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Alana Wilson makes history for Sask at baseball nationals

Alana Wilson was one of two female umpires from Saskatchewan selected to attend a national baseball event - a first for this province.
From left, M.J. Willis, Alana Wilson and Ella Summerville were officiating teamed up at nationals in P.E.I.

CARLYLE - Being raised around baseball, Alana Wilson began to play the game around the age of seven.

Wilson is the daughter of the late Erhart and Ruth Biberdorf. She was raised in the Carlyle area in a baseball home. Her father played, coached and umpired, so Wilson followed in her dad’s footsteps.

As she grew older, she continued to play and began coaching teams of all ages.

During this time, she married Mike Wilson, and they have four children, Tiffany, Dereck, Kruz and Jennifer.

When Kruz was 12 years old, he wanted to attend an umpire course, but because he was shy and quiet, he asked his mom to go with him.

Wilson had only intended to sit in on the course while her son took it, but the instructor insisted that she take part in it, instead of sitting on the sidelines. This was a game changer for Wilson.

Wilson was hooked and it has become a passion for her, although her husband is not involved in ball. He knows come summer he will not see much of his wife.

She loves every aspect of the sport, playing, coaching and now umpiring, which she has done for 15 years.

With five levels in umpiring, Wilson has her Level 3. Wilson was required to attend an evaluation tournament, where a judge watched her performance before she was awarded the level.

She is happy at this level and will remain at Level 3 for the time being.

Last year Wilson umpired in the Western Canadian Baseball Championships in Estevan, which she said was a great experience.

This year Wilson hit a home run when she was selected by Baseball Saskatchewan to umpire at the U16 Girls' Nationals in Summerside, P.E.I.

Wilson and another woman from Saskatoon are the first two female umpires in the history of Baseball Saskatchewan to attend nationals.

On Aug. 22, Wilson hopped on a plane to P.E.I. and returned a week later. Her flights were paid for by Baseball Saskatchewan and her motels and meals were paid for by the host committee.

The first day they attended an umpire camp, which involved intense training for on-field instruction, positioning, signals and getting to know the crew she would be working with.

Thirty-three games were played for girls aged under the age of 16.

Wilson would umpire two games each day, either behind the plate or at first base. The tournament had a round robin.

When the playoff games happened, Wilson was selected to umpire first base for the game between Newfoundland and Quebec. Quebec moved on to the gold medal game.

“I feel so honoured to have represented Saskatchewan,” said Wilson. “It was an amazing experience.”

Umpires are always needed, and Wilson feels it is a great way to get involved in the sport and within the community.

“It does not matter what age you are,” Wilson said. “You can be 14, 44 or 64 years of age to be an umpire.”

Wilson was 41 when she became a carded umpire.

There are so many opportunities and Wilson just experienced a great one.