Robson honoured with prestigious appointment
14 June 2015
One of Australia’s most accomplished professional umpires, Brett Robson has earned a stunning accolade by being appointed to the official panel for the inaugural IBAF Premier 12 tournament to be held in Taiwan during November this year.
The first Australian to umpire professionally in United States, Brett Robson is a trail-blazer in his field as one of several Western Australian umpires to have officiated among the highest levels in the sport both here and abroad.
A professional umpire for twelve years, Robson has worked in the United States Minor League system and he was a regular appointment at AAA level, with one of many highlights in his career being posted at first base for the MLB Futures All-Star Game in 2010.
Robson has been a regular representative in international tournaments and he is a respected and long-standing official in Australian Baseball League competition, now with a focus on umpiring development.
"Since October 22 last year - when I was formally released from my Minor League Contract - I have thoroughly enjoyed the developmental side of umpiring working with anyone who wants to learn the art," Brett Robson told Australian Baseball Alumni. "It is not an easy art to learn but if you commit to it there are many rewards to enjoy."
"I have been fortunate enough to be able to work in the ABL, the Opening Series Exhibition Game and the 21U World Cup in Taichung, 2014," he said.
"We are currently in our winter here in WA and fortunately that means we get a break from baseball. I will however be working at the ABL Level again this year, in most if not all fixtures for the Perth Heat. It is still something I love doing, and I am currently enjoying the challenges of developing the next crop of umpires in WA and Australia."
The IBAF Premier 12 tournament will be held in Taiwan during November this year. A new venture effectively replacing the Baseball World Cup, it promises to be a massive occasion pitting the twelve highest-ranked nations against each other – regrettably without Australia, which came up just short of qualification this time around.
The Premier 12 tournament will almost certainly be as big, and probably bigger than the Olympics - given the likely availability of topline players at that time of year, the world-wide media coverage and the incentive of generous prize money.
"Outside of my Futures Game appointment in 2010, the Premier 12 looks to be one of the best," Robson said. "I was originally in discussions with IBAF during the 21U, and was very lucky when it came to fruition and have now been appointed. I see this as a stepping stone to future international appointments - like the World Baseball Classic and hopefully the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."
"The Premier 12 is shaping to be an exciting time."
Himself a former elite umpire - and a mentor to many - long-standing and revered Australian baseball administrator Geoff Robertson is delighted with the appointment.
“I would like to add my congratulations to Brett,” Geoff Robertson told Australian Baseball Alumni. “He deserves this appointment, especially when one takes into consideration his umpiring, his game management skills and also his dedication to the development of umpires in Australia.”
“I sincerely hope that developing umpires and current baseball administrators take advantage of his expertise and his unselfish willingness to pass on his knowledge to assist umpires and the overall game itself in Australia.”
“He is a credit to our sport,” Geoff Robertson said.
“Brett is obviously held in high esteem internationally as his appointment came direct from the international body – IBAF - without seeking nominations from Baseball Australia similar to the appointment of Paul Hyham to the World Baseball Classic on a number of occasions.”
Australian Baseball Alumni extends its warm congratulations to Brett Robson on this well-deserved appointment to what will surely be an exciting and memorable tournament adjudicating games between the very best teams and the most outstanding players in the world.
We will seek to bring our members and supporters news of further developments with the Premier 12 series over the months to come.