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California District 31
Larry Burch
P.O. Box 301023
Escondido, California
Tuesday, October 1
Welcome to the District 31 Umpire Page
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Scroll down to see information relating to umpires in District 31

Click on the "Clinics" tab to view umpire clinic information for 2013/2014.

Handout: Umpire Handouts

Monday, January 27
Umpire Registry open for 2014 season!
75th anniversary rocker and shirt
Click on the header of this article to link to the Umpire Registry page.



Little League® International’s Umpire Registry offers Little League umpires an informative way to stay on top of their game. By joining the Umpire Registry, umpires immediately become part of a unique information network charged with enhancing umpire services for Little League players everywhere.

The Umpire Registry provides an opportunity for umpires to stay current with rules and regulations, and offer suggestions that will continually improve skills. Umpires can access the latest information on rule interpretations, regulations updates, and more. The Umpire Registry also offers tools through the Members Only website. As a member, you will have access to the Fairball newsletter, a quarterly publication that contains articles on rule interpretations, mechanics, and news concerning umpires; E-Rules; the Rules Instruction Manual (RIM); and 60 and 90 foot Field Mechanics Manuals.

The cost to join the Umpire Registry is $25 when registering online and $30 if the registration is delivered via standard mail.

One of the great benefits with membership is the Members Only “E-Rules” section. Here you have the ability to download the current electronic edition of the Little League Baseball®, Little League Softball®, and Little League Challenger Division® Rules. The electronic rulebooks allow users to search the rules electronically, making it easier and faster for umpires to find the information they need. And, just like the printed rulebooks, the E-Rules expire at the end of the year when Little League issues updated rulebooks for the coming season. Also available in the “E-Rules” section are 11 videos featuring common rules interpretations.

Whether you are new to Little League umpiring or a long-time veteran, the Umpire Registry is here to help you become a better volunteer umpire. Included in your membership is:

  • a print and digital copy of the Little League Baseball and Softball Rulebooks,
  • a print copy of The Little League Umpire,
  • a print copy of Make The Right Call, the case book of Little League Baseball and Softball,
  • an official Little League Umpire Registry Identification Card,
  • a Little League Umpire Registry Certificate,
  • a Little League Umpire Patch,
  • an Official Little League Bat Ring,
  • your name added to the Little League Registry of Umpires to be maintained at Little League International for referral to league officers and Tournament Directors,
  • access to the Little League Umpire Registry Members Only website containing Fairball, the Umpire Registry Online Newsletter, as well as other great resources ( account required),
  • and registrations completed on-line will also receive a Little League Umpire patch iron-on upgrade and a 75th Anniversary rocker patch
Additionally, members registering online will have the option to purchase, at a reduced cost, an exclusive Little League Umpire t-shirt commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Little League®. This offer is only available on-line to members of the Little League Umpire Registry.

Register On-line Now for the Umpire Registry!

Or Download the Umpire Registry Form.

An added benefit to joining the Umpire Registry:

A new member's only section created specifically for Umpire Registry members.  A copy of the latest Umpire School Rules Instruction Manual (RIM) is available for download as well as other sections of the 60 foot and 90 foot Umpire Instruction manuals.  Archived version of Umpire Newsletter Fairball are also available.

Wednesday, November 20
Little League® Names New Director of Umpire Development

Stephen D. Keener, Little League® Baseball and Softball President and CEO, announced today the addition of Thomas Haines, Jr., Director of Umpire Development, to the Operations Department at Little League International in South Williamsport, Pa. “Some of our most important, dedicated Little League volunteers are our umpires,” said Mr. Keener.

“We are thrilled to have Tom join our staff in Williamsport to provide support and structure for the men and women who give their time to ensure that all Little Leaguers® have a positive on-field experience.”

