Umpire Shortages Lead to Cancelled Games.

JV White loses half their season due to nation-wide umpire shortage.

Lauren Kopka

Outdoor sports always have been forced to cancel games due to inclement weather conditions, but this season, the umpire shortage is what’s keeping the JV White baseball team off the fields.

“I feel as we lose games [due to the shortage] the freshman of the team,  like me, will lose valuable in-game experience since the sophomores have already got to play as freshman last year,” freshman Decan Lewis said. “They only had about 7 games canceled last year. We have had 7 canceled this year. That’s about half of our games gone and unlikely to get rescheduled again because of the shortage of umpires.”

Across, the country the IHSAA has been struggling to supply the number of umpires needed to officiate games and tournaments for high school teams. Varsity teams have remained uninterrupted, but JV teams have been getting the short end of the stick.

“The lack of games can affect us as a team and players as it takes away opportunities to improve and see the game,” freshman Ty Earlwine said. “ The umpire shortage has just limited our team to not be able to get in a rhythm with the lack of games.”

Umpires have been in short supply this season for many reasons, some being the poor treatment they have received from parents and coaches, as well as how expensive it is to become IHSAA certified. Without the official certification, umpires are not allowed to officiate. Furthermore, aggression or verbal-abuse from parents and fans has been a problem in baseball stands across the country.

Possible solutions to the umpire shortage proposed by the players on JV White include is the IHSAA loosening umpire restrictions to open the position up to more people, contacting large travel baseball facilities to hire off their umpires, and stopping this issue at its source by immediately throwing out disrespectful or harassing parents.

As of now, the issue is nowhere near being resolved and players, coaches and parents on the JV White team only hope the problem