July 2011

Top Choice Baseball currently organizes thirty four to thirty six youth baseball tournaments in Arizona yearly including National Tournaments that are a week in length.  The average tournament hosts 90-250 teams from across the nation.  Top Choice Baseball is in its 13th year of operation and has contracted umpires through Copper State Umpires for 11 years.

Copper State Umpires is owned by Mark Hratko and he is directly responsible for assigning trained and professional umpires for all of Top Choice Baseball Tournaments that are currently sanctioned with USSSA Baseball.  The number of games range from two hundred up to five hundred for each tournament that Mark assigns with no shortages of available, trained umpires.  Mark is a hands-on assignor and continues to evaluate the performance of his umpires on a daily basis.  He also provides training through the Arizona Umpire School that is recognized on a National Level, many umpires attend the academy from all over the nation to be trained by a staff of professional MLB umpires that Mark is directly responsible for organizing.  In addition to the Arizona Umpire School, Mark will setup various training clinics to provide year round training.  This is what distinguishes Copper State Umpires from other umpire associations; most of them don’t provide training or evaluate the umpires that they assign.

I personally have worked with other umpire associations across the United States and none compare to the level of training, professionalism and customer satisfaction that Copper State provides.  This association is recognized on a National Level and is a model for other organizations to strive for which is a direct reflection of Mark Hratko.  Top Choice Baseball is fortunate to work with Copper State Umpires Association and credits the continued success of my business to Mark Hratko.

Rick Perreault
Top Choice Baseball, LLC

July 2011

"It is always a pleasure to work with Mark’s crews. Our evaluation of the umpires that we use goes beyond out or safe, ball or strike and fair or foul. Professional presentation of their craft, appearance and management of the game are attributes we insist on and CSUA exceeds these expectations."

Paul M. Frie
Recreation Manager- Sports Division
City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services

July 2011

“Triple Crown Sports has been involved with tournament baseball since 1995. Throughout the years I have had the opportunity to travel from coast to coast producing quality youth baseball programming for our organization. One of the most important facets of our business (if not THE most important) is quality umpiring/officiating. There are many different components to this relationship. The pre-communication, meeting set-up, scheduling, and on-field performance of our umpire group reflects strongly to our customers, and our event. I have worked with many different umpire associations all over the United States. Mark Hratko and Copper State Umpires Association have set the bar in our business as the model for a professional assigning group. They respect our business, and we have the utmost respect for their business. Not only do they have the deepest pool of umpires of any association we work with in the country, Copper State also prides itself on their system of new umpire training and development. Coverage and quality. We know we are getting both of these elements when working with Copper State. They are true professionals in the world of amateur baseball.”

Roland G. Rivera Jr.
Triple Crown Sports, Inc.

August 2011

The Arizona Men’s Senior Baseball League is 20 years old and going strong. The league was started to provide an opportunity for mature men 30 years and older to play baseball on some of the finest fields in America. Through the years, the league has grown from a handful of teams to a membership of over 660 players and, which now allows players as young as 18 to participate. Contributing to the league’s growth has been a solid and competent umpiring association.

Seven years ago the league was in search of a new umpiring association, one that was competent and capable of handling our growth. We met with and considered Mark Hratko’s presentation of his association, CSUA. Mark’s professionalism and expertise was evident to The Board of Directors so, the decision was made and an agreement signed with the Copper state Umpires Association and we haven’t looked back.

Mark’s crew members officiate many thousands of games per year for many different leagues from youth to professional but, the attention given our league, makes it seem as though we are their only responsibility. Mark is personally available at any time of day or night to handle any question or problem. On an annual basis the AZMSBL schedules over 600 games which means an opportunity for 600 glitches, be it a field or scheduling problem. Whatever that situation, Mark is there to accommodate the affected teams and the league. With 660 league members, there will be complaints or questions. Not only will Mark answer them one on one but, he reaches out and encourages players to contact him directly.

We anticipate continuing this fine working relationship with the CSUA.

John Silingo


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