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Long Island no umpires, bad conduct-again

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Here we go again with guys/gals quiting over coach/fan conduct..

Check out those game fees for all sports at the end.

More than a 5 year triple A veteran per game.

JV level in several sports making more than a rookie AAA umpire.

Middle school making more than AA.

 

https://www.newsday.com/sports/high-school/high-school-umpires-referees-officials-1.31620328

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Seriously?!?  $124 for varsity baseball??!!  I can put up with a lot more for that kind of money.  :)

 

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In case there's any state officials or organization presidents scouring this board for ideas on recruiting and keeping new officials:

1. Move start times to 5pm or later and prioritize games to Friday evenings and weekends. Not all people can leave work every day for a 4pm game, and even 5pm games are difficult.

2. Find a way to offset initial costs, especially in equipment-heavy sports, like baseball. An initial cost of $400+ is too much for many new officials to handle. EIther have used equipment they can "borrow" for their first year or two, or work with a supplier (ump-attire, Gerry Davis) to offer a lower price to the organization. The organization pays for the equipment and takes it out over the year, whether through holding back pay or having the umpire pay installments. If they stop officiating or paying before it's paid off, the equipment is returned to the organization, who uses it for borrowing to the next group of officials. If possible, have the schools help pay for the equipment - with 20 schools and 5 new officials at $400, it's about $100 per school; at $5/game, they're helping cover that expense. If they need officials in order to play their games, they should help in getting officials properly equipped onto the field.

3. Stop with the "Good Ol' Boys" scheduling. So many times the longest-tenured officials get the better games, rather than the better-qualified ones. On top of that, these same officials refuse to work earlier-scheduled games, even if doing so makes more officials available. For example, these longer-tenured officials are retired, but only get the games later in the day, despite being available for the earlier games.

4. Take care of the fans. Let them know that abuse isn't tolerated and actually do something when it happens. Rather than having a "site administrator" sitting in their office, or on the sidelines talking to another teacher or parent, actually walk around to the different games, standing within earshot of the fans. When abuse occurs, ask the offender to leave.

5. Take care of the officials. Give them an actual private changing room inside the school and offer a ride to the field if it's away from the school. Give them a ride back at the end of the game. Offer water and healthy snacks in the changing room, along with appropriate heating/cooling. Provide water throughout the game.

6. Waive/refund state membership costs after a certain number of games officiated. Step it down if needed. Assuming $40 to register, refund $10 after the 20th game and another $10 for every 10 games after that (adjust as needed for the sport and realistic expectations). Rather than paying the money, use it to offset their fees for the next year. "You worked 30 games last year, so you'll only need to pay $25 next year." If you raised the yearly cost to $45 or $50, you'll more than offset the amounts you're "refunding".

7. Make a one-cost model for state registration. Rather than paying by sport, pay by school year and allow one sport per season (fall / winter / spring) on that registration. Have a lower cost for anyone who wants additional sports per season. This would entice officials to look at other sports during their "off" season (fall and winter for baseball officials, for example).

Fan abuse may be the primary reason officials quit, but it's not the only one. Take care of all of the issues and you'll attract more to the field. If you can market a low-cost entry to the officiating world, you'll attract more people. Seeing a $200-400 entry to a sport is much too high for someone who isn't sure they'll even enjoy doing it. I know a lot of organizations do as much as they can to attract, whether through equipment donations or lowered fees for different reasons, but there's some onus on the state to help defray those costs as well, especially in times where even finding people is proving to be difficult.

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“Sports is life with the volume turned up,” Mano said. “In regular life, think about it, are you leading a quieter life than you did 15 years ago? Are there less arguments, less in-your-face stuff, less willingness to accept an opinion than the old days? The answer to all of those is no

I don't buy this. In fact, I think it's the exact opposite. Especially in the workplace.  In this politically correct, sensitive, snowflake world we live and work in, there's less in-your-face arguments,  raising your voice at work isn't even tolerated anymore. Sports (and politics where differing opinions is another outlet where over the top  argumentative behavior seems to be accepted) has become an outlet for rage, and over the top disagreement in a world that doesn't even allow you to raise your voice at a co worker or you'll find yourself being reprimanded. 

As for the pay in this area..Check out the cost of living there. very few places cost more. 