After serving just less than 10 years on active duty in the United States Air Force, Mr. Haines worked professionally for a consulting firm in Northern Virginia. He currently serves as a traditional Guardsman for the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. A father of two Little Leaguers, Mr. Haines, 39, began umpiring in 1993 at the high school level. He became a Little League volunteer in 2009, predominately as an umpire, but also as a coach for a Senior League Baseball team in 2013. An umpire at the Virginia State Little League Baseball® Tournament in 2012 and 2013, Mr. Haines has also attended Little League Umpire Schools and Clinics in the Southeastern Region and at Little League Headquarters. Mr. Haines is also a former Board Member of the Virginia State Tournament Umpires Association.

As Umpire Development Director, Mr. Haines will assist with training and supporting volunteer umpires throughout the entire Little League International program. This will include overseeing the Little League Umpire School and Clinics, development of publications and educational resources and creating instructional curriculum.

A native of Lock Haven, Pa., and graduate of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Haines currently resides in Lock Haven with his wife and two sons. 

Monday, September 23
New District 31 Staff Umpire announced

A new District 31 Staff Umpire was announced on September 23rd, 2013.

Congratulations are in order for:

Ryan Walker of Carmel Mountain Ranch LL

Tuesday, August 5
District 31 Umpire selected for Junior League Baseball Western Region tournament

Congratulations are in order for District 31 Staff Umpire, Dave Walker, on his selection as an umpire at the Western Region Junior League Baseball Tournament in Vancouver, Washington for 2014.

The tournament is a step before the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Michigan and is the championship for the West and NorthWest representative of the western United States.

The dates of the Junior League Baseball Western Regional are August 1 - 6.

Dave hails from Carmel Mountain Ranch Little League and was a former Umpire-in-Chief there.  He continues to call games at leagues within District 31.

Click on the header above to be linked to the Junior League Western Regional tournament game schedule, results, information and map.

Crews are working 4 man through pool play.  

Tue July 29 2pm S. Cal v. WA U3

Wed July 30 9am UT v. AZ U2

Wed July 30 3pm AK v. S. Cal U1

Thu July 31 9am WA v. AZ PU

Thu July 31 3pm HI v. OR U3

Fri Aug 1 12pm ID v. N. Cal U2

Fri Aug 1 6pm Host v. UT U1

Sat Aug 2 9am S. Cal v. AZ PU

Sat Aug 2 3pm AK v. NV U3

Sun Aug 3 12pm S. Cal v. HI U1

Sun Aug 3 6pm WA v. Host PU

Mon Aug 4 10am UT v. AZ LFL

Mon Aug 4 1:30pm S. Cal v N. Cal U3

Consolation game Tue Aug 5 1:00pm N. Cal v UT PU

Championship game Tue Aug 5 5:00pm S. Cal v AZ U2

Tuesday, October 1
2013/2014 Western Regional Clinics
The Western Region Clinic schedule for 2013/2014 has been finalized. Online Registration for all Regional Clinics is open October 1st, 2013. Payment will be by credit card only. If you don't have a credit card, you will need to call and register with the regional office at 909-887-6444.

Once registration is open, you can click on the header above to link to the registration page.

COMPLETED - Chief Umpire UIC "Train the Trainer" Clinic.  December 6 - 8, 2013. (Note this clinic is in December now)  This clinic is designed to instruct and train the Local League or District Chief Umpires how to plan and conduct rules and mechanics clinics for their own league or district. This clinic is a “Train the Trainer” type clinic and will provide the experience and knowledge for the league officials to return to their home league and facilitate their own clinics, while providing sufficient training and information for their local staff and volunteers.

Lead instructor: Mark Bernstein (Bud Mathews also instructing)

COMPLETED - Rules Instruction Clinic January 11 – 12, 2014 and January 25 – 26, 2014 There are two weekend clinics that focus on Little League Baseball and Softball Rules. The training offered, and the materials presented are outstanding. This clinic is open to all Little League Volunteers and all District Officials, including managers, coaches, and umpires regardless of experience. Minimum age is 18 years of age. This clinic is designed for the volunteer. The instruction is very professional, and students will receive knowledge to help them perform their duties at the local league and district level. This clinic will provide the experience and knowledge for league officials to return to their home league and provide sufficient training and information for their local staff and volunteers. This is a two-day clinic; with registration beginning on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. Class will begin on Saturday at 7:45 a.m., and conclude on Sunday at 12 Noon. Meals and instruction will be provided at the Western Region Headquarters complex

