Umpire Shortage: Call to Action, News (Western Counties Baseball)

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Feb 07, 2022 | Katrina Cadotte | 606 views
Umpire Shortage: Call to Action
Hi Everyone,

As an affiliate, our objective is always to provide the best umpire crews for you at all times. The pandemic, however, has affected our umpire number of umpires

As a result, WCBA has been engaged in a project to attempt to find ways to mitigate the umpires shortage for 2022 and beyond. There are some ways that our local associations can help us.

You can help us out by actively recruiting umpires for the 2022 season and suggesting clinics they can attend. Email all your ball players peewee and above and use your social media to promote umpiring. There is a new level 2.3 accelerated program for adults. They can move to a level 2.3 in one season if they have ball experience or have officiated another sport and completed all the requirements. There is more information on the Baseball Ontario and Western Counties website under umpires. Locals should pay for the umpires clinic and provide equipment to the level 1 and 2 umpires to help reduce the initial costs of becoming an umpire. This equipment can be old catcher's equipment or have central storage that umpires can access gear. 

Your local may be back to running full programs for 2022, but our umpire crew will be limited as it was this past season. Many locals are making efforts to recruit, however, it is not likely we will gain the numbers and experience we had pre-pandemic. There may be times that we are cannot provide two umpires for your game, leaving one umpire to fill the role of two. Under these circumstances, you should pay the umpire 1.5 times the regular rate. This is to ensure more games are played.

When preparing your application for tournaments, please choose weekends that avoid weekends already booked by other WCBA tournaments. Remember to get approval from the Western Counties Umpire in Chief before booking a tournament (Sect 21 of the Constitution details the tournament application process). Please consider limiting the number of tournaments and the number of teams allowed into your tournament. This will help with the umpire shortage and availability. This shortage is province-wide. We may not be able to borrow umpires from another local to assist with tournaments. 

Unfortunately, for at least the 2022 season, we will not be able to provide for unlimited activity as we have in the past. Please make sure your teams are mindful of the number of games they are scheduling. Where possible, please play two games back-to-back so that one crew can do two games in a night. Double-headers will help us use our umpires more efficiently. Be aware of umpire burnout. Umpires will be working several nights a week to make the season happen.

Thanks, in advance, for your attention to our concerns. Here is looking to the 2022 season. 


Katrina Cadotte