Officiating Development Committee

Jeff Whipple

National Director of Umpires
30 Parkside Drive
Fredericton, NB
E3B 2T2
Phone: 506-461-3991

Jeff started umpiring in 1986.  After officiating at four Canadian Championships, he received his Level V and ISF certification in 1997. Subsequently, he officiated at two ISF World Championships (Junior Women, Taipei, 1999; Senior Women, Saskatoon, 2002) and the ISC World Tournament (Eau Claire, 2005). 
While he enjoys the on-field action as an official, his real passion is teaching and learning. He has instructed at many certification clinics and mechanics schools and has been a UIC or DUIC at eight Canadian Championships.
A middle school Math and Science teacher, Jeff is currently seconded as a technology mentor where he helps support his colleagues and their students in leveraging technology in their classrooms. He also speaks at conferences and works with schools across North America around 21st century literacy and learning. Jeff and his wife, Tracey, have four grown children and live in Fredericton.

Doug Cundall

Deputy Umpire-In-Chief
23 Brennan Ave
Barrie, Ontario
L4N 3X2
Phone: (705) 739-8841

Doug and his wife Gail reside in Barrie, Ontario where he is a retired Elementary School Vice-Principal. Doug has been officiating since 1966. He has served as an Instructor and Evaluator, the Chair of the Umpire Committee and as Slo-Pitch UIC for the Province of Ontario. He has his level IV designation in both Fast Pitch and Slo-Pitch and has officiated at six Canadian Championships, 4 Slo-Pitch and 2 Fast Pitch events. Up to 2013, Doug has supervised many Provincial and 12 Canadian Championships in both Fast Pitch and Slo-Pitch.

Doug was appointed to the ODC in November 2003. He has many years experience as an official in high level Fast Pitch and Slo-Pitch. While Doug has recently retired from the diamond as an active official, he continues to take part in clinics as an instructor and at events as an evaluator as well as supervise tournaments. 

Included in his ODC duties, Evaluation policies and practices and Clinic materials have become favourite responsibilities that Doug has taken on for the ODC and the umpires in Canada.

Len Gorgei

Deputy Umpire-in-Chief

Len began his umpiring days back in 1988 and is now a Level IV, FP umpire and obtained his Slo-pitch Level V designation in 2004. Len has had the opportunity to officiate in five Slo-pitch Canadian Championships and one Fast Pitch Canadian Championship. He has umpired at the 2005 World Master Games as well as the 2002 ISC World Fastball Championships. Over the years, Len has been involved in Softball as an instructor, evaluator and Zone Umpire-in-Chief for both fastball and slo-pitch. He finds enjoyment in officiating both games.

At the present time Len and his wife Lily, reside in Caledonia, Ontario. He is employed as an elementary school teacher, teaching within the intermediate division and looks forward to retirement in the next few years.

Gary Skjerven

Deputy Umpire-in-Chief

Gary has been a registered umpire in Saskatchewan and Canada for over 25 years. He attained his Level V in 2002 and ISF Certification in 2003. Throughout this time he has umpired three ISF World Championships (Jr. Mens, Sr. Mens, Universaide), Pan American Championship, 8 Canadian Championships, Canada Cup, 3 Nations Challenge and numerous Westerns and Provincials. He has also been active as a mentor and evaluator as a UIC/DUIC at 8 Canadian Championships and numerous Provincials and Westerns.

Off the diamond, he has been a member of the national ODC for 5 years and a Provincial DUIC for 10 years, Clinic instructor for 20+ years and instructed a Softball Canada Level IV clinics. He received the “D” rating as an Instructor and Evaluator in 2010.

Gary has two grown daughters and three grandchildren. He has been a Manager and Auditor in the credit union system for over 40 years.

Noreen Atkinson

Deputy Umpire-in-Chief
Noreen lives in Georgetown Ontario and enjoys being a mom to her son Jordan.  She began playing competitive Fast pitch on a Jr. Women’s team when she was just 15.  As a catcher, it seemed natural to take on the role of Umpire.  It was extremely unusual to find a female Umpire in 1975 but there she was working a men’s league which included a team of teachers from her High School.  She enjoyed playing and umpiring the sport but turned all her attention to umpiring after having her son.
Noreen has officiated at dozens of Provincial Championships, and five Canadian Championships.  She received her Level V status in 2002 and became ISF certified in 2006. She received an International assignment in 2007 at the Jr. Women’s World Championship in the Netherlands.
Noreen has been a UIC and/or DUIC of five Canadian Championships helping to inspire and motivate officials in an effort to promote the Softball Canada Umpiring Program. She enjoys mentoring many young and new officials and is constantly attempting to recruit umpires even when refereeing volleyball in the winter.
Noreen has worked as an Operations Manager the transportation industry for over 25 years and most recently completed her Master’s Degree in Education from Canisius College.

Susan Strafford

Deputy Umpire-in-Chief
Susan has been umpiring for over 30 years and obtained her Level V status in 2007 followed by her ISF certification in 2008. Susan has worked six Canadian Championships, the Junior Women's Pan American Qualifier in 2010, the Junior Women's World Championship in 2011 and Senior Women's World Championship in 2012.
Susan is an active member of the Provincial ODC in BC and continues as Rules Interpreter for the Province. She is an active clinician at all levels in BC as well as helping to train new umpires.
In her spare time Susan enjoys NFL football and seeing friends and family.

Sal Gara

Position: Deputy Umpire-in-Chief

Sal’s 19 years of experience includes five Canadian Championships and one Canada Summer Games. He received his Level V in 2010 and his ISF certification one year later. In addition, he was the Deputy Umpire-in-Chief at the 2013 U14 Girls Canadian Fast Pitch Jamboree. His international experience includes the 2012 Scotiabank Canadian Open. He is currently serving on the National Education Working Group and Rules Reference Committee and has extensive experience as an instructor and evaluator at the provincial and national level.

Recently retired from a long career as a Section Chief with Statistics Canada, Gara is fluently bilingual and has strong connections to both the Quebec and Ontario umpiring communities, having held several leadership positions within Softball Ontario.

Ryan DeBelser

Board Liaison
2612 Coopers Circle SW
Airdrie, AB
T4B 3K2
Phone: 403-945-3478

Donna Ozarko

Manager - Officials
223 Colonnade Road, Ste 212
Ottawa, ON
K2E 7K3
Phone: (613) 523-3386 Ext. 3101
Fax: (613) 523-5761


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