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9 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

Damn, I need to move to Nassau. 

let me say, the fees represent the high cost of living in Nassau, average property taxes for a decent home can easily be $10-12K a year, average home is a decent area is 400k-500K  and nicer homes easily go 700K-1MM

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35 minutes ago, Richvee said:

As for the pay in this area..Check out the cost of living there. very few places cost more. 

missed this comment at first, Rich being from NJ knows, it's very expensive to live in Nassau as I referred to above. 

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1 hour ago, Richvee said:

“Sports is life with the volume turned up,” Mano said. “In regular life, think about it, are you leading a quieter life than you did 15 years ago? Are there less arguments, less in-your-face stuff, less willingness to accept an opinion than the old days? The answer to all of those is no

I don't buy this. In fact, I think it's the exact opposite. Especially in the workplace.  In this politically correct, sensitive, snowflake world we live and work in, there's less in-your-face arguments,  raising your voice at work isn't even tolerated anymore. Sports (and politics where differing opinions is another outlet where over the top  argumentative behavior seems to be accepted) has become an outlet for rage, and over the top disagreement in a world that doesn't even allow you to raise your voice at a co worker or you'll find yourself being reprimanded. 

As for the pay in this area..Check out the cost of living there. very few places cost more. 

Rich,

I think we're reading the "in-your-face stuff" comment differently.

The whole quote, at least the way I read it, is that we're (and by "we", I mean "society") more polarizing than we've ever been. Everything is this-or-that and there's no in-between. To many people, different opinions automatically lumps you into the "that" category, no matter your opinions on anything else. And, thanks to the Internet, those opinions - right or wrong - have an equal voice and you can always find someone with the same opinion, ready to blindly agree to everything you say. And, were you to have a different opinion, they don't want to hear it and there's dozens of people behind them ready to defend that stance, right or wrong.

This ideal of "I'm always right" has begun to proliferate the offline world. No longer are debates, political or otherwise, a discourse between two opinions. It's a shouting match and the one who shouts loudest or longest wins, no matter how right or wrong they are.

Not surprisingly, these same shouters tend to be the ones that complain about the thought of "everyone's opinion matters," simply because the other person's opinion and feelings don't matter to them. It doesn't mean everyone's opinion is right, but simply that in order to reason yourself into a stance, you should listen to the other side's stance, too.

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10 hours ago, yawetag said:

Rich,

I think we're reading the "in-your-face stuff" comment differently.

The whole quote, at least the way I read it, is that we're (and by "we", I mean "society") more polarizing than we've ever been. Everything is this-or-that and there's no in-between. To many people, different opinions automatically lumps you into the "that" category, no matter your opinions on anything else. And, thanks to the Internet, those opinions - right or wrong - have an equal voice and you can always find someone with the same opinion, ready to blindly agree to everything you say. And, were you to have a different opinion, they don't want to hear it and there's dozens of people behind them ready to defend that stance, right or wrong.

This ideal of "I'm always right" has begun to proliferate the offline world. No longer are debates, political or otherwise, a discourse between two opinions. It's a shouting match and the one who shouts loudest or longest wins, no matter how right or wrong they are.

Not surprisingly, these same shouters tend to be the ones that complain about the thought of "everyone's opinion matters," simply because the other person's opinion and feelings don't matter to them. It doesn't mean everyone's opinion is right, but simply that in order to reason yourself into a stance, you should listen to the other side's stance, too.

Yes, I agree. Political, sports opinions have fallen into this "My opinion is right and every other opinion is wrong and if you don't agree with me you're a *insert expletive here*. We as a society are more polarized than ever before, no doubt. 

That said, we're (society) held to these politically correct sensitivity issues in our everyday life. Stating contrarian opinions among the wrong people can cost you friends, opportunities, or even your job. We have to be careful of what we say, when we say it, and how we say it. Saying things to the wrong people at the wrong times can be devastating. This, I believe causes sports to be an outlet for some, who think the sports arena and officials in general are a place where these pent up frustrations can be released. 

Maybe that's not what the clip I posted is referring to, but I believe  it plays a part in people's behavior towards us. 

