Advertisement

For the love of the game: umpire shortage hits Michiana

359 high school baseball games and 82 softball games have been canceled this season in Indiana due to umpire shortages.
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 11:48 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - There’s a shortage of sports officials across the country.

With so many umpires nearing retirement safety, not enough young people are coming out to slide into these roles.

“I think there’s a few of us getting a little gray and a little older. Those guys that are retiring and were just not seeing the young people come into our advocation” said Local Umpire and Assigner Roger Griffith.

There are only so many umpires to go around.

359 high school baseball games and 82 softball games have been canceled this season in Indiana due to umpire shortages.

693 baseball and 192 softball games had just one umpire.

“Everybody is kind of going after the same guy or gal to umpire. And at this point, I think with baseball, we’re starting to see ladies getting into umpiring, and at this point, we’re all for it. Change is coming,” said Local Umpire and Assigner Steve Kajzer.

The St. Joseph Valley Umpire Association is teaming up with the IHSAA to help bolster their ranks.

“We’ve started a new program with the IHSAA with Adams is our local school that’s doing it. Mishawaka will start next year. They will have in-school learning called officiating 101. We’ll have that in 3 schools in our area. So that’s what we’re working on; some mentoring programs that we hope will advance that. Just recruiting, recruiting, recruiting,” said Griffith.

If you’d like a good summer job or just love baseball, contact a local high school or little league and have them put you in contact with fellow umpires or look online for an umpire association near you.

Copyright 2022 WNDU. All rights reserved.