National Umpire Awards

2020 Umpire Developer Award

The Baseball Canada Umpire Developer Award is a new award 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.

Events in 2020 made it challenging to continue umpire development programs across the country.  Yet, umpire leaders in every province stepped up and took on the challenge.  We are proud to be able to recognize all of the following for their exceptional efforts to continued umpire development in 2020.

Click on each image below to read details about the work that each nominee did in 2020.


And the winners are:



Home Run Sports Lifetime Achievement Award

This award recognizes an umpire which has officiated for many years and has been an ambassador of the Baseball Canada Umpires Program. The candidate must have officiated or supervised in at least 15 National and/or International Events, and made a significant contribution to the structure of umpiring in Canada which may include but not limited to: mentoring, evaluating, instructing, course conducting, sitting on national committees and supervising.


2019 Winner - Rocky Nickel

Throughout his career, Rocky participated in 23 National Championships and umpired in two international events. He also attended 9 Baseball Canada Instructor Caravans, 8 as an instructor. He served on Baseball Canada’s Umpire Committee as Assistant National Supervisor.

Rocky’s involvement and contributions have been invaluable to umpiring in his province. He has served close to 30 years on the provincial umpire executive committee, including 2 terms as umpire supervisor. The respect for Saskatchewan umpires has increased significantly during his terms as provincial supervisor.

On the field, Rocky has been an outstanding official, leading him to receive the highest recommendation possible at each National Championship he worked. He has worked every level of ball including independent professional baseball in the Prairie League of Professional Baseball and the Canadian Baseball League. He is a very capable umpire, whose greatest asset may be his ability to manage games. His ability to stay calm, and handle difficult situations has been a model for others to follow.

Off field, his contributions are countless. As a Senior Course Conductor, Rocky has taught and evaluated thousands of umpires. He’s taught countless clinics from level 1 through our Level 4/5 National Clinics. Not only has he instructed, but he has also developed curriculums with Umpire Development in mind. Rocky worked on the National Grassroots portfolio, revamping Baseball Canada’s Level 1,2,3 programs.

Congratulations, Rocky!


Past Winners

2018 - David Buckingham (NF)

2016 – Dennis Ryan (ON)

2015 – Yves Gagnon (QC)

2011 - Larry Nicholls (MB)

2010 - Don Gilbert (ON) & Len Bell (SK)

2009 - David McManus (NB)

2007 – Howard Chapman (BC)


Dick Willis Memorial Award - Umpire of the Year

This award recognizes Canada’s official of the year for their outstanding contribution and umpiring of the game of baseball. Eligibility for this award begins when Baseball Canada receives nominations from Provincial Umpires Associations. Criteria for nominations require the individual to be a certified Level IV umpire; to have involvement in the local and provincial umpire organizations and to be an active umpire during the year of nomination.

2019 Winner - Trevor Drury

This past year, Trevor was actively involved as a clinic instructor, evaluator, committee member, mentor for the new provincial supervisor and an on-field umpire. He travelled all over Saskatchewan to umpire baseball. He regularly worked games in the WCBL and he also umpired at various Baseball Saskatchewan provincial championships.

At the national level, he supervised the Senior Women Invitational in Okotoks, Alberta. He was also assigned to the 21U Men’s Championship in Gatineau, Quebec where he worked the plate on the gold medal game.