Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Japan's First NPB Umpire School Follows The MLB Model

Japan's first ever NPB Umpire School is underway at the Nippon Professional Baseball League's Lotte Urawa Stadium in Saitama City, with a familiar face providing guidance to Japanese umpiring chief Osamu Ino.

Rinko Shinozaki (age 19) is the only
female student in the inaugural class.
Former MLB umpire and current PBUC Executive Director Justin Klemm, himself a graduate of the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring, forged a partnership with the new NPB Umpire School, helping to draft a new curriculum and establish a comprehensive training program required for all future NPB umpiring hopefuls, similar to MLB's model with the PBUC's own The Umpire School and the approved Wendelstedt Umpire School.

Similar to the post-school PBUC evaluation course, NPB will invite its highest-rated graduates to participate in that league's honor course, a 12-team Spring Training and associated independent baseball leagues.

The NPB Umpire School follows a pair of Winter 2013 (Jan/Feb) camps in Tokyo and Osaka, each held over the course of a weekend. The School began December 18 and concludes on the 23rd, with an inaugural class of 52; tuition and expenses for the first five-day class totaled approximately $775 (or $155 daily), compared to nearly $3-$4,000 (or $120-160 daily) for a five-week course plus expenses for the two Florida schools, including tuition, materials (albeit more course materials & apparel/accessories in the US), room & board or meal plan.


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