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LMSANS

Rain, No Pay

25 posts in this topic

I've had concerns since this organization went statewide.  The guys responsible for the umpires have a not so good reputation for non-payment, late payment and other such conduct.  Here is the latest scenario.  I received this in an email from one of my assigners.

 

We had a situation on Thursday at a USABL game.
The crew that was assigned to the 6:30 pm game called
me from the field at 6:15 due to lighting in the area.
The coaches at the game decided to cancel the game at
6:29 pm. I inform USABL that the coaches had canceled the game
and was told that the officials WOULD NOT BE PAID any fees by USABL.
 
This did not sit right with me. We called Babe Ruth who
is the President of USABL, but only got his voice mail. At that
point I sent him an e-mail which was ignored by him. Tomas
our Vice President reached out to Mr. Ruth and this is his reply;
 
“Tomas-- If we paid for all 60 games last night that got rained out with very badly timed rain we would be in the red. This is just a SH*#ty situation likewise one pitch is thrown and you get full pay. Not to mention the game still gets rescheduled we end up paying twice but do not get paid again by teams as you know. I get when a team cancels and does not tell anyone but when it is out of everyone's hands and mother nature rains at the worst time possible we would ask that all umpires understand.”

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Here, rain outs don't pay. Even if you're there and dressed. Unless you start the game, once the plate meeting ends, that's when we get paid. Cancelled games less than 24 hours (really it's 6) or no shows, then it's paid.

 

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The same organization pays their northwest umpires travel fees when games are cancelled within one hour or less of the start time.

We organized our group and negotiated a deal with them. That was part of the deal. PM me if you want more of the details.

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In my province, our provincial organization negotiates agreements and standards with various organizations, youth and adult. I know some people like being a private contractor, but sometimes you need a umpire association to represent umpires in negotiation of standards and fees for assigned umpires with leagues and assignors.  

Even at my local youth association, we have decided that if the umpire is at the game when it is called then full game fees are to be paid. The onus is the home team to cancel the game in a timely manner.  Even if the umpire is in transit, full fees are paid. 

Me thinks if the assigning body is saying tough noogies to umpires who have games cancelled, then there are probably too many non-officiating people with their hands in the cookie jar. If a day of rain is putting them into financial peril, then maybe they should not be assigning games. I wonder if they still got paid for assigning those games. 

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43 minutes ago, BrianC14 said:

Not even a show up fee?

Nuttin'!

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1 hour ago, LMSANS said:

Nuttin'!

It can range from "full fee once it's assigned" to "no fee until the game is official" -- and obviously those are both extremes that are "never" used.  Exactly where it falls between depends on what your assigner / you the league have agreed to.  As far as I can tell, you knew the deal when you took the game, so it seems strange (to me) to be complaining about it now.

 

I do agree that you have an overall complaint about it -- most would give some sort of show-up fee, and bill the teams for it, so all share in the misfortune -- the umpire gets less, the team pays more, the assigner has to do more work to re-assign the game.  But, the complaint, and the negotiation, need to take place in the offseason.  And, it might be, that in exchange for the show-up feed, that you don't get the full game fee unless it becomes official.  For example, you might get a $25 show-up fee, plus $5 / inning for the first 5 (or partial), plus $10 after 5 -- making it a $60 game fee.

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I would not work that league. I am not a volunteer, I expect to be paid for my time and effort. No pay (not even a show up fee), no play. 

Turn the situation around. Suppose the umpiring crew saw the weather as imminently threatening or sufficiently iffy, and instead of showing up, perhaps to be stiffed, decided to stay home? But the weather at the game site cleared up--and no umpires! 

As far as I can tell from the OP, it is unclear whether the no-fee policy was known in advance, so I won't fault anyone for complaining after the fact.

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Back in Wisconsin, Leagues had a notification policy. If a game is called due to weather or field conditions inside 1-hour to game time, the umpires got half a game fee (I'd have to ask @Matthew Turner if that's still in place). This was due to all game venues being on average within a 1-hour drive of the Umpiring populace. Outside of an hour, it was "That's life in Wisconsin" and we'd hit the assigning website, looking for games with open slots remaining and still being played.

Tournaments were a whole different animal. Within the terms and conditions for those, if games were cancelled, you weren't paid. If you were already on-site, you might get a benevolent TD who would do anything from give you a few bucks for gas to comp you concession food (stuff four hot dogs in your face!), but it was entirely dependent upon the TD.

Here in Arizona... what are rainouts?

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I'm not complaining, just sharing.  I'm not working summer ball this year.  I just wanted to share for discussion. @kevin_K shared some info about his organization's deal. It may be useful during the offseason. I'm just an umpire, I don't get involved in the business side of things.

