Baseball & Softball

November 2, 2022

Gopher State is looking to hire assigners for baseball and softball for the upcoming 2023 season. Season duties begin in January with verifying officials' intent to work and schools' schedules and runs through May. The assigners will be expected to, among other things: conduct the preseason meeting; observe officials during the season; assign varsity and lower level games on Arbiter; deal with rainouts and rescheduled games; be available during the day for the large volume of phone calls, generally related to rainouts, officials unavailability, and rescheduled games; and attend meetings of the Board of Directors during the baseball and softball seasons to provide status updates.

Applicants should email a resume, which sport they are applying for (or both/either if they want to be considered for both), and a statement of why they believe they would be a good selection for the assigner position to by November 17. Any questions should be directed to Rick DeGardner at

May 31, 2022

Gopher State May 2022 Update

We begin this update with some sad news to pass along to the Gopher State community. Kent Emerson, one of Gopher’s baseball umpires for about a dozen years, passed away in April. His wife of 33 years, Sue, let us know of his passing. Kent was class of 1972 from Minnehaha Academy, served in the Air Force from '74-'94 in the AFR 934th, worked at Hennepin County IT for 34 years, and also umpired with Gopher. A memorial service was held at the end of April as well.

In a very nice gesture to Gopher State’s officials, Sue reached out to Gopher’s board to say she has his equipment that she would like to pass along to a good home. Sue reported she has 2 pants, 2 dk blue, lt blue shirts, helmet, shoes, chest plate, apron.

If you are in need of any used equipment, please reach out to Sue at

Gopher’s thoughts and prayers go out to Sue and to Kent’s family.

Baseball/Softball Update

Congratulations to the following Gopher officials who were selected to umpire the state tournaments in Baseball or Softball:


Pete Larkin will umpire Two Quarterfinal games in AAAA @ CHS Field on June 14. Pete will also work the AAA Championship game @ Target Field on June 17.

James Fancher will work both AAA Quarterfinal Games @ Chaska on June 14.

Brent Kuphal will work the Consolation Championship game in Class A. Also, the 3rd place game in Class A in St. Cloud on June 15

Tony Schrepfer will umpire the Consolation Semi-final game and the Consolation Championship game in AAAA @ Parade Stadium on June 15.


Paul Bettcher will umpire the Consolation Championship for Class AAA on June 10 at 9:00 a.m. and the Class AAA 3rd Place game on June 10 at 11:00 a.m.

John Walters will umpire the Consolation Championship in Class AAAA at 9:00 a.m. on June 10 and the Class AAAA 3rd Place game on June 10 at 11:00 a.m.

Mark Doble will umpire a Quarterfinal in Class AAAA at 9:00 a.m. on June 9 and a Quarterfinal in Class A at 1:00 p.m. on June 9.

Dennis Harris will umpire a Quarterfinal in Class AAAA at 9:00 a.m. on June 9 and a Quarterfinal in Class A at 1:00 p.m. on June 9.

Tom Houle will umpire a Quarterfinal in Class AAAA at 9:00 a.m. on June 9 and a Quarterfinal in Class A at 1:00 p.m. on June 9.

Paul Miller will umpire a Quarterfinal in Class AAAA at 9:00 a.m. on June 9 and a Quarterfinal in Class A at 1:00 p.m. on June 9.

Dan Evans will work the Quarterfinals in Class AA on June 9 at 9:00 a.m. and the Quarterfinals in Class AAA on June 9 at 11:00 a.m.

Kathy Graen will be working the Consolation Semi-Finals AAA on June 9 at 5:00 and the Consolation Semi-Finals in Class A on June 9 at 7:00.

Geno Hanson will be working the Consolation Semi-Finals AAA on June 9 at 5:00 and the Consolation Semi-Finals in Class A on June 9 at 7:00.

Todd Miller will umpire a Quarterfinal in Class AAA on June 9 at 11:00 and a Semi-Final in Class AA on June 9 at 5:00.

