 3-Man (Riverside) will be specifically for those umpires working a high level of high school varsity baseball and want to sharpen their skills for post season assignments. It will also be for those umpires wanting to advance to the next level of junior college baseball, NAIA, division-3 and division-2. These are the same guys that have aspirations of someday working D-1 baseball. The camp is designed to offer each camper the opportunity to get advanced training and expert advice that will make the difference in being selected to the next level. We will employ comprehensive training methods designed to instruct and evaluate each camper in every area of umpiring. We will also put you, the camper, though drills repetitiously in order to emphasize the proper positioning and mechanics of the 3-man system. Both camps will put umpires through the cages on a regular basis in order to help develop consistent and accurate strike zones. Both camps will also put campers through control game drills that will help simulate specific plays and situations that will face each umpire during a real game. During the camp, the umpires will have the opportunity of umpiring live games played by local college programs. The camp will also utilize video for cage work, as well as field work. Campers can have instructors go over that video footage to learn from and take away pointers that will add to each umpires learning, after completion of the camp.
I personally take responsibility for your training while you are in our program. Your instruction will start each day in our classroom where you will experience daily lectures on mechanics, positioning and game management, so you can implement these responsibilities on the baseball field. Each topic will be lectured in the classroom, demonstrated on the field, drilled and then put into practice in game like situations.
In addition to my personal commitment to instruct you, you will be working with the finest umpiring staff’s assembled in college baseball! Our staff is comprised of umpires from all levels of umpiring; from professional baseball to major college baseball; as well as the best section high school umpires. Come be evaluated by College World Series Umpires Joe Burleson (6 CWS), Jeff Henrichs (5 CWS), Billy Jo Speck (2 CWS), Travis Katzenmeir (2 CWS), Steve Mattingly (1 CWS) and Pat Riley (1 CWS). Black & Blue Umpire Camps are directed by Chief Instructor Steve Mattingly (classroom/field); lead field instructors Joe Burleson, Jeff Henrichs and Pat Riley. Rounding out this incredible staff members are Greg Charles, Scott Letendre, Gary DiFabio, Dale Gardner (2016 NAIA World Series Umpire), Brian Marine and my BBUC Administrator Mike Blinci. All of these men are available and your personal instructors for BBUC 2016! The staff will offer each and every camper the experience and instruction that no other camp can provide. This fine group of instructors possess exceptional communication skills and know exactly what is required and expected to be successful at the amateur umpiring level. This will be an experience like no other camp/clinic you have ever attended before.
In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you for your time and interest in the Black and Blue Umpire Camps. This is a very important year to get to a camp like Black & Blue. “Why?” With the Pac-12 moving to a 4-man umpiring crew in 2017 and with other D-1 conferences soon to follow, it’s imperative that if you want to have an opportunity to umpire at the college level, this is the camp to come to. So, if you want great training, evaluation and an opportunity to network, your time and investment will be best served! I thank you for taking the time to explore what our program has to offer you and we look forward to providing you with an amazing experience at the 2016 BBUC 2 & 3-Man camps. I think that you’re going to discover that our training program will exceed all of your umpiring expectations! If there is anything that I or my staff can help with, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Make the right call in 2016, make it BBUC 2016!!