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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 30, 2018, 03:46pm
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In regards to the quality and number of umpires.

I work multiple different sports, and work multiple different levels from adult and college level down to little 5 year olds and everything in between in just about each sport.

The number of officials is dropping significantly. There are a couple reasons for this.

First, commitment time. It is not uncommon to get new officials starting who are college age students. They begin officiating because they can make extra money in college and stay involved in the sport(s) they participated in when they were growing up. What happens in 4 or 5 years? They have graduated from college and now have a career and often times get married and have a family. This cuts into the availability to officiate. We need to face the fact that for many people, their career does not allow them to officiate. A substantial number of people have 9-5 jobs, so they don't even get home until well after they leave work, meaning it's difficult to get to rec league games.

Second, the people we deal with. Too many sports have those parents, coaches, and spectators that simply take the fun out of the game. For some people this also includes other officials (especially officials trainers / assigners). New officials often times find the hassle of dealing with these people to be too much of a problem and stop. We also have too many teams / leagues that give in to this behavior because of the $$$$$$ these trouble making people bring to the table (think LaVar Ball attitude).

Third, we are losing officials and umpires because of age. I still don't see a lot of umpires and officials younger than me working many of the sports I officiate. This was the same view I had 10-15 years ago, and many of the people I'm working with are the same ones as 10-15 years ago. We are losing many of these older officials who are now physically and or mentally unable to work games. The age of the officials also has a secondary issue. This doesn't happen with all organizations, but is certainly happening with one I currently officiate with. The lack of quality help from older officials. We are not seeing quality help being given to younger officials. Why? I think part of it is because older officials fears of losing games. If you train an official from the next generation, and teach them everything you know, what's going to happen. You are going to have an official who in theory is equal from a mental standpoint, but is 20-30 years younger and physically in better condition. I understand the fear of losing out on games to younger officials.

I think there is one other attitude that is too present in this generation and that is the fear of hard work. Officiating all day for a couple days in a row is not easy. It takes a lot of physical and mental effort to work the all day events in different sports. One of the comments about mentioned umpires working 7-9 games in a row. Unfortunately that does happen, but we need to ask ourselves why is it happening. Is it because those umpires or money hungry and are hogging the games, or is it because they can't get enough people to actually work the games, and those umpires get forced to work that many games so things get covered? I've seen both sides and I've been on both sides. When I was younger I would easily volunteer to work 6 -8 basketball games a day (or flag football, or youth soccer). As I have gotten older I have avoided that and tried limiting myself to 4 at most in a day if possible. I had to do 6 games in a row a few weeks ago (flag football) and it about killed my legs. I only did that because the official who was supposed to work the other 2 had a funeral he wanted to attend, and I'm not totally heartless (but I am more heartless about taking games than I used to be).

There isn't one thing going on, but a lot of factors combining to create the problems we have currently in officiating.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 30, 2018, 03:47pm
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
They work back to back games all day. Some times 8 or 9 games. I donít care who you are, or how young or old you are. After 3 or so in a row, you are not a good umpire after that. You are just going through the motions, taking short cuts and developing bad habits. I have seen it happen many times.
The question is why are they working so many in a row? Is it because they are greedy, or is it because there are not enough umpires to give them breaks and the only way to get games covered is to umpire that many in a row?
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 30, 2018, 04:04pm
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Originally Posted by chapmaja View Post
The question is why are they working so many in a row? Is it because they are greedy, or is it because there are not enough umpires to give them breaks and the only way to get games covered is to umpire that many in a row?
Some of both of those, and I'll throw in another one. Lazy UICs. If a UIC for a tournament can get a rotation of 3 umpires to work 1 field for an entire day, it's easier for him/her than to try to add in a couple additional officials to ensure nobody's actually working too many games.

We had a UIC schedule a 76 year old umpire for 5 games on a Saturday. Course, he didn't get any semi-final or championship game on Sunday. He was JAG stupid enough to do the games for the money. And the next day could barely get out of bed.

I, too, am concerned about the quality of product officials are delivering when working their 4th, 5th, 8th game of a day.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 06, 2018, 09:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chapmaja View Post
The question is why are they working so many in a row? Is it because they are greedy, or is it because there are not enough umpires to give them breaks and the only way to get games covered is to umpire that many in a row?

When I play or umpire these things...I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE BREAKS. You're just dead. Breaks or really boring games just suck the life out of your legs.


Bad habits dont develop because you do too many games. You just sucked to begin with. Its an excuse I've heard a lot from guys wont do anything less than HS Varsity because "it gets you into bad habits". They are never where they are supposed to be in their varsity games either.
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