Willis Miles

In 1951, Willis Miles started a 33-year career that would take him from playing for and managing the Demons to being probably the only umpire to officiate at the world championships of all four major softball organizations. He officiated with the USSSA from 1980 to1994, with the ASA from 1994 to 1998, with the NSA from 1998 to 2003, and with the BASA from 1999 to 2003. During these years, he was selected to umpire at fourteen USSSA Nationals (eleven finals); he worked five ASA Nationals (four times in the finals), five NSA World Tournaments (finals five times), and three BSA World Tournaments. From 1981 to 2004, he became Umpire and Chief Director, a task that has honed his executive skills and has expanded his knowledge of the rules and patience behind the plate. The hardest part of being an executive is making decisions about teams and players that he played with and against for 25 years, but it did give him the opportunity to expand 16″softball and give back to a game that he loves. As commissioner, he was instrumental in starting leagues and new programs in the inner city and building relationships with various park districts. Throughout his years of officiating, he has held many titles: he has been president of the Chicago Metro Officials Association, the C.E.O. of Black American Softball of Illinois, is an umpire and area director of the Amateur Softball Association, a national director of the National Softball Association and the Black American Softball Association, an area director of the United States Slow-Pitch Softball Association, and is a member of the South Suburban Officials Association, and the Illinois High School Association. Aside from his time spent as an umpire of softball, he also spends his time officiating volleyball, high school fast-pitch softball, and slow pitch 11” and 12” softball.