Po Chun Liu, a WBSC certified umpire for Women’s competition, became the first female umpire in Taiwanese baseball.
“As a girl, I wanted to play baseball. I love the game so much. My father was a player and would wake me up at 2 am to watch Little League baseball. At 13 I was told there’s no skirts allowed in baseball and that I could not play” said the 38 year old.
Nonetheless, she tried her best, She first became a volunteer for the Little League.
She then decided to move to the next level: “I thought the umpires were not good, so I told them I could do better”.
After she completed umpire training, she was told there was no equipment for her.
In 2009 she interpreted for the New York Yankees at a pitching clinic and it was the Yankees that donated what she needed. But it was not all: “I umpired 150 games, then I said I wanted to become a home plate umpire. They said it was impossible, because girls cannot touch the ball. During that time I was frustrated: people looked down on me and no one called me by name. I was just girl“.
Po Chun Liu (or Sophia Liu) is a member of the 2017 Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP), a partnership between the US State Department, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace and Society and ESPNW (The project by ESPN on women in sports, that has its own section on ESPN website).
“I will strike out gender discrimination so that more women in Taiwan will have a chance to play the game” she declares.
Po Chun Liu is also a social worker with single mothers in Taiwan: “I would like to use sports to encorage the girls I work with. I want to provide them with equal opportunity, then they will have the motivation to pursue their own happiness”,
She is now known as ‘The Mother of Women’s Baseball’ in Taiwan.
Po Chun Liu is spending her mentorship in the United States with Susan Cohig, Senior Vice President Business Affairs and Integrated Marketing at the National Hockey League (NHL).
“We have a six-person mentoring team here for Po-Chun. We make sure she is meeting with our marketing group, especially those who have expertise in digital marketing and social media. We’re a collaborative effort” commented Cohig.
The story of Po Chun Liu inspired 2 movies: the documentary ‘She is an Umpire’ and the fictional work ‘The Busy Young Psychic’, based on her experience as a medium when she was a High School student. It later became a TV series (‘The Teenage Psychic’, first HBO Asia series in the Chinese language).
Po Chun Liu is a WBSC certified umpire for Women’s baseball.