Umpire Thomas Sears to officiate at CAC Games


Senior Sports Reporter

AS the highest ranked World Baseball Softball Confederation umpire in the Bahamas, Thomas Sears has been invited to participate in the Central American and Caribbean Games.

Sears, who serves as the deputy of umpires for the English Caribbean Amateur Softball Confederation (ECASC), was invited by WBSC president Tommy Velazquez to officiate at the games, scheduled for June 22 to July 8 in San Salvador, El Salvador.

“We understand that these continue to be difficult times. However, we are optimistic, and we are advancing in the organisation of this tournament on the indicated dates,” Velazquez wrote to Sears.

“We continue to monitor the global status of COVID-19 and will continue to prepare and adapt as necessary. In this sense, we ask for your patience and understanding in the face of possible changes in the future, in which case you will be informed accordingly.”

Following his recent officiating at the ECASC Women’s Fast-Pitch Tournament Qualifier in St John, US Virgin Islands in March, Sears said he’s delighted to have been afforded the opportunity to officiate at the CAC Games and he hopes to make the best of the opportunity.

“I just came back from the ECASC Tournament in the USVI and at the time, it was mentioned to me that I was up for consideration for the CAC Games,” Sears said. “Being one of two English-speaking officials certified in this region, the likelihood of this was expected.”

The WBSC level four certified official is one step below the level five or the instructor level.

Having earned his international certification in 2012, Sears has spent the past 21 years officiating on the international scene.

He follows in the footsteps of the late Arthur ‘Old Art’ Thompson, who was the longest and highest ranked official in the International Softball Federation before they became incorporated in the WBSC.

“I feel pretty good about the stage that I am at right now. I am winding down right now,” he stated. “When I got started, my goal was to officiate at the Olympics. Normally you would have to be at level five or to officiate in a number of events to get that opportunity.

“That’s no longer the case for me. I’m basically winding down my career at the WBSC level. It’s not my goal any longer. I prefer to concentrate on the region. All my efforts now would be to improving the officiating in the region as the deputy of ECAST.”

But if the opportunity presents itself like it did for the CAC Games, Sears said he would certainly embrace it.

Sears, however, said while the BSF men’s national team was given an invitation to participate in the CAC Games, he’s disappointed to hear that they have declined the opportunity to be a part of Team Bahamas. “I think it would be an excellent opportunity for our players to display their talent, particularly the younger players,” Sears said. “If what I’m hearing, it’s not good for the sport and the younger players.”

Jenny Isaacs-Dotson, the first female president of the BSF, indicated that the federation opted not to send a team because the players were not committed to coming out to practice.

But she sent her congratulations to Sears for his officiating role.

“He’s doing very well in softball, and we know that he will represent the Bahamas at the CAC Games,” she ;lamented. “While he’s doing well in softball, we also have Martin Burrows who is doing well in officiating at baseball, so we congratulate them both.”

As for officiating in the Bahamas, Sears said he’s quite award that a member of the BSF officiating core since 1995, Sears said he’s quite aware that Martin ‘Pork’ Burrows is the newly appointed Chief of Umpires Martin ‘Pork’ Burrows.

Sears said he once he’s given an invitation to officiate, he would make himself available, but by the same token, “I must follow the international standards of softball,” he summed up.

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