Daily Times, In The Community: Pompilii's next umpiring job takes him to The Netherlands
By HARRY CHAYKUN, Special to the Times
The temperatures a week back didn't have many in the area thinking about softball.
Sonny Pompilii of Chester wasn't concerned with how cold it was here. He was checking the weather reports from The Netherlands. Pompilii left Sunday for Amsterdam to represent the United States, the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), and the International Softball Federation (ISF) as an umpire at the 2014 International Women's Fastpitch Tournament, which begins Friday.
"It's been a mild winter over there," Pompilii, who is working the tournament for the eighth consecutive year, said. "They've had days when the high has been in the 50s and days when it's been in the 30s.
Pompilii, a St. James High graduate and retired Chester-Upland School District principal, will be the supervisor of umpires representing the United States at the tournament, which is known as The Cup in The Netherlands. He also has worked in Italy and Australia during his 40-year umpiring career.
"There will probably umpires there from Belgium, Germany, Italy," Pompilii said. "You pay your own way, but it's worth it."
"Last year, while we were (in The Netherlands), a man and woman who umpired asked about the ASA National Umpires School I was going to run at Neumann University. I gave them the information, and they paid their way to come over and attend."
Most of the games will be played at indoor facilities Pompilii said are called "utility halls."
"They use them for other sports like tennis, handball and badminton," said Pompilii, an outstanding handball player. "There are certain restrictions with the way the fields are set up. They only use eight players, because you really don't have a right field. There's a lot of ground rules, and the hits are singles and doubles.
"The American teams that go over there are made up of high school players. They are very good, but they're playing against women's teams from the other countries. And those pitchers can really throw the ball."
When Pompilii returns from this trip, he will begin packing for his next umpiring excursion.
"I'll be in Clearwater (Fla.) the second week of February to umpire some college games," he said.
Pictured below - Sonny Pompilii, right, worked with Albert Tolen of The Netherlands on the umpiring crew at last year's International Women's Fastpitch Tournament in Amsterdam.
He is off to Amsterdam this week as he will represent the the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) and the
International Softball Federation (ISF) as an umpire at the 2014 tournament, which gets underway Friday.