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I'm a lucky midwesterner, living in a big city. I have 5 schools under an hour from me! If I got into one of the other conferences, I'd add a couple more... But I will still be making 2, 3, occasionally 4 hour drives for games.

But hey, High School ball will all be withing 35 minutes or so.

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You misunderstood. I'm from Kansas, not Canada

Puck That (Ice Hockey pun intended)

Does anybody else just love scraping the snow off their car before heading out for their first game of the season?

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18 minutes ago, Biscuit said:

I'm a lucky midwesterner, living in a big city. I have 5 schools under an hour from me! If I got into one of the other conferences, I'd add a couple more... But I will still be making 2, 3, occasionally 4 hour drives for games.

But hey, High School ball will all be withing 35 minutes or so.

I hope it's worth that drive time for you guys.  5-8 hour round trips, plus 3 hour games better pay you a couple of hundred dollars minimum in order to pay off in my mind.   Those types of drives the costs start to add up: gas & food for example can go $40-50 pretty quickly. Wear & tear on the car adds up, but I realize you can deduct mileage.  Finally, my time is worth something also.

I grumble a little when I have to go 45+ minutes for a HS game.  I start wondering if the $55 is worth the time to/from and while there.  I know people tell me all the time that you drive to your job too, but then I make a lot better wages at my job than my hobby.  When I have several teams within 15-20 minutes drive, I prefer them over a longer drive... but sometimes it is good to see other teams for a break.

All this said, I do understand if this is part of your cost in order to realize your goals/dreams.  For me, I'm content with HS baseball.  I'd like to do college maybe someday, but this is more of a hobby/fun/exercise/part-time job for me.  I get some sun, watch the game I love from the best perspectives, interact with the kids and make a little money.   I will say though, I'd never do it for free at this point in my life.  When it quits paying or being worth my time, then I will have to move on to coaching or something else maybe.

If that offends you, I'm sorry as that's not my intention.  This is my opinion and how I choose to spend my spare time.  You may choose to spend your time however you see fit also.

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1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

that's just stupid !!  Sorry man, no offense but .... talk about a "loss" there! :rolleyes:

A couple of things about that.

1) There probably aren't 5 qualified umpires within 100 miles of this location (I personally know of exactly one). Western Kansas is pretty ... sparse.

2) I did travel with my partner for all but about 45 miles of that, so there are reduced costs for us together.

3)  Including depreciation, maintenance, etc., on my gas-miser car, I come pretty close to *making* money from my mileage deductions. I lose money as far as the IRS is concerned, but in reality, I don't.

4) Assigners know who takes care of them. This is a stepping-stone and building toward bigger goals.

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1 hour ago, kylehutson said:

A couple of things about that.

1) There probably aren't 5 qualified umpires within 100 miles of this location (I personally know of exactly one). Western Kansas is pretty ... sparse.

2) I did travel with my partner for all but about 45 miles of that, so there are reduced costs for us together.

3)  Including depreciation, maintenance, etc., on my gas-miser car, I come pretty close to *making* money from my mileage deductions. I lose money as far as the IRS is concerned, but in reality, I don't.

4) Assigners know who takes care of them. This is a stepping-stone and building toward bigger goals.

That's all well and good, but you drove almost 4 hours one way to a game.  I'd doubt very highly you drove back in the same day?   And, I appreciate your 'goals', and who am I to say you shouldn't do that, ...I'm just saying FOR ME, regardless of goals, ... there's no way I'm doing that (again, that's me) ...and more power to you! :cheers:

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4 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

I'd doubt very highly you drove back in the same day?

I did. Left about 8 am for a 2 pm game. Was over by 5:00, and home about 9:30 that evening. A long day, but certainly not the longest I've ever had

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11 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

I did. Left about 8 am for a 2 pm game. Was over by 5:00, and home about 9:30 that evening. A long day, but certainly not the longest I've ever had

wowzers!!!!!!!!!!!

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1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

wowzers!!!!!!!!!!!

I've got a buddy who drive 5 hours one way for a single game, and drove back the same day. Did it as a favor for the assignor. I do think he's crazy.

