The Baseball Canada Umpire Developer Award is handed out annually to an individual who has demonstrated commitment and excellency in the delivery of umpire education as part of the National Umpires Certification Program.
An accomplished umpire on the field whose resume includes numerous provincial, national, and international events, it was her off-field work that stood out in 2021 as she put in tremendous efforts in developing and growing the next generation of umpires.
As such, Baseball Canada is pleased to announce that British Columbia’s Rhonda Pauls is the winner of the Baseball Canada Umpire Developer Award for 2021.
With Covid-19 still impacting the way in which umpires are traditionally trained and developed, Rhonda’s work to create online educational resources ensured that information and development tools were provided to young umpires in BC and across Canada.
Rhonda created on online platform for the BC Baseball Umpires Association in addition to producing multi-hour, virtual training sessions for umpires in BC. Her teaching materials including lesson plans, instructional videos, quizzes, and presentations as part of her workshops and clinics.
A former winner of the Dick Willis Memorial Award for Baseball Canada Umpire of the Year (2014), Rhonda is a role model for aspiring female umpires and spent time in 2021 engaging female umpires across the country through a unique virtual series.
She has also used her platform to raise awareness around mental health in researching and developing materials for an interactive workshop.
Her efforts around mental health support and awareness did not stop there as she created a team of individuals in BC who serve as peer counsellors for mental health awareness. This is the only team of this nature in baseball in Canada.
Rhonda was also active in many of her off-field umpiring roles in 2021 including the planning and execution of the Super clinic as part of a group effort while also serving as President of the BC Baseball Umpire Association.
She was elected as a board member for Baseball BC where she participated actively in several committees including Strategic Planning and sat as a member of the Baseball Canada instructor development portfolio where she’s been instrumental in the re-design of the Senior Course Conductor Portfolio.
Umpire Developer Award recipients have included:
2020-Ed Quinlan & Chris Wilhelm (ON)