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4 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

I’ll take the other side here. I can work an in-house pony, JV, or travel game - say 13U and under - by myself and would rather get paid more for my time than take the help.

 

As an aside, so many of these tournaments promote 2 umpires for every game, but there are coverage issues with games everywhere every weekend. Rather than throwing 2 guys on a 12U game at 50ish per game, pay 75/game to one umpire. I’ll come do a DH, get 3 games for doing 2 in this scenario, and the tournament and teams just saved $50 total over two games. Everyone wins. I can’t remember the last time I really needed help on a call on a small diamond. 
 

If you want to put two umpires on semis and championship, fine. But some of these tournaments are overkill with two umpires. I don’t do much that’s not on a 60/90 field anymore, but I’d be more into doing 10-13U if they cut it to solo and paid more. I think you’d have more good guys willing to come grab a DH. 
 

(Good) 14U and anything 15U up that’s travel or just generally good baseball, definitely get two umpires out there. 

I understand what you are saying, but it's not about saving the tournament any money. They just pocket it at your expense. They shouldn't be paying you $50.00 for two man and $75.00 for one man. It should be at least $75.00 each for two man. $50.00 for a game isn't even $10.00 an inning. I've parsed the numbers every which way and it's only ever works out to be about $20.00 per hour gross for HS and down. And it's not much better for JUCO, either. Even those minor league guys are in poverty. At $20.00 per hour minus expenses and taxes, it's basically minimum wage, at least here in California. A part time job for minimum wage? People could do better working at the Home Depot.

At some point, we officials have to take a stand. We need to start demanding more money and a higher level of behavior from coaches and fans. Until that happens, we're going to continue to have the same problems with recruitment and retention. My only hope is that the nationwide officials shortage will start to move us in that direction.

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Working solo:  Not the worst partner I've ever had.

Yeah, it is astounding that we have this in SoCal. Almost all of our sub-varsity games here in San Diego County are solo. Regular season youth ball is often solo, as well. Tournaments are usually 2 ma

Almost all underclass games here are solo.  And it becomes a self-perpetuating problem:  we don't have enough officials, so the games need to be solo, so the least experienced umpires work them with t

17 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

I’ll take the other side here. I can work an in-house pony, JV, or travel game - say 13U and under - by myself and would rather get paid more for my time than take the help.

 

As an aside, so many of these tournaments promote 2 umpires for every game, but there are coverage issues with games everywhere every weekend. Rather than throwing 2 guys on a 12U game at 50ish per game, pay 75/game to one umpire. I’ll come do a DH, get 3 games for doing 2 in this scenario, and the tournament and teams just saved $50 total over two games. Everyone wins. I can’t remember the last time I really needed help on a call on a small diamond. 
 

If you want to put two umpires on semis and championship, fine. But some of these tournaments are overkill with two umpires. I don’t do much that’s not on a 60/90 field anymore, but I’d be more into doing 10-13U if they cut it to solo and paid more. I think you’d have more good guys willing to come grab a DH. 
 

(Good) 14U and anything 15U up that’s travel or just generally good baseball, definitely get two umpires out there. 

I don't disagree with you that on a small field, often two guys is overkill, be it a paid gig or volunteer. However, this is the level where many of us got our start, and limiting the number of officials will actually cause an inverse reaction where we see less umpires entering the ranks. For my league, we ask for 2 per team... that means we should get 40-50 umpires per year into the system. How many of these will actually move forward, maybe 4-5, but if we cut that number required in half, then there is a good chance we bring no new people into the system who will continue on.

Plus... a big chunk of why I do this is the comrade and friendships I have built over the years working with various umpires. I am already my own best friend and working solo does nothing to make me more of my buddy :-)   I enjoy working with partners, and the money is not why I am on the field. I actually lose money umpiring... owing a Real Estate business and being on a field on a Saturday or Sunday means less time showing houses and marketing. There is no way umpiring is making my house payment... The cash is just to buy more gear that I do not need.  