Instructors for first weekend: Gary Graupmann (D31) and David Lewis is instructing

Instructors for 2nd weekend: Gary Graupmann (D31) and Larry Gomez is instructing

COMPLETED - Weekend Mechanics Clinic January 24 – 26, 2014 This weekend clinic focuses on Plate and Field Mechanics. The training offered for the Little League Volunteer Umpire, and the materials presented are outstanding. This clinic is open to all Little League volunteer umpires regardless of experience. Minimum age is 18 years of age. The clinic is designed for the volunteer umpire. The instruction is very professional, and students will receive knowledge to help them with their umpire career. This clinic will provide the experience and knowledge for the league umpire official to return to their home league and provide sufficient training and information for their local staff. Meals and instruction will be provided at the Western Region Headquarters complex. Umpires must bring their plate gear for cage work (facemask, chest protector, shin guards, cup) and base shoes for field drills, dress is casual.

Lead instructor for weekend: Mark Bernstein (Dave Walker (D31) and Don Wolever (D31) also instructing)  

COMPLETED- Adult Umpire Schools 1st Session February 8 – 14, 2014 Only one session available starting this year. Both Rules and Field Training are included and the materials offered are outstanding. Each student will receive ample videotaped plate instruction throughout the week. Includes dormitory style housing and all meals.

This session will fill up quickly, so register early if you want to attend.

Lead Instructor for weeklong: Mark Bernstein. (Gary Graupmann (D31) also instructing)

Tuesday, August 21
Teaching Life's Lessons

Teaching Lifes Lessons

Winning is a pleasant by-product of competition.

The responsibility of the Manager and Umpire includes developing the character of the young men and women as well as their playing ability. Educating young people includes how to handle adversity, maintaining grace in victory and dignity in defeat, and respect for the opponent as a fellow athlete and human being. There is no place in Little League for intimidation, humiliation or any other disrespectful or unsportsmanlike action towards each other, opponents or officials.

Losing provides the opportunity to teach important life lessons to everyone.

Managers must realize and teach players that losing is a part of the game and as long as everyone has done their best, it means that they just lost to a better team that day. They should also teach players that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. How they respond to calls on the field that go against their team will go a long way toward shaping their character.

It is solely the responsibility of the manager of the team to hold the umpires accountable for issues of safety and fairness. It is how they handle themselves in cases of adversity that teach players how to deal and handle difficult situations. Coaches and Umpires should be aware that players from both teams are watching how adults handle themselves and that their position as role models determines what the players learn from these experiences.

Umpires may have varying levels of tolerance for different situations. How they control each situation depends on experience and maturity. They must show respect to the manager and remain in control of every situation. If the situation develops into an ejection, the result must be controlled, calm and professional.

Sportsmanship is a crucial attribute that everyone must develop.

Umpires are the authoritative figures and have an equal, if not greater responsibility to that of the managers for modeling good sportsmanship. Competition may compromise managers from time to time, but the umpire must maintain control at all times. All adults must be role models and educators of character for the players.

The role of the umpire is to provide fairness for all player’s managers and coaches. They should be in control and acting with a calm behavior and setting the example for everyone on the field.


Our society is becoming increasingly tolerant of profanity on the playing field. Little Leaguers must be taught against this disturbing trend. Any bad language or unsportsmanlike conduct should not be tolerated! Managers, players and umpires must refrain from these actions, hold each other accountable, and set the example for everyone on and off the field.

Bill Carter
West Region Umpire in Chief

Tuesday, January 24
Third Strike Umpire Mechanics

With the new dropped 3rd strike rule being used in Majors (and 10/11 and Majors allstars), Western Region has come out with recommended mechanics to use for third strike situations.


1. 3rd Strike CAUGHT: Indicate the 3rd strike with a 'Hammer Hand-Sign' (Stylized if the Umpire wishes), NO Verbal if Swinging, Verbal if Not Swinging. May be followed with a second hand-sign indicating the Batter is "OUT", NO VERBAL on OUT indication.

