BASU umpire Bridget Cameron has been selected by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) as one of the 18-strong crew that will officiate at the prestigious 16th Women’s Softball World Championship from 2-12 August this summer in Chiba, Japan.
The tournament will start the process of qualifying teams for the 2020 Olympic Softball Tournament in Tokyo, and in many ways will be a dress rehearsal for the Olympics.
Three Japanese umpires will be joined by umpires from 14 other countries, with every continent represented. Bridget will be one of three umpires from Europe, along with Mariana Prins-Atansova from the Netherlands and Gianluca Magnani from Italy.
The GB Women’s Team will be one of 16 countries taking part in the competition, having qualified by winning the bronze medal at the 2017 European Women’s Championship. The GB Team will be aiming to get to the playoff round, and will use the tournament to help prepare for the 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Bridget Cameron has written the following message to the British softball community about the honour of umpiring at this event:
“The news from BSF President Jenny Fromer advising of my selection for the Women’s World Championship in Japan was surreal. I started umpiring when I was 16 years old, and 23 years later I am now preparing to officiate at the highest level of competition, in a country that I could only ever dream of calling balls and strikes in.
“While umpiring internationally is an unpaid volunteer position, I love it because it is thrilling and you constantly have to adapt quickly. Each game has different challenges, including working with teams and other officials from a range of countries where language can be a barrier. I am fortunate to work with a multi-national company, where I have developing the ability to communicate with non-English-speaking colleagues. This has assisted in my on-diamond communication with players, coaches and international officials.
“I have been umpiring for what seems like such a long time, and have gotten to this point in my umpiring career through mentorship and feedback from remarkable fellow umpires. I will always be grateful to these people for encouraging me and constantly stretching me to be better.
“The officials who have been generous in mentoring me have galvanised my own commitment to the development of future softball umpires, and in Great Britain I have the opportunity to service the development and growth of the game, working with junior umpires who will be GB’s future. I also enjoy working with GB coaches, managers and players on learning how to strategically apply the rules and to play the game with a technical advantage. It continues to be a privilege to participate in our growth.
“I have been in Great Britain for five years, and during this time the BSF Board, BASU and many coaches and players have welcomed and adopted me into the GB softball community. I am grateful to all of you for your continued encouragement.
“I remember umpiring a finals game at the Junior Women’s World Championship in 2015 in Oklahoma City. It was a unique experience, and it still brings a smile to face that the GB team was watching the game to support their umpire, and not the players on the field. Thank you, GB family!
The full list of umpires for the 2018 Women’s World Championship is:
Frankie Billingsley (Canada)
Chris Drumm (USA)
Jason Carter (Australia)
Kyira Cox (Australia)
Lance Brown (New Zealand)
Bridget Cameron (Great Britain)
Mariana Prins-Atansova (Netherlands)
Gianluca Magnani (Italy)
Jose Chaparro (Puerto Rico)
Renzo Ruiz (Mexico)
Abel Mataboge (Botswana)
Ashley Mmakola (South Africa)
Jeng Sup Hwang (Korea)
Zhe Li (China)
Yu-Sung Lin (Taiwan)
Ayaka Kato (Japan)
Mitsunori Kusamoto (Japan)
Miki Yabe (Japan)