Personally, my aspirations go much farther than HS, not that there's anything wrong with HS ball or umpires who stay there. Ideally, I will be in pro ball in 2024, and then make it all the way. If not, I plan to work my way up to the highest levels of DI ball. The quickest way to do that is to work your butt off, drive long(ish) distances, and do assignor's favors. 

The assignor that's next up on the food chain will often say that guys are "stepping over dollars to pick up dimes". An example: I'll be working Northwoods this summer. I would make WAY more, possibly as much as 4x as much, staying home and working ball here. However, I'm hoping that my experience in the NW will lead to me being better prepared to be hired/promoted in pro ball, or at the very least, get a lot of 3 man experience so that I can advance to the DII level. So yes, in the short term, I'm making less, but if I can eventually make it to pro ball, or start earning what I would in DII/DI, I come out way on top. 

Plus, I enjoy it. Sure the driving isn't fun, and sometimes the pay is considerably worse than if I stayed at home and worked youth ball (but not always. Some conferences pay much better), but I enjoy working higher level baseball, and working with higher level umpires. It's true, I wouldn't umpire if I didn't get paid for any of it, but the money is what lets me umpire, not what makes me umpire.

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2 hours ago, kylehutson said:

I did. Left about 8 am for a 2 pm game. Was over by 5:00, and home about 9:30 that evening. A long day, but certainly not the longest I've ever had

yeah, I'm too old for that $#!T

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37 minutes ago, Biscuit said:

I've got a buddy who drive 5 hours one way for a single game, and drove back the same day. Did it as a favor for the assignor. I do think he's crazy.

Personally, my aspirations go much farther than HS, not that there's anything wrong with HS ball or umpires who stay there. Ideally, I will be in pro ball in 2024, and then make it all the way. If not, I plan to work my way up to the highest levels of DI ball. The quickest way to do that is to work your butt off, drive long(ish) distances, and do assignor's favors. 

The assignor that's next up on the food chain will often say that guys are "stepping over dollars to pick up dimes". An example: I'll be working Northwoods this summer. I would make WAY more, possibly as much as 4x as much, staying home and working ball here. However, I'm hoping that my experience in the NW will lead to me being better prepared to be hired/promoted in pro ball, or at the very least, get a lot of 3 man experience so that I can advance to the DII level. So yes, in the short term, I'm making less, but if I can eventually make it to pro ball, or start earning what I would in DII/DI, I come out way on top. 

Plus, I enjoy it. Sure the driving isn't fun, and sometimes the pay is considerably worse than if I stayed at home and worked youth ball (but not always. Some conferences pay much better), but I enjoy working higher level baseball, and working with higher level umpires. It's true, I wouldn't umpire if I didn't get paid for any of it, but the money is what lets me umpire, not what makes me umpire.

Are you and Perry on the same crew?

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There are 40+ high schools within our area. The farthest I have to drive regular season is 45 miles one way. Travel ball plays on fields within 10 miles of my home. I chose not to do college ball because of the distances. NJ does have at least one positive.

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40 minutes ago, LMSANS said:

There are 40+ high schools within our area. The farthest I have to drive regular season is 45 miles one way. Travel ball plays on fields within 10 miles of my home. I chose not to do college ball because of the distances. NJ does have at least one positive.

Only 40? ..Haha...Rural South Jersey....I can't even start to add up all the schools in Sussex, Morris, Essex, Passiac, and Bergen counties. All within an hour, max....It's got to be close to 100-150 schools.  

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I just measured,all the high schools within 45 miles from my house.

I count 17, of which 5 are so small they don't have baseball teams.

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On 3/12/2021 at 5:38 PM, kylehutson said:

I just measured,all the high schools within 45 miles from my house.

I count 17, of which 5 are so small they don't have baseball teams.

I over estimated. Going through the list of schools on wiki , there’s about 80 in the counties I mentioned with baseball programs. .WIKI says  866 in NJ. 750 would be a fair guess for high school baseball programs in NJ. 

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