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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Williamsburg Teen’s Umpire Channel Continues to Grow, Adds NFL and NHL Content


Filming hockey-related content is a new addition to The Umpire Channel (Noah Katz)

WILLIAMSBURG — Noah Katz, a Williamsburg teen and founder of The Umpire Channel, continues to grow his company, adding the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) to his original baseball content.

Katz, who had played baseball all his life, would often find his games canceled due to a shortage of volunteer umpires. The Umpire Channel was founded to educate and offer resources for those looking to become umpires at the local, state, collegiate, and professional league levels.

His following on social media includes 24,000 on YouTube and 101.4K on TikTok.

After seeing the success of the videos, Katz began the second part of his company; an educational program. The educational video series aims to answer all questions relating to umpiring, including dealing with parents, the gear needed to be an umpire, and how to move up in the industry.

He’s now pivoted to add the NBA and NHL content to his channel.

On April 10, Katz attended a Brooklyn Nets game and met with NBA referees before the game.

“I sent an email to the NBA Referees Association and explained what I do with the channel. Their media person got back to me right away and expressed interest,” Katz explained.

Katz’s plan is to replicate the format of The Umpire Channel and use other sports as a way to show the differences in officiating.

“It’ll be similar to what I’ve done with baseball umpires. I’ll really go in and do a ‘day in the life’ video. I’ll visit with them during their pre-game meetings during the day, I’ll arrive at the arena with them and show their pre-game rituals. I’ll get videos during the game of them actually refereeing and then after the game, I’ll host interviews with them,” Katz said.

Noah, second from left, poses with NBA referees after adding basketball content to The Umpire Channel. (Noah Katz)

As he branched into hockey, he began covering the ECHL, a minor league hockey association. Katz’s first video received one million views and was the ECHL’s most-viewed video for the season.

Since launching the channel, Katz has been invited to attend and cover many different sporting events at all different levels. He recently umpired his first professional baseball game, taking the field with the Savannah Bananas, an exhibition barnstorming baseball team. They play games, often full of stunts, dances, theatrics, and tricks.

“As a baseball player and a content creator, I have always been in awe of the Savannah Bananas. I went down to Savannah to film with the umpires and had an absolutely incredible experience. I continued to film with the umpires and the team and then I got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to umpire scrimmages during their spring training,” Katz said.

For Katz, the channel is important to highlight the different aspects of what being an official means.

“The videos are really all about showcasing how being a referee can be an incredible job, that being an umpire can be an incredible job, and showing what their lives are like. I really try to get my interviewees to give advice to those who are just at the start of their journey,” Katz said.

Soon, Katz will also add content from Major League Soccer (MLS) referees.

To follow The Umpire Channel, visit the official YouTube channel.

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