Monday through Thursday, Erin Peterson, DPT, can be found in Valley’s Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, working with patients to develop and implement custom rehabilitation programs. But after her regular work week has ended, Erin heads to the airport for her weekend gig that takes her throughout the U.S.—and internationally—as a softball umpire.
Erin trained to be an umpire 10 years ago at the suggestion of a college basketball teammate. She started locally with the Seattle Metro Softball Umpires Association (which she is still a part of) officiating games for teams ages 12 and under. Her first college game was in 2010, and she now works some 50 college games each season. During the 2017 college season, Erin traveled to Arizona, Michigan, Utah, Oregon, Minnesota, and Maryland to name a few. She also had the distinction of umpiring the 2017 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. While this feat alone makes for pretty cool watercooler talk, what many friends and colleagues ask about is when UCLA Assistant Coach and three-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Fernandez bumped her after being ejected (and subsequently suspended for two games) during a heated argument over a call.
In August, Erin travels to Japan with the USA Women’s Softball National Team as the only American umpire for the Japan Cup. As she puts it, her weekends are “airplane, rental car, hotel, field.” In addition to umpiring games, Erin works at evaluation camps to help train other umpires. With her extensive college game travels, as well as dozens of games locally, she has formed an extended family of umpires around the U.S. Erin is credentialed by the USA Softball Elite, NCAA, and has an international credential from the World Baseball Softball Confederation. But even though she’s incredibly busy between her day job at Valley and umpiring, her passion for the game shines through. “As a former competitive athlete,” Erin says, “you still feel the intensity and emotion from the kids. It’s exciting.”
Interested in becoming a softball umpire? Find out more at the Seattle Metro Softball Umpires Association website.
Photos courtesy of Erin Peterson