The West Central Ohio Umpires Association (WCOUA) was informally founded by a group of umpires from the west central Ohio are as the Piqua Association in 1946. Founding members included:
- From Piqua: George “Tubby” Wilson, H.W. “Doc” Staley, Dick Woods, and Buck Hart.
- From Sidney: Mike Snavely and Homer “Whitey” Snavely
- From Troy: Dick Jackson
Although the State had yet to require umpire certificates or licenses, nor mandatory umpire meetings, these gentlemen met each Monday at the Piqua YMCA to discuss the game and its rules.
As the years passed, the State eventually chartered this informal association as the WCOUA, and made weekly umpire meetings across the state mandatory. In 1982, the State then required that umpires not only attend at least four meetings per year, but become certified as well.
Prior to this time, Doc Staley served as WCOUA’s first secretary and informal assignor. In 1982, Tubby Wilson assumed the role of secretary and became the group’s first State Certified Assignor. When the association formed in 1946, umpires actually secured games on their own through gentlemen’s agreements between themselves and athletic directors at area schools.
By 1982, assigning was done at meetings. Tubby would acquire schedules from nearby schools (Troy, Piqua, Greenville, Sidney, among others). He would then proceed to read the date and location of each game. The first two umpires to raise their hands were assigned the game. While in today’s world this method would seem almost too simple, this was the way assigning went on for many years.
Deron Brown later became the association’s third assignor and began to use ArbiterSports, an online platform, for this task. Umpires now even get paid online. Deron began this position in the late 1990s and was assisted early on by Roger McCullough (1999-2000) and Gary Dankworth, Sr. (2001). In 2002, Brad Zerkle was brought in as co-assignor. Since that time, Jim Heatherly and Sam Spano have also become affiliated assignors along with Chris Madigan.
In 2021, the association celebrated its 75th anniversary. WCOUA serves more than 100 schools, programs, and teams, and is one of the largest in Ohio. It consistently produces top tier officials in both softball and baseball as evidenced by the significant number of umpires selected for postseason and other notable assignments each year. Scott Barr (Sidney) was selected as the OHSAA Umpire of the Year in 2021. Additionally, in 2022, WCOUA will induct new members into its Hall of Fame.
The association also leads the state in education and training of umpires as it seeks to recruit to solve the shortage of officials in interscholastic sports currently plaguing the region, state, and nation. WCOUA also produces leaders as countless men and women served with pride leading the organization over its storied history.