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  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    HS, MS, CYO
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
  1. I work at an accountant's office for a sole proprietor. Presently, I'm working from home, but I worry how long that might last with all of our small business bookkeeping clients all shut down and not paying us for now. Luckily, our tax preparation has remained on par with any other year. Small businesses have been hit very hard with the state's current restrictions and I fear some may still struggle for the rest of the year if and when they resume full operations -- our office included if we don't get our full revenue stream back any time soon. If my current job were to end any time soon, either from COVID-19 related reductions, or my boss making good on her talk of finally retiring, I'm not sure what will happen because now isn't the best time to be trying to find a new job. I also know officials who use their money as emergency savings or supplemental income that helps pay some of their bills. Those that have already lost games this spring and face the possibility of losing games this summer and/or fall will eventually feel a noticeable hit to their budgets even if they have a primary job -- especially if they get hit with any unexpected major expenses now. My parents, being retired from different areas of healthcare, are most concerned about a second wave. I don't know enough to know how legitimate the concern over a second wave is and how much is merely media frenzy. Neighbors seem to be making do the best they can as they seem to grasp that most of whats going on is out of their control. Even though my city is only averaging 5 deaths per 10 000 (0.05%) at present, I'm okay for now with waiting things out until the rate of change in deaths in both the region and state decrease enough to allow business and activities to gradually resume in tiers with tiers being rolled back if and when the rate increases sharply again. I feel this is probably the most realistic approach to balance public health with people's need to function and support their households. It's probably not surprising since I've always been a realist who prefers facts, logic, and numbers over emotions and hype. Having worked for a number of small businesses over the years, my biggest concern is that the longer people are hindered in their ability to support their households or operate their businesses, the more louder the demands will be to open everything back up at once even if it's not yet the best decision. To put it more succinctly, a veteran official I respect once told me during a basketball game's intermission that officials need to balance flow of the game and player safety at the interscholastic level without compromising either. We need a similar balance in managing the pandemic and getting people back to work. As an aside, this was supposed to be my fourth season of softball and second season of baseball. I was especially looking forward to whatever baseball games I might have received this year so I could work at improving my baseball strike zone and mechanics while getting more comfortable with the differences between the two sports.
  2. I couldn't find anything definitive apart from talk about prorating numbers for businesses that started in the middle of 2019 and operated less than 12 months. What I did find stated consistently on some of the sites I checked was that most, if not all, of the money has already been applied for.
  3. I received a job-related e-mail today and, according to the formula, loan amounts for self-employed/contractors are based on the net income appearing on Schedule C and not gross receipts. Five twenty-fourths of my 2019 net income -- using the formula (NI / 12) x 2.5 -- came to less than the minimum $1000 amount, so I'm out of luck even though my actual net income for the 2.5 months of Spring 2019 exceeded that. The months where I had little or no officiating income apparently worked against me when averaging out for the entire year. Apparently, the extra $500 is only for dependents age 16 and under. Perhaps this is because the age limit is also 16 and under to claim the child tax credit that can be claimed on an individual (1040) return?
  4. The one thing that seems to be a sticking point at first reading is that requirement that 75% of any amount received be used for payroll. From the SBA Site: I'm curious how "payroll" will be interpreted for an independent contractor. Umpires working as independent contractors don't have employees working for them, so the requirement that 75% of any amount be used towards payroll could be a potential sticking point in received loan forgiveness. However, one link (archive) I found researching the issue suggests that net earnings from self-employment would qualify as payroll costs, but I'm not quite how one would demonstrate the money received replaces net earnings. Does it have to be spent on personal expenses? Can it simply be deposited in the bank and left alone? How the SBA would wants this documented appears to be the $64000 question. I'm also curious how one would calculate the amount of lost income. If it goes solely by actual games cancelled, some umpires might not have received enough games this year to exceed the $1000 threshold before their season was canceled. If umpires can take what they made in January-March and annualize that amount, or use prior years' numbers to calculate what they'd lose this Spring, that might help those who otherwise might not meet the threshold.
  5. My first Spring game is presently April 20 and my schedule has been slowly filling through May. The optimist in me is pleased, but the realist in me wonders if or when these games might be canceled should our governor declare school out for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year.
  6. Recently, someone in a different forum I frequent posted something from a local newspaper about the declining numbers of officials in my state. Apparently, we lost 140 baseball umpires and 90 softball umpires statewide compared to a year ago. The article also featured my baseball/softball assignor who stated what most officials that work for him already know: he goes crazy in the Spring spending hours trying to do his best to adequately cover baseball and softball. Last year, it wasn't uncommon to get at least one call a week stating that my softball game at school X was being changed to a baseball game at school Y or vice versa. On a couple of occasions, I was even called to say my partner was needed elsewhere and I'd be working solo. If we somehow manage to have a spring HS season here this year, I expect the umpires in my group will be stretched quite thin -- more so than last year -- trying to cover all the games. I have no plans to leave baseball (or softball, either) at present. If that were to change, it would have nothing to do with what's happening this Spring. Even if my job situation were to change in a way that would make me unavailable for 4:00/4:30 PM weekday game times, I'd still continue to register for baseball and softball because there are plenty of weekend games here that need to be covered such as non-league HS baseball doubleheaders, sub-varsity HS softball tournaments, and CYO baseball/softball. However, I could see older umpires or any other umpires already debating their future not wanting to come back with the lack of games this spring being a contributing factor in the decision.
  7. Agreed. If player safety is first and foremost with interscholastic sports, then it's understandable to postpone or cancel games as part of a larger plan to keep all involved parties safe. That said, there's also nothing wrong with discussion about the impact of this decision -- such as the financial impact on umpires and other sport officials who use their game fees to supplement their income or help pay bills -- so long as proper perspective is kept. I'm glad you're OK. I wish the public received more reports/updates with practical advice on how to avoid COVID-19 and what to do if one has it instead of reporting information that seems to conflict and cause more confusion instead of less. Agreed. One would hope that while stuff is shut down, especially the schools, those places would take time to thoroughly disinfect as they do when nasty strains of flu or norovirus hit. That way, when the downtime ends, it would be easier to resume normal activity again provided people took time to take the recommended precautions. I saw a tweet earlier that the NAIA has since cancelled spring sports for all member schools (article / archive).
  8. @Thunderheads, I've dropped you a PM to answer that.
  9. I do my baseball and softball for the OAA (and the additional schools that the assignor handles) along with basketball. The e-mail I received came from the CHSL where I only do basketball because they sent it to every official in their Arbiter Group regardless of what sports they work for the league. It is a bit surreal that the sporting events one might watch over the weekend aren't taking place right now.
  10. I saw this site mentioned on officiating.com as a more active forum for baseball, so I decided to register in hopes it can be a useful resource. At present, I recently finished my eighth year officiating basketball and -- if COVID-19 doesn't totally wipe out Spring HS sports this year -- I'll be doing my fourth year of softball and second year of baseball.
  11. Schools had just started tryouts/the first week of practice this week when this all transpired. I received a similar mass-mail from an assignor about having no games until April 6. With schools closed for the rest of the month, our association's meeting site is now unavailable. I'm not sure how, where, or if we will make them up, but I see the MHSAA is willing to be flexible with meeting attendance this Spring in terms of granting umpires MIGS (member in good standing) status. My first game is supposed to be April 20. I have no idea if that will change as the result of this three-week downtime, nor do I know if the spring season will run in any sort of capacity.
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