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On 3/23/2021 at 11:49 AM, Mudisfun said:

I don't disagree with you that on a small field, often two guys is overkill, be it a paid gig or volunteer. However, this is the level where many of us got our start, and limiting the number of officials will actually cause an inverse reaction where we see less umpires entering the ranks.

Plus... a big chunk of why I do this is the comrade and friendships I have built over the years working with various umpires. . . . .  I enjoy working with partners, and the money is not why I am on the field.

I completely agree with this, and also agree the point is "completely" lost on many umpire organizations and baseball leagues, who insist on paying for only one umpire, and then wonder whiningly where all the new umpires are.  Fortunately, the point has not been lost, and hopefully never will be lost, on my local amateur association or the LL groups with whom I volunteer. Now in my 11th year, I have done, still do, and undoubtedly will do many more solo volunteer games--but I have a level of comfort taking possession of a field. There is also NO DOUBT I never would have gotten past the 1st year or even the 2nd without my experienced partners, my mentors, men and women striving for excellence who have become some of my best friends. Pre-games and Post-games, beers/scotch/Cokes at the local watering hole, going over plays and games, techniques and mechanics. Two and Three-Man Umpire clinics--most put on by volunteers. All that goes away without forced partners. All the fun evaporates as well, unless you've been doing it long enough that "The game has slowed down."  And you've been doing it long enough if you know what that means. 

Bureaucrats and administrators are often short-sighted, but often very competent at sucking the fun out of joy!

 

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On 3/23/2021 at 12:41 AM, JonnyCat said:

I understand what you are saying, but it's not about saving the tournament any money. They just pocket it at your expense. They shouldn't be paying you $50.00 for two man and $75.00 for one man. It should be at least $75.00 each for two man. $50.00 for a game isn't even $10.00 an inning. I've parsed the numbers every which way and it's only ever works out to be about $20.00 per hour gross for HS and down. And it's not much better for JUCO, either. Even those minor league guys are in poverty. At $20.00 per hour minus expenses and taxes, it's basically minimum wage, at least here in California. A part time job for minimum wage? People could do better working at the Home Depot.

At some point, we officials have to take a stand. We need to start demanding more money and a higher level of behavior from coaches and fans. Until that happens, we're going to continue to have the same problems with recruitment and retention. My only hope is that the nationwide officials shortage will start to move us in that direction.

I’ve often had this thought go through my head while doing a travel game....

 

”If every player’s parent(s) paid one more dollar for this game for umpires, my partner and I could be making 70 instead of 55, 75 instead of 60, etc” 

 

How many travel games does a “regular” travel team play? Most of those parents wouldn’t blink at another $50-75 added to their “team dues”. You’d then have umpires paid a bit more fairly, perhaps you’d be able to recruit more, etc. 

 

I’d assume almost all of us on here umpire, to some degree, because we enjoy it, it’s a hobby, etc., not just for the money. But you’re still paying me for my time, and just speaking for myself, some extra money doesn’t hurt in my specific situation. That’s money I use to pay down debt, or put into 529s, etc.  

 

It’s also easier to justify umping to the wife if it’s say $100 per game (could you imagine!?) instead of $50. $75 would be outstanding compared to $50-55. I don’t do HS DH’s anymore because I don’t appreciate getting 1.7 game checks for 2 games, plus waiting 20-30 minutes between games (you don’t have a lot of control over this). Factor in driving time...it’s a really long day to then be shorted on the second game. Weekend time is at a premium with little kids, too. Perhaps when I’m older, being shorted won’t bother me. But I’ve talked to other guys, and I know I’m not alone.
 

But we need to be recruiting younger guys, not just older...and telling them they can make $110 for a HS DH (by themselves at non varsity level on top of it) by leaving the house at 9ish and getting back in at 3ish...kind of absurd when it’s spelled out like that, right?  

 

Whenever people discuss how to solve the officiating shortage that’s getting worse by the year, the most obvious answer is simply “pay the officials more for their time”. There are other things that can help, but start there. 

