leon2IAB Chief umpire Leon Klarfeld is nothing short of a legend in Israeli baseball. Aside from ‎his regular duties as umpire #1 in Israel, organizing his team of umpires for the leagues ‎and coaching at the American International School; once a year he spends many long ‎hours dedicated to training Israel baseball's newest crop of umpires. ‎

Now Leon is counting down to the 2014 IAB Umpire course that he will be running in ‎January, and he wants YOU to join.‎

Who is this man?‎

Leon describes himself as having 1 wife, 4 kids, 7 grandchildren and thousands of ball ‎players.‎
He made Aliya from New York in 1969. Some years later, he stumbled on baseball. "One ‎day, my wife told me that there was some nut in the Sportek in Tel Aviv teaching ‎baseball and I should take our kids," Leon recalls. "So I dug up my old Little League ‎glove, which was a lot smaller than I remembered it, and took them to the field. I was ‎hooked and graduated from helpful parent to president of the IAB for eight years and now ‎to chief umpire."‎
Leon has coached our national teams – in Germany for the Little League tournament in ‎the early 1990s and the senior national team; he's represented Israel as an umpire in ‎various CEB championship tournaments; and was twice chosen to umpire in the finals.‎

umpirecourseNurturing new generations of umpires

Leon has been running the IAB Umpire Course for 11 years. It's a beginning level course ‎to give the uninitiated basic techniques and information so they can umpire in the local ‎leagues. The course teaches the basics of rules and mechanics and safety, includes ‎classroom and outdoor field work and concludes with a game experience for the ‎students.‎
One of the main goals of the course is to ensure that there is a pool of umpires for all our ‎Friday afternoon games. "One problem," notes Leon, "is that we get umpire students ‎doing triple duty - playing, coaching and umpiring - so they're not available for umpiring ‎Friday league games. That's why we need to also get parents and others involved who ‎are free to umpire games."‎

The IAB 2014 Umpire Course

The IAB 2014 Umpire Course begins on January 6, at 19:30-22:00 at the Baptist Village, ‎and includes five sessions and a written exam. Participants need to be at least 15 years ‎old, turning 16 during 2014. A basic knowledge of baseball is required and participants ‎should be able to read English.‎
If you want to join Leon for the course and learn a whole lot more about baseball and ‎about being an umpire, contact him directly at and become a ‎member of his elite team of umpires.‎

Let's Talk!

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