History / About NVSUA

The Northern Virginia Softball Umpires Association (NVSUA) is a professional organization of over 35 years consisting of men and women who officiate fast-pitch softball using USA Softball and NFHS rules in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. NVSUA over the years officiated fast and slow pitch softball however now only fastpitch softball. We provide a high quality instructional program in the training, preparation and development of fast-pitch softball umpires. We are committed continually to improving our association through frequent membership meetings, bi-annual training clinics, a mentor and observation program, game assignment using an on-line application, and a NVSUA website. We provide umpiring services to USA Softball girls fast-pitch leagues, USA Softball local tournaments, State USA Softball National Tournaments, High Schools that use USA Softball rules and High Schools that use National Federation High School (NFHS) rules.

Nat Anthem

Our Partners

USA Softball of VA Logo

USA Softball Central Virginia

USA Softball of VA Logo

USA Softball Piedmont Virginia

td sports

TD Sports: Dave Gould


VHSL / Whistle

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Arbiter Sports

Mission Statement

NVSUA is a membership organization of independent contracted umpires providing training, support, and employment / assignment opportunities for members in support of girls fastpitch softball.

NVSUA recruits, trains, supports, and provides employment / assignment opportunities for our members.

NVSUA contracts with school districts and youth organizations to create employment / assignment opportunities for members.

NVSUA provides highly trained and qualified umpires to our clients in support of girls fastpitch softball.

Board of Directors

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith


Stephen Smith has been umpiring fast-pitch softball & baseball for over 35 years. Stephen started umpiring at the age of 15 at the same time entering the public safety field at age 16 by obtaining his EMT certification and firefighting certifications. Stephen was the former Umpire in Chief of Northwestern Little League PA District 3 and LL district umpire with Erie County Youth Umpires. Stephen also is a former PIAA High School umpire. Stephen currently is a VHSL and NCAA Umpire and is retired out of the public safety field. Stephen is assisting UIC Joe DeFranco as Deputy UIC of the association as well as being the current president. Stephen is currently working with umpire organizations throughout northern Virginia to help train and grow the game of softball as a whole. Stephen is married to his wife Jennifer who also umpires for NVSUA.

Wil Yow

Mark “Wil” Yow

Vice President / Secretary

Wil started umpiring just prior to the Covid pandemic in 2020, working my first high school game the week before the schools shut down. Since then, I have worked so many recreation ball, high school, and travel games that I have lost count! As a travel league softball coach and parent, when the weather is warm, you will usually find me at a field somewhere. The 2023-24 school year is my 19th year in public education, with my years spent as a middle school band director and high school marching band instructor and now as a grant program compliance administrator for the Washington DC public school system. The opportunities provided to kids through sports and other development programs are always near to my heart which is why I decided to serve on this board of directors. A die-hard baseball fan who is usually at the ballpark on a rare summer night away from the softball field, the 2019 season was one to cherish, even if all of our favorites now wear other uniforms…Go Nats!

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith


Jennifer Smith has been umpiring for 3 years. In this short time, she umpired local rec leagues all the way up to varsity games, including district and regional playoffs. In addition, she has extensive experience with USA Softball as she umpires weekend tournaments for 9 months of the year. She’s even been selected for two USA National tournaments. While not umpiring or handling the association’s finances, she assists the Umpire in Chief with the training and mentoring program of new umpires. Umpiring is a family affair for Jennifer as she and her husband, Stephen, the NVSUA President, can both be seen on the field together many times throughout the year. In fact, they make a point to get scheduled for a game together to celebrate their wedding anniversary on the field Jennifer’s day job is as an auditor with the Defense Contract Audit Agency. She has been an employee of the Department of Defense for almost 20 years.

Joe DeFranco

Joe DeFranco

Umpire in Chief

Joe DeFranco has been umpiring and/or coaching fast-pitch softball for over 36 years. Besides being the Umpire-in-Chief for Northern Virginia Softball Umpires Association (NVSUA), he is also the Central Virginia UIC for USA Softball.

Joe has been training umpires for over 30 years and with his unique approach of “hands on” training, many of the umpires trained through NVSUA have continued on to be very successful at the national and collegiate level. He also has an extensive collection of game videos that can demonstrate any rule by request. These video plays have been studied and discussed at all of his umpire training classes. Joe has also been the Junior Olympic UIC for the Metro DC ASA organization. Joe has also coached at the varsity high school and travel level for over 10 years so he knows the game of fast pitch from both the umpire’s and coach’s perspective. Joe is a retired high school math teacher after 30+ years. His family is also very involved in softball as well. Joe’s wife Debbie played softball for former Olympic coach, Ralph Raymond, in high school. His son JP has been a successful umpire at multiple levels including high school and NCAA. His daughter Marisa was a collegiate softball player at Emerson College.

Rudolph Coffield

Rudy Coffield

Member at Large

Rudolph Coffield is the Safety and Security Specialist at Westfield High School and Head Coach of the Girls Basketball program at South County High School. Rudy served 22 years in the US Army, retiring as a Sergeant Major and Afterward, he joined the Fairfax County Police Department. He retired in 2020 after 27 years in Law Enforcement. Rudy is the father of 3 daughters and 1 son and has 5 grandsons and 1 granddaughter who he spends time with as much as possible. He golfs and is a huge UCONN fan. Rudy began umpiring last year and umpired in a district game, a regional game and a final at USA Nationals 14 – 18 age group.

Bill Collins

Bill Collins


Bill has been commissioner since January of 2020 and previously served as Treasurer for 8 years. He is a member of NVSUA since 1998 and brings an extensive background in sports as a player, coach and umpire in baseball and softball for more than 50 years. Bill was a two-sport athlete in baseball and basketball from Little League through college, then as President of the Winchester Royals and Vice President of the Valley Baseball League (wood bat, collegiate development baseball league in the Shenandoah Valley). As a softball umpire for more than 40 years in Connecticut and Virginia and an officer in several umpires’ associations, Bill understands the Commissioner role from both the administrative and umpire perspectives. With more than 35 years working in the production and management of festivals and special events and serving on the Board of the International Festivals and Events Association for 6 years, Bill understands the importance of open, timely, and professional communication with NVSUA’s umpires and school and league administrators. As Commissioner, Bill is responsible for collecting and scheduling all games from our 45 high schools, 4 recreation house leagues and a growing list of travel teams. He assigns umpires to those games and prepares invoices for our clients at the end of each season. The Commissioner is an ex officio member of the Board of Directors, Training Committee and Umpire Support Program.