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8 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

I don’t do HS DH’s anymore because I don’t appreciate getting 1.7 game checks for 2 games

WTF is that? Whatever assigner/association negotiated that for the umpire community is saying a lot about how they view the time and skills of their fellow umpires.

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1 hour ago, Kevin_K said:

WTF is that? Whatever assigner/association negotiated that for the umpire community is saying a lot about how they view the time and skills of their fellow umpires.

Some of it depends on whether travel is paid separately.  IF you get $50 game fee plus $15 travel (total $65), then the second game fee should be $50 (total $115).  If it's bundled, but designed to cover both even if not separately stated, you CAN arrive at the same numbers ($65 single; $115 double).  NOT saying that's where I'd end up, but I can see how organizations get there.

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2 hours ago, noumpere said:

Some of it depends on whether travel is paid separately.  IF you get $50 game fee plus $15 travel (total $65), then the second game fee should be $50 (total $115).  If it's bundled, but designed to cover both even if not separately stated, you CAN arrive at the same numbers ($65 single; $115 double).  NOT saying that's where I'd end up, but I can see how organizations get there.

This is how TX works. The fees are per game with travel calculated separately. You call 5 games at the same location, 5 game fees + 1 travel fee.

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1 hour ago, GreyhoundAggie said:

This is how TX works. The fees are per game with travel calculated separately. You call 5 games at the same location, 5 game fees + 1 travel fee.

Respectfully, this is garbage. A game fee should be a game fee should be a game fee. I have no problem for adjusting the fees based on the level of play but, to say umpires or any official is being paid less on multiple games because you're already at the field? Garbage.

~Dawg

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1 hour ago, GreyhoundAggie said:

This is how TX works. The fees are per game with travel calculated separately. You call 5 games at the same location, 5 game fees + 1 travel fee.

We're the same in Ohio for HS tournament games.  Otherwise, no travel is paid out, but you do get the same fee for each game. 

For my JV triple-header on 4/3 it works out like this: $42/game x 3 games = $126 grand total for what will most likely be close to an 8 hour day allowing for breaks between games.

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6 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

We're the same in Ohio for HS tournament games.  Otherwise, no travel is paid out, but you do get the same fee for each game. 

For my JV triple-header on 4/3 it works out like this: $42/game x 3 games = $126 grand total for what will most likely be close to an 8 hour day allowing for breaks between games.

Ugg... those fees are horrible! We don't get a travel fee in Orange County, CA but at least our fees are better:

Sub Varsity per game if I recall is $81/game and varsity is $84/game. Sad part is the JV game is twice the work since it is solo....

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Mudisfun said:

Ugg... those fees are horrible! We don't get a travel fee in Orange County, CA but at least our fees are better:

Sub Varsity per game if I recall is $81/game and varsity is $84/game. Sad part is the JV game is twice the work since it is solo....

 

 

We get $40 for 9th/MS,  $42 JV and $55 Varsity. For solo games, you get 1 1/2 fees.  Varsity always gets 2 umpires, so better chance for solo is JV and down.  Most summer ball is $50 per game though at least.

I think Ohio is in the bottom 5-8 states for officials pay.

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31 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Respectfully, this is garbage. A game fee should be a game fee should be a game fee. I have no problem for adjusting the fees based on the level of play but, to say umpires or any official is being paid less on multiple games because you're already at the field? Garbage.

Two ways to look at this. Are you getting less because you're already there, or are you getting more for going there?

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2 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

We get $40 for 9th/MS,  $42 JV and $55 Varsity. For solo games, you get 1 1/2 fees.  Varsity always gets 2 umpires, so better chance for solo is JV and down.

I think Ohio is like in the bottom 5-8 states for officials pay.

Those are atrocious fees. We are $75 for Varsity or JV longer than 1:50. $65 for F/JV. And mileage is rings of 30 miles at $15 for each ring you go out. (ring is center of chapter)

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4 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Respectfully, this is garbage. A game fee should be a game fee should be a game fee. I have no problem for adjusting the fees based on the level of play but, to say umpires or any official is being paid less on multiple games because you're already at the field? Garbage.