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I've generally felt you have to take the good with the bad - if a game lasts a couple innings and you get a full fee, a game lasts 60 minutes, a game lasts 3 hours, a rainout happens 10 minutes before game time, etc..it usually kind of evens out in the end. The best way to deal with this would probably for your assignor/association etc. to have negotiated (and for the teams to have agreed to) something like MadMax described.  

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13 hours ago, LMSANS said:

I've had concerns since this organization went statewide.  The guys responsible for the umpires have a not so good reputation for non-payment, late payment and other such conduct.  Here is the latest scenario.  I received this in an email from one of my assigners.

 

We had a situation on Thursday at a USABL game.
The crew that was assigned to the 6:30 pm game called
me from the field at 6:15 due to lighting in the area.
The coaches at the game decided to cancel the game at
6:29 pm. I inform USABL that the coaches had canceled the game
and was told that the officials WOULD NOT BE PAID any fees by USABL.
 
This did not sit right with me. We called Babe Ruth who
is the President of USABL, but only got his voice mail. At that
point I sent him an e-mail which was ignored by him. Tomas
our Vice President reached out to Mr. Ruth and this is his reply;
 
“Tomas-- If we paid for all 60 games last night that got rained out with very badly timed rain we would be in the red. This is just a SH*#ty situation likewise one pitch is thrown and you get full pay. Not to mention the game still gets rescheduled we end up paying twice but do not get paid again by teams as you know. I get when a team cancels and does not tell anyone but when it is out of everyone's hands and mother nature rains at the worst time possible we would ask that all umpires understand.”

I think they should pay travel pay to the umpires who were there, but not game fees. Game didn't even start.  Or half a game fee.  As far as the games scheduled for after that no pay.  Will say these umpires should have been called about the cancellations or get a half games fee.

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10 hours ago, BCBrad said:

In my province, our provincial organization negotiates agreements and standards with various organizations, youth and adult. I know some people like being a private contractor, but sometimes you need a umpire association to represent umpires in negotiation of standards and fees for assigned umpires with leagues and assignors.  

Even at my local youth association, we have decided that if the umpire is at the game when it is called then full game fees are to be paid. The onus is the home team to cancel the game in a timely manner.  Even if the umpire is in transit, full fees are paid. 

Me thinks if the assigning body is saying tough noogies to umpires who have games cancelled, then there are probably too many non-officiating people with their hands in the cookie jar. If a day of rain is putting them into financial peril, then maybe they should not be assigning games. I wonder if they still got paid for assigning those games. 

I imagine the mileage might be more where you're at, but I don't agree with a game fee for somebody who is notified in transit.  If that's the case who's to say that some people won't take advantage of it and ruin it for everybody else?  I do agree with your statement concerning hands in the cookie jar.

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8 hours ago, LMSANS said:

Nuttin'!

That I disagree with. If nobody notifies you then half a game fee. If one pitch gets thrown then a full fee.

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3 hours ago, MadMax said:

Back in Wisconsin, Leagues had a notification policy. If a game is called due to weather or field conditions inside 1-hour to game time, the umpires got half a game fee (I'd have to ask @Matthew Turner if that's still in place). This was due to all game venues being on average within a 1-hour drive of the Umpiring populace. Outside of an hour, it was "That's life in Wisconsin" and we'd hit the assigning website, looking for games with open slots remaining and still being played.

Tournaments were a whole different animal. Within the terms and conditions for those, if games were cancelled, you weren't paid. If you were already on-site, you might get a benevolent TD who would do anything from give you a few bucks for gas to comp you concession food (stuff four hot dogs in your face!), but it was entirely dependent upon the TD.

Here in Arizona... what are rainouts?

No kidding. I live in the Coachella Valley and have had maybe 2 rain outs in 22 years.  And I started out in Tennessee and we got a half game fee if we weren't notified of the rain outs in a timely fashion.

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We get half a game fee if we show and the games are called. But we have had to e-mail the home team's coaching staff or administration at least 48 hours previous to confirm game location and times. 

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Last week my partner and I showed up to a game only to find that no teams were there. The game had been called due to rain, but the site director/coaches failed to notify our assigner. This situation, I believe, should warrant a full fee. Instead, we got a travel fee. How hard is it to tell the umpires the game is canceled?

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Ours matters on notification period by the different leagues (range is 1.5 hours to 3 hours) for teams to notify assigner who then communicates it by Arbiter or text/phone.  Half game fee to umpires if they don't comply billed from the association.  Most of our leagues collect a bond from the teams for these situations and most league rules state they have to renew their bond within a stated timeframe (usually about a week) or they can no longer play games.  Works pretty well, I had one game on a perfect sunny day called 2 hours before game, assigner texts me and says those games cancelled go to this other site I need you there.  I wasn't expecting it but got my show up fee because of the late cancel.

