In 1986, under the direction of Michael Barel, a new umpire organization emerged in Metro Detroit. The Mount Clemens Racquetball and Sports Center Umpires Association registered over 30 officials annually with the Amateur Softball Association of America. Beginning as a slow pitch association, the staff branched into the City of Mount Clemens Recreation Department slow pitch program in 1988. When the city expanded their youth baseball by sponsoring several Federation caliber teams, the umpire crew adapted to help cover those games. In 1996, with an ownership change, Mount Clemens Racquetball became Total Sports Center. After the change in ownership, the umpire association looked to move on and expand its horizons. With the reputation the crew had developed over the years, the City of St. Clair Shores opened its arms and diamonds welcoming the Metro Softball Umpires Association, where it still covers over 1500 games per year. In 2005, Metro Softball expanded its slow pitch program by taking over the officiating duties for the Macomb Township Recreation Department Adult slow pitch program. Another expansion occurred in 2008, when the association was asked to umpire in the City of Sterling Heights Slow Pitch Program. This not only added more games, but helped us improve our program with experienced umpires being added to the roster.
Below are the bios of the four umpires-in-chief that have helped the organization grow through the years.
His passion for teaching umpires has been shown through each of his umpires during his tenure. As always, Michael expected the best from each one of his umpires. During his 12 years as umpire-in-chief, several umpires were assigned to state, regional and national tournaments. Mike served as the originating UIC and continues to be involved with the program today. During his career, he was one of the most accomplished slow pitch umpires in Metro Detroit. Mike joined the National Indicator Fraternity in 1992; became Internationally Certified in 1996 and certified as an ASA Elite umpire in 2005. Mr. Barel also served as Metro Detroit ASA Senior Deputy UIC until 1999. Michael was the foundation which this association was built.
His knowledge of the game and calm demeanor both on and off the field, helped to continue the strong tradition of the Metro Softball Umpire Association. While Mike was involved as the Assistant UIC from 1993, he brought fresh ideas and mechanics to the umpire staff each and every year. With each National tournament Mike would work, he would bring something new back and improve everyone around him. During his career, Mike also serves as Deputy UIC on the Metro Detroit ASA Umpire Staff, and joined the National Indicator Fraternity in 1993. Mike is the current Metro Detroit ASA Umpire-In-Chief since January 2016.
Dan was the UIC from 2000 thru 2004. He joined the National Indicator Fraternity in 1996; and became one of the initial members of the ASA Elite Umpire Program. Dan is a current member of the Metro Detroit ASA Umpire Staff.
Marc has been involved with the program since 1989. After assisting Dan for 2 years, he became UIC in 2006. Since then, the Cities of Fraser, Macomb Township, Sterling Heights and Lake Orion have been added to the organizations using the Associations Umpires. Marc looks to bring the organization into the electronic age, by developing web sites, using computer generated teaching tools and helping MDASA built itself to the powerhouse it once was. As a fast pitch umpire, Marc has worked several National tournaments and became a member of the National Indicator Fraternity in 1999. He has 23 years of experience umpiring Division 1 softball in the Big Ten, Missouri Valley, Mid-American, Summit and AAC conferences. He is a retired member of the umpire crew of the Women's Pro Fastpitch league from 1999-2014 and umpired the NPF Championship series in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Marc is a past member of the Metro Detroit ASA Umpire Staff. Continuing the tradition is what makes a good program great.