Scott Schimetz will umpire a Quarterfinal in Class AAA on June 9 at 11:00 and a Semi-Final in Class AA on June 9 at 5:00.

Dan Pelletier will be umpiring a Consolation Semi-Final in Class AAAA at 3 p.m. on June 9, a Semi-Final in Class A at 7 p.m. on June 9, and the Championship in Class AAAA on June 10 at 1:00 p.m.

Kevin Purinton will be umpiring a Consolation Semi-Final in Class AAAA at 3 p.m. on June 9, a Semi-Final in Class A at 7 p.m. on June 9, and the Championship in Class AAAA on June 10 at 1:00 p.m.

Thanks to all of the umpires working for Gopher State for helping out whenever you could this Spring. A hearty thanks to Rick DeGardner and Geno Hanson for working to cover as many of the games as we could every day in spite of the weather and the number of available umpires. We could not have done as well as we did without their help and hard work. Thanks also to our clinicians, Tim Litfin for baseball and Scott Schimetz for softball, for helping our umpires stay on top of their game.

May 4, 2022

1. Finally some nice weather!!!! As a result, majority of the cancelled games the past 4 weeks are all getting crammed into the next few weeks. We are officially in crisis mode!!!! Please see if you can help out any of the games on self-assign on GotOfficials. For Thursday, May 5 there is a JV Baseball game at St. Michael. There are 11 games on Friday, May 6 that need umpires, and 4 games on Saturday, May 7. For those already working games on Saturday, consider seeing if the times/locations allow you to cover an additional game.

2. Geno is focusing on getting varsity games covered. This means that varsity certified umpires assigned lower level games, may get switched with as little as 1 day notice, so check GotOfficials at least every day in case of any changes.

3. If you are assigned a varsity game, but are not MSHSL certified for that sport, DO NOT ACCEPT THE GAME. If a non-certified official works a varsity game, the school, the official, the assigner, and Gopher State Officials are in big trouble with the MSHSL.

April 30, 2022

  1. Geno Hanson is working hard to get as many games covered as possible. Gopher State is still falling short of assigning umpires for several games each day. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if there are any dates that you are not already assigned a game and you can make yourself available, please sign up for a game on self-assign. Geno has been forced to notify several schools each evening that we don't have any umpires assigned for their following day games.

  1. Rick DeGardner (with assistance from Tim Litfin, Scott Schimetz, and Geno Hanson) will be starting to assign section games soon. We will be using Arbiter for all section assignments, not GotOfficials.

  1. For those eligible and interested in working sections, in order to block off dates in Arbiter you will need to go to MSHSL Section Baseball or Softball to block dates. Please do this by May 5.

  1. If you are not sure of your eligibility status, you need to log into your Arbiter account and see what your level of varsity baseball/softball certification is.

  1. If you are eligible to work section games, but do not want to be assigned any games, either block all dates off, or send me an email at

  1. Been getting a few complaints regarding umpires "plate dodging." If you work varsity games, you are expected to work half your games behind the plate, and half your games on the bases. Don't get the reputation of an umpire who makes excuses to avoid working behind the plate.

April 18, 2022

Time for all baseball and softball umpires to step up and help Geno Hanson out!! As everyone knows, almost every single game has been cancelled since the start of the season. Looks like Tuesday, April 19 is going to be 47 degrees so every single baseball and softball team in the state of Minnesota wants to play. That means we need everyone's assistance!!! We are short a bunch of umpires to make this happen. So, if there is any way you can make yourself available for a 4:00-4:30pm baseball or softball game tomorrow, either check self assign (which will be continually adding games throughout the day) or send Geno an email at and specify your name, what sport, levels of games you can work, and what part of town you prefer. Do this quickly!!!!! We need to contact schools soon with the games we can't fill. Also, there are several umpires that are not promptly accepting or turning back games, which messes up the assigning process. Please do your part in helping Geno get games covered with this brutal spring season.

Since schools are attempting to reschedule all these cancelled games the past few weeks, every day that is nice enough to actually play ball is going to experience most every team playing a game, so please make your self available on these dates for the next 5 weeks.