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12 hours ago, stkjock said:

let me say, the fees represent the high cost of living in Nassau, average property taxes for a decent home can easily be $10-12K a year, average home is a decent area is 400k-500K  and nicer homes easily go 700K-1MM

That said, Northern NJ isn't the cheapest place in the world to live, and we're not close to those game fees. Though we are most likely well above the national average. 

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14 hours ago, Richvee said:

...in a world that doesn't even allow you to raise your voice at a co worker or you'll find yourself being reprimanded. 

You say this as if this is a bad thing.

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5 minutes ago, Matt said:

You say this as if this is a bad thing.

No, I say it as a matter of fact. I also say it as someone who has been in the workforce for some time now, and it wasn’t that long ago that, if you screwed up bad enough of often enough, you just might hear about from an angry boss in an angry tone and you didn’t go running to upper management complaining that your feelings were hurt. Good or bad.....just saying ....It is what it is. 

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10 hours ago, Richvee said:

That said, Northern NJ isn't the cheapest place in the world to live, and we're not close to those game fees. Though we are most likely well above the national average. 

yes, NJ is probably as bad in many places as Nassau is. 

9 hours ago, Matt said:

You say this as if this is a bad thing.

OT commentary 

LOL, I'd say in many ways it is.  Maybe I'm a dinosaur, in the work force since I'm 14 in someway or another, when I started in my current career, rookies were ridden hard and disciplined when they screwed up.  I saw a guy who continually failed to follow a partner's direction get a telephone handset taped to his head so he'd stay on the phone, some might say it was abusive, I'd say it was character building.

/rant 

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I'm in Suffolk County LI, same fees. It's the publicly posted NY Section fees in the contract with Section, right from the document. Pretty good pay for baseball in these parts. JUCO is just a little more per game than the varsity, and NCAA is more on top of that, but every other level is less per game except the top summer college baseball leagues.

The issue is that officials can get those SAME fees, or very close to same, for girls softball, boys and girls lacrosse, field hockey, etc. And, track and field pays well. All of those other sports are timed, except softball. But I've NEVER completed a Varsity (or JV) baseball game before the Softball game ended at the same school. In addition, most of those other sports do NOT have the "tradition" of abusing the umps/refs, verbally or physically. I played lacrosse through college. Div III, but a four-year starter. I NEVER heard the phrase "this guy is BRUTAL"  uttered EVER in my entire lacrosse career. I hear it (luckily not necessarily towards me or my partner) at least once a week at baseball games (I do rec ball and tourneys as well). The talk about field hockey is that there is a whistle blown constantly - the officials are stopping and interjecting almost every play - and almost no issues with coaches, players or fans, and the games are over in less than 90 minutes.. For the SAME PAY

So the guys that are "Section" guys (can get off early enough for HS schedules year round) prioritize field hockey, track etc over baseball when accepting schedules. That leaves College guys looking to add to the earnings, and "Baseball only" guys like me. in my case, i need to take vacation days from work to make my HS schedule. I make more money in ONE WEEK from my regular job than I do the entire season of Varsity HS baseball. So as long as I still love the HS competition and skill level (still do!), and it doesn't turn into a slog or a gauntlet of shenanigans and crap from outside the fence and the dugouts (it hasn't!), I will pay my fees and accept baseball games. Other baseball-only guys have other motivations as well, some being that the fees are healthy. But we have lost a least 6 high JV - Varsity level officials the last year or so that had enough of the crap and either jumped to another sport or just stopped HS baseball, so the issue is a real concern. 

I think it is a combination of a few factors - official abuse/general unsportsmanlike conduct left to officials to clean up by AD's and coaches is one; the scheduled times being before most people are off their day jobs is definitely another major one. Fee-wise, while again its quite large compared to rec ball and tourney fees in the area, it is competing against the other HS sports that are easier to schedule and officiate and in many cases do not have the culture of riding the officials. Another thing in my observation - at JV and Middle School levels, the large majority of coaches and ADs at the games are looking for an educational and fun experience for their teams. They are playing to win, but also to represent the school in a positive light. At Varsity, it feels like its every man for himself -coaches vs ADs vs officials vs. Section vs parents. Kind of a blame game, and a "pass the buck" mentality. I can't say if that's just my impression, or if that is the same for all sports, just an observation from my eyes.

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