Tournaments are a bit of a different story, pretty much you have to start a game to get the fee, and cancellation windows are tighter, but never had an issue of not being notified.

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I do some Assigning and my standard rule is, if the game gets cancelled before the first pitch but less than 1 1/2 hours before the first pitch due to rain, field conditions etc. it is 1/2 game fee. If game is a forfeit or the coach books 2 sets of umpires then you get the full game fee. Before 1 1/2 hours you get nothing. Sometimes that means guys are already in the road to the field but it is what I have negotiated and most seem to be good with it.


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On 7/16/2017 at 0:22 PM, Kevin_K said:

The same organization pays their northwest umpires travel fees when games are cancelled within one hour or less of the start time.

We organized our group and negotiated a deal with them. That was part of the deal. PM me if you want more of the details.

But, did you have to lower the game fee, even if just by $5 to get this deal. Or, do you still get your normal game fee and this would technically come out of the TD/assignor/whoever's pocket when these situations happen, lowering their take/$$$$$ when this happens. Or, is the tournament fee to the teams increased for the possiblity of this happening several times and then the teams are reimbursed if the situation does not happen.

Any responses as to the amount charged by this group in your area for the teams to play a tournament, versus the charge to the teams in other areas to play a tournament by this group in other areas.

Once again, seems like TD is the place to be compared to the lowly umpire.

So, come on, What are the TD's making all over the country with this gig, and how much are umpires making doing this gig. 50k plus for TD's and 10k max an umpires work over the year???

Just curious, and yes I know that curiosity killed the cat and probably could kill an umpiring opportunity, so sad but probably true.

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If I show up to a game I better get paid. I drove there and was ready to go, if the weather is that bad cancel in time for me to know not to drive there. At my complex if my umps show they get paid if they ump that night or not.

 

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On 7/16/2017 at 4:45 PM, noumpere said:

It can range from "full fee once it's assigned" to "no fee until the game is official" -- and obviously those are both extremes that are "never" used.  Exactly where it falls between depends on what your assigner / you the league have agreed to.  As far as I can tell, you knew the deal when you took the game, so it seems strange (to me) to be complaining about it now.

 

I do agree that you have an overall complaint about it -- most would give some sort of show-up fee, and bill the teams for it, so all share in the misfortune -- the umpire gets less, the team pays more, the assigner has to do more work to re-assign the game.  But, the complaint, and the negotiation, need to take place in the offseason.  And, it might be, that in exchange for the show-up feed, that you don't get the full game fee unless it becomes official.  For example, you might get a $25 show-up fee, plus $5 / inning for the first 5 (or partial), plus $10 after 5 -- making it a $60 game fee.

This is essentially how our local association has it set up....the numbers aren't exactly the same but close enough.

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In my area of Washington we have what I think is a very reasonable deal. Games not canceled 2 hours prior to first pitch are assumed to be on. Umpires are paid full fee (plus travel for HS games), even if the teams are not there. I ended up getting game fees on back to back days due to games being called and neither team showing up, but no one canceled the umpires. If I start going to a game I have blocked out the time to do so, and for some of us that means we have passed on other ways of making money, be it passing on working overtime, taking a double shift, working on a day off or even taking time off work. All of those scenarios cost the official money. The game fee is a reimbursement of your time. I can honestly say that if I was told that I would get nothing for a rain out, I would tell my assignor to not bother giving me games in advance. I'll call him and tell him the day of the game if I want one. And if that sounds ridiculous to you, that is exactly what teams are doing to you by not paying IN FULL for your time in showing up to a game on time. For an average game of 2.25 hours it actually takes me 4-5 hours of my time to work, once driving to the site, getting dressed, pre-game with my partner(s) and changing afterwards. I have blocked out 4-5 hours of my day to work a game, it costs me a heck of a lot more then that $50-60 game fee to miss 4-5 hours at my job. So full fee is the only thing that is acceptable to me in this case.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, on a DH we are to be paid for the next game if we leave the field to get changed and are not canceled before we leave. I go a game fee this year at a tournament that re-bracketed without telling the umpires and ended up not needing the 2nd crew at my site. It was going to be my 3rd game of the day, so I didn't mind leaving, but the organization was billed for the full fee anyway. This prevents TDs from being able to pull shenanigans like "pre-scheduling" their makeup games and then deciding that they don't want to make them up at the last minute. I will say that if we had been told that the 3rd game had been canceled as we were leaving the field (rather then 30 minutes later with my partner putting on his gear) they wouldn't have been billed for the extra game.

Edited by Jasper_C
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