PS. - Its astounding the number of umpires that still do not have a phone number on GotOfficials. How can schools, other umpires, or most importantly an assigner get hold of you if you don't provide a cell number???

April 11, 2022

1. As expected, we are short umpires almost every day for the month of May. In the short term, we need umpires for the next two days for the following:

Tuesday, April 12

JV Softball at Rockford, 4:30pm

Wednesday, April 13

Hopkins 9A Baseball at 4:15

North Lakes Academy Varsity BA at 4:30pm

Totino Grace B Softball at 4:30pm

These games (along with 200+ games) are listed on self assign. Please see if you can help cover any of these games. If you are open Tuesday or Wednesday, but none of the above games work, get hold of Geno and maybe he can do some switching so you can umpire a game.

2. Every day is going to be a struggle to get games covered. Please do not turn back games unless absolutely necessary. Any appointments, etc. that can be rearranged so you can umpire would be appreciated!!!

3. Geno hopes to start assigning varsity baseball and softball games for the month of May within the next week or so. Please keep your availability updated and accept games promptly.

4. Remember to notify Geno Hanson of any non-emergencies at Call or text Geno at 651-398-8856 for same day issues.

April 5, 2022

1. Geno Hanson has taken over all assigning duties. Email Geno at needed.

2. I'm perplexed why umpires that work lower level (JV/B/9th) games are not checking out the 270+ games on self assign to fill-up your schedule. After Geno gets all the rainouts this week updated on GotOfficials, he will be focusing on assigning May varsity games. This will likely take a week or so, so lower level games will not be assigned for quite awhile. Why wait? Be proactive and check out self assign. There are also varsity games. Any varsity certified softball umpires looking for an easy $75? Check out the Mpls City Conference games. All their varsity games are on self assign.

3. Please check GotOfficials frequently for new game assignments, cancellations, and changes. Please accept games promptly.

4. Short term looking for a baseball umpire to work a 9B baseball game at Minnetonka at 4:30pm on Wednesday, April 6 and a baseball 9A/9B doubleheader at 4:00pm on Thursday, April 7. Both are on self-assign.

March 30, 2022

1. Thanks to all umpires who attended Sunday's Gopher State meeting. For those who didn't attend the power point presentations are available at

2. Games start next week. Make sure you accept games promptly, and block off dates you don't want to work. Only want to work 2 days per week? Then block off the remaining days once you are assigned two games!!! Have limited availability on certain days of the week? Email Geno at with any information that will assist him.

3. There are a lot of umpires that are listed on GotOfficials, but have not yet accepted any games. Any umpires that have not secured at least 1 game by Saturday, April 2 will be purged from the system. Even better, if you are receiving this email, but do not plan on umpiring this Spring for Gopher State Officials, please reply to this email that you are not working baseball or softball for Gopher State.

4. Geno Hanson will be the contact person for the day to day assigning responsibilities. Email Geno at Same day emergency? Call or text Geno at 651-398-8856.

5. It is required to contact the schools 2-3 days in advance (not more, not less). Be sure to provide the specifics and ask for a reply to affirm all game info is correct. On rainy days, suggest you check in with the athletics office around 2:00pm to see if your game is cancelled. All umpires must show up to the field, unless notified that the game is cancelled. You will get paid 1/2 game fee if you show up and game gets cancelled.

6. We are relying on all members of Gopher State Officials to help cover all games. There are over 300 games listed on self assign (view on the old/classic version of GotOfficials). Many varsity games including Mpls. City Conference Varsity Softball (2 person crew paying $75 each) are listed on GotOfficials.

7. There are two versions of GotOfficials. If you are having any trouble, try using Google Chrome. Also, only use the new version to block off dates. Use the old/classic version (click on a link in the blue ribbon) for everything else.



Rick DeGardner


Geno Hanson


Baseball Clinician

Tim Litfin


Softball Clinician

Scott Schimetz