The NPB Umpire School is currently taking place at Lotte Urawa Stadium (between the 18th and 23rd). Fifty-two people are taking the program. The top three to four will have a chance to participate in spring camp. If they do well, they could go on to become professional umpires. Active NPB umpires and Justin Klemm are acting as instructors.
Among the fifty-two participants is nineteen-year-old Riko Shinozaki. She is a graduate of Matsusho Gakuen High School in Nagano, where she was a member of the rubber baseball team.