2. 3rd Strike DROPPED: Indicate 'Strike 3' with a 'Hammer Hand-Sign' (Stylized if the Umpire wishes). This hand-sign will be followed by a second 'hand-sign' indicating the pitch was DROPPED. Acceptable hand-sign is the normal "Safe Sign" or a modified Safe Sign with "Fists Closed", NO VERBAL on the 'dropped 3rd Strike' mechanic.

3. 3rd Strike DROPPED WHEN BATTER RUNNER CAN NOT ADVANCE: Indicate 'Strike 3' with a 'Hammer Hand-Sign' (Stylized if the Umpire wishes). Indicate BR is OUT with proper 'Hand-Sign'. If the BR starts to advance, follow the BR up the Base Line signaling "OUT" and verbalizing emphatically "He's Out... He's Out... He's still Out".

4. 3rd Strike DROPPED ON POSSIBLE CHECK SWING: Plate Umpire indicates verbally, "BALL... NO he didn't go". BASE UMPIRE "Immediately" indicates his intention to reverse the PU on APPEAL, by signaling "OUT" and verbally saying, "YES, he went... YES, he went...", or, "YES, he did... YES, he did..."  NOTE: In this case, the Base Umpire does not need to wait for the Plate Umpire to ask “Did he go?”


Monday, September 23
District 31 Staff Umpires

District 31 Umpire Staff


 Bud Mathews -- Umpire-in-Chief


 Mark Bernstein -- Western Region UIC


    Levon Akashian


    Mike Cascioppo


 Jim Clark


 Joel Ewan


 Gary Graupmann 


 Robert Hunt 


 Jonas Jackson


 Ken Judd 


 Tom Marshall


 Mike Martello


 Heath Messenger 


 Dave Miller


 Andy Millon


 Bob Rosario


 Don Sharp


 Dave Walker


 Ryan Walker


 Jeff Wimbrough


 Don Wolever


Umpire small
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Wednesday, September 26
D31 Umpire Consultant, Mark Bernstein, inducted into San Diego Hall of Champions





Integrity – Leadership – Character

San Diego Hall of Champions

September 25, 2012

District 31 Umpire Consultant and former UIC, Mark Bernstein, was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions San Diego County Sports Officials Hall of Fame. His biography is listed below.  

Mark Bernstein – Youth Sports 

Mark – born and raised in Queens, New York – began his Little League umpiring career at Mid-Queens Boys Club Little League in New York at the age of 16 and has just completed his 36th consecutive year of Little League umpiring.

Mark is a two-time Little League World Series umpire – in 2002 and 2008. He has also worked three LLWS regional tournaments in Sacramento (1995), San Bernardino (1999) and the European Regional in Kutno, Poland in 2000. During his long career, Mark has also worked countless state tournaments in California, Arizona and Nevada.

In addition to his work on the field, Mark has been a lead trainer for both Umpire Rules and Mechanics at the Western Region of Little League Baseball and Softball since 1994, and an umpire supervisor since 2002. He was also at the forefront of the establishment of the Western Region Little League Umpire Alumni Association in 2004, where he was President from inception until relinquishing the reins in 2012. His simple mission statement: “By Umpires for Umpires.”

Also included in the Class of 2012 were Tom Wood - Basketball; Andrew Castagnola - Football, Mike Winters - Baseball and Patrick Russell - Boxing.

Mark started off his acceptance speech with a Basic Two (Ball & Strike calls) that the 50+ Little League umpires in the audiance nailed!

Mark's speech was nothing if it wasn't inspirational.  The complete text of the speech is in the handout below.  All of those who were in attendance urge you to take the time to read it.

One of the later speakers bet everyone there that he would buy them an adult beverage if they ever officiated a game for less that the six dollars he received for his first game.  All of those 50+ volunteer LL umpires raised their hand.  He rescended his offer!  A great Little League moment.

A special night for Mark and his family; a special night for his friends in attendance; and Mark made it a special night for Little League.

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Handout: San Diego Hall of Champions

California District 31
California District 31

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