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The Captain Award program needs people to help reach local sports sponsors! Want to get involved? Contact us.


The Captain Award was created in 2005 by Cris Maloney, a field hockey umpire, umpire coach, and author, to help foster collaborative relationships between players and umpires. The award recognizes players who demonstrate superior rules knowledge, excellent sportsmanship, and mature leadership skills. Our mission is to increase sportsmanship and the standard of officiating in all sports.

After seeing the positive results in one NJ county (through a three-year charter and continuing sponsorship by Henderson Sotheby's International Realty), Mr. Maloney found additional sponsors and was able to expand the Captain Award to deserving captains in five New Jersey counties.

In 2008, Mr. Maloney sought the help of colleagues who had athletic, educational and business backgrounds. Together they established a nonprofit organization and became its first board of directors. The board oversaw an expansion of the Captain Award and asked Mr. Maloney to develop the program beyond its original scope into a more comprehensive nationwide program for all high school and college sports.

The goals of the Captain Award program are:

-- To continue to recognize top captains

-- To provide rules education for players, coaches, and fans

-- To encourage umpires to enroll in advanced umpire training programs

-- To improve player and umpire sportsmanship/collaboration

While any player can be nominated and all team captains are automatically eligible, the Captain Award winner is typically a player who helps ensure the fairest possible outcome of a game because he or she has in-depth rules knowledge. Consequently, that player can be an informed advocate for her or his team when a challenge must be issued to umpire's call, or can provide a balanced approach to defuse unsportsmanlike behavior by teammates or other team personnel.

At the high school level, the Captain Award program seeks the generous contributions of national, state, county, and local sport sponsors.

At the college level, the Captain Award program seeks funding from conference and national sponsors.

The award can be sponsored by a business or an individual, and sponsorship can be acknowledged or anonymous.

If you or someone you know is interested in supporting the award, please click here.