Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Williamsburg Teen’s ‘Umpire Channel’ Now Offering Classes

Filming content for The Umpire Channel. (Noah Katz)

WILLIAMSBURG — After seeing the impact of The Umpire Channel, Williamsburg teen Noah Katz has launched a second phase of his company: teaching the next generation of umpires.

Always on the baseball field as a kid, Katz was often discouraged when games would get canceled due to an umpire shortage. He took action to make sure that no other kid would feel the disappointment of a canceled game.

The Umpire Channel took off after Katz posted a video of himself on TikTok. In the short time since the company launched in summer 2023, Katz has amassed over 94.9 thousand followers on TikTok and over 10.2 thousand subscribers on YouTube.

Originally designed to help lessen the umpire shortage, Katz has turned the company into a training platform for umpires. He has posted various video interviews with legendary umpires, information on how to become an umpire, and resources for umpires from the little league level to the major league level.

Through the program, Katz has filmed videos at some of the most famous places in baseball. From Cooperstown to Fenway Park, Katz is living his dream. He’s also found himself quite a fanbase.

“I have kids coming up to me at various baseball tournaments and they know the channel and are fans of the channel. I’ve had to take photos and sign autographs just because I had this niche idea to start The Umpire Channel,” Katz said.

Discussing umpiring with Umpire Channel fans. (Noah Katz)

Having grown the company, Katz is now offering a $150 course for those interested in becoming an umpire. The course is completely virtual and covers a variety of topics when it comes to being an umpire, from dealing with parents, to the gear needed to become an umpire, to the steps it takes to become an MLB umpire.

“The course takes you through all aspects of being an umpire. I really hope that by taking the course, people realize that there is really something out there for everyone when it comes to being an umpire,” Katz said.

Each video is between five and seven minutes and the course is divided into nine videos (a play on baseball’s nine innings). Once the course is completed, course graduates retain access to the course video library for life as well as access to the greater umpire community that Katz has built.

“You really become part of a community with my course. It’s a huge step forward for this profession to have a crash course that offers innovative techniques from all aspects of being an umpire. All the things that I cover in my course are tools for every level of the sport, from little league to major league,” Katz said.

A sophomore in college, Katz plans to continue growing the company, ultimately hoping to partner with other umpire organizations around the country to become the leading umpire education source. Katz would also eventually like to feature more than just baseball content.

For Katz, expanding the channel has been worth every ounce of work.

“Creating this channel has been a lot of work. I’ve spent countless hours in my college library editing and reaching out to people for videos. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it when you have people coming up to you at various baseball events that are fans of the channel and just want the chance to speak with you,” Katz said.

To register or learn more about the course, visit The Umpire Channel.

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