USA Softball of Wisconsin is celebrating the additional of three umpires to the Elite Umpire Program.
Gary Thorpe from Fond du Lac, Pat Lund from Antigo, and Blake Vinson from Milwaukee all were selected to receive the honor of Elite status with USA Softball for their work in the Men's Modified division.
This award program is the highest honor a USA Softball umpire can obtain other than selection to the National Softball Hall of Fame. The program was launched in 2003, with 153 umpires approved in February of that year. Members who are approved as "Elite" umpires can apply for their international certification (WBSC), and are the only umpires selected for the National Championship Series (SP) and the Armed Forces Slow Pitch Championships. To become eligible for this program, an umpire must have been a USA Softball registered umpire for at least seven (7) years and a current member in good standing. The umpire must have participated in at least four (4) National Championships, and umpired in two (2) in the same category of play and from select championships.
Pat Lund, Antigo
Blake Vinson, Milwaukee
Gary Thorpe, Fond du Lac