NYBA Umpire Feature ….The Anas Brothers

North York Baseball is proud of all of the baseball families in our association. We have brothers and sisters playing on the same team or on opposing teams. Some of those siblings become umpires – umpiring together or each other.

This year, NYBA has a trio of umpires: The Anas brothers, pictured above from left to right: Ahyan, Imad and Aabid.

Aabid and Imad have been umpiring for North York since 2017. They both started off as players but now are focussing on umpiring and coaching. Two years ago Ahyan joined NYBA house league as a player and started umpiring house league games. This year he is an OBA Certified Level 1 umpire – joining the NYBA umpire roster.

NYBA along with other baseball associations across the GTA are grateful to have such professional and dedicated umpires as the Anas brothers. Umpires are as much a part of the game as players!

Here is their story.


Here is a little story of my road to umpiring:

While the 3 of us were born and raised in Toronto, we’re of Sri Lankan descent. We started off playing cricket. In elementary school, I used my cricket skills and tried out for the school softball team. I made the team and at our tournament, Bill Down, who was coaching one of our opponents, handed out NYBA cards. I was hooked on baseball and introduced it to my family. Shortly after both Imad and I were playing at North York.

A year later, in 2015, I started umpiring Rookie Ball house league games, and in 2017 I became a level 1 certified Baseball Ontario umpire. A year later, I stopped playing baseball but continued with umping. I umped through the Covid-19 pandemic, and today I’m a level 3 umpire who umps all levels and age groups at 6 different organizations in Toronto.

Throughout my years of umpiring, I’ve seen the development of many players, with some playing now at the collegiate level.  For some players, I’ve been umpiring them so long that I know what their tendencies are, so when they swing and miss on a pitch that I know they liked, I tell them “That was your pitch.”

I’ve also seen the progress of younger umpires. Even though North York only officially started their umpire mentorship program last year, I’ve been umpiring with lower-level umpires for several years. I’ve given them advice whenever I could and answered whatever questions they’ve had. I often tell them that we don’t get paid to call balls and strikes — we get paid for game management. By this, I mean that it’s our job to stay calm and professional when the game gets intense. This, however, is much easier said than done.

I’ve been asked many times why I love umpiring so much, and the answer’s simple: When I’m umpiring, I’ve got the best seat in the house for my favorite sport.

Last year, Imad and I umpired the 18U AA TBA Finals. Though it was an intense tournament, the finals were much calmer, with players, coaches, and spectators from both teams thanking us as we left the field. We’ve umpired many games together, and we’re looking forward to umpiring with Ahyan as well — maybe in a 3-umpire system.

Sometimes I get recognized when I’m not at the ballpark. Once, I was walking downtown in a North York shirt, and I heard one kid tell his friend “That’s the umpire.”

As a family, we’re grateful for Bill Down for introducing us to NYBA, Paul Chamberlain, for starting us off with umpiring, and of course, Tracey Lawson, the hardworking umpire-in-chief at NYBA who always has her umpire’s backs.


I began umpiring at North York baseball when I was 12 in 2017. At the time, I was playing rep baseball for North York as well.

I first began as a house league umpire before umpiring rep games and I still remember my first umpire game. Believe it or not, I was actually going over the notes I took at the umpire clinic in my classroom that day as I was very nervous going into the game. During this game, because it was rookie ball, I was off to the side calling the pitches, and after that, I realized that I’d want to do this for a long time because it was a different perspective to the game of baseball from what I was used to, which was playing.

Right now, I’m a level 3 umpire umpiring for 3 different organizations across Toronto and I love the opportunity to call the game, whether I’m behind the plate or on the field. I love umpiring as it gives me a sense of control and directorship as we as umpires are essentially running the game.

Some memorable moments I had throughout the years were umpiring in a 4-umpire system. This was pretty cool as it resembled an actual MLB game and each umpire had to cover only one base, making our job easier.  I have also umpired several TBA championship games throughout the years and they were all very intense as each team wanted to win badly so there was pressure on us umpires to make the right call at every moment of the game. However I enjoyed umpiring these championship games as I liked the intensity that came along with it.

I’m very grateful that we three brothers have the opportunity to help out North York Baseball through umpiring, and we’re very grateful for those who have helped us along the way. We could not have done this without the help of many people such as Tracey Lawson and Heather Robertson.


I grew up with 2 brothers who were big baseball fans. When I was young, I used to watch my brother’s play and umpire baseball and I had a feeling that I will one day be an umpire as well. So it really is an honour to be known as one of “The Anas Brothers” and I continue to strive to maintain the impact my brothers and I have in the NYBA community.

North York Baseball Association provides House League and Elite/Rep/Select levels of play for boys and girls 6-18 and a Junior team. Games are played at Bond Park in North York. NYBA also supports a robust umpire program – learn more here.

NYBA is celebrating 50 years of serving the community!

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