~Dawg

It's totally garbage. It's nonsense math by schools/districts to pay us less. Plus - how do you know how far I'm traveling? I've also never received a check that separates "game fee" from "travel fee".

Do we get a "waited around 30 minutes for them to eat lunch between games" fee? I called a game. Pay me for calling the game. How I get there is my problem.  

I don't care how they want to slice it - paying 1.7 game fees for what is generally a 4.5 hour day at the field for two games is ridiculous. 

Furthermore, if, in theory, I called one game...and then two entirely separate teams showed up to play on the the field - that would be two individual game checks, from two different high schools...but I didn't go anywhere for the second game.

The only way we can speak is by not taking the games. Teams will either just start doing single games on Saturdays (I'm seeing this more and more), or they won't get covered, and/or at some point they'll ask us "why aren't DHs being covered", and they can inform the schools. 

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13 hours ago, GreyhoundAggie said:

This is how TX works. The fees are per game with travel calculated separately. You call 5 games at the same location, 5 game fees + 1 travel fee.

As a (current) Texan, can vouch for this.

It certainly dilutes the value of games, once you go past one.  In Virginia, I rarely, if ever, worked more than one game in a night.  Schools played at their own campus, and JV played M and Th (usually), while varsity was Tu and F.  Here?  If the district has a central complex, all the varsity teams play there, and JV are at the school.  BUT, they then play at least two games, sometimes a 3-bag, at that central complex on game night, thus doing the "one travel fee" deal.  If it's a "country school," as I put it, they play at home, BUT they'll do both JV and V that night, *again* needing on one travel fee per umpire.

And while the travel fee can make a single game okay, total fees here run behind SE Virginia, at least, if not elsewhere.  I won't say what I was making *three* seasons ago, when I last worked in Virginia, mostly because I don't want the other Texan umpires to get mad .... possibly at me.  (But if you fellas want to know, anyway, PM me.  Just get mad at TASO and the UIL, not me.)

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22 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Respectfully, this is garbage. A game fee should be a game fee should be a game fee. I have no problem for adjusting the fees based on the level of play but, to say umpires or any official is being paid less on multiple games because you're already at the field? Garbage.

~Dawg

 

The game fee is the same for every game (per the level of course), but only one travel fee is paid out per day. 

Maybe I just don't know any different, but it makes sense to me. 

Example: 
Game Fee: $75 for a varsity game (stays the same for 1st game, 2nd game, 3rd game...) 

Travel Fee: $15 (you only travel to the site once so you only get paid once) 

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My thoughts are colored by my time on a "paying" organization.  We had the $50 / game plus $15 travel rate.  Then, to make it easier, someone just started calling it "$65 single and $115 DH".  Then some started complaining about not getting two full game fees for a DH.  The next step (but after I left) was asking for two full game fees plus travel for one -- and around we went again.

 

Would you rather stay at the same site and work a DH (starting 30 minutes later) or travel 45 minutes to a second site, and arrive 45 minutes early for the game?  For me, it's the former -- so I'm willing to take less$ to do so.  I do agree that if the difference is large enough, I'd travel again.

 

Maybe, too, it's dependent on the area covered.  If I'm only working small-town LL and I live in the town and the difference between "north side park" and "south side park" is 10 minutes, and I live 5 minutes from each, then there's really no travel -- so, two game fees.  But, if my area is "large metro" and the difference between suburb A and Suburb C (passing through Suburb B) is 25 miles at 30mph and I can't always (or rarely) stay in my suburb, then travel becomes an issue -- so 1.8 game fees for a DH

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On 3/26/2021 at 10:27 AM, noumpere said:

My thoughts are colored by my time on a "paying" organization.  We had the $50 / game plus $15 travel rate.  Then, to make it easier, someone just started calling it "$65 single and $115 DH".  Then some started complaining about not getting two full game fees for a DH.  The next step (but after I left) was asking for two full game fees plus travel for one -- and around we went again.

Exactly this. It's why I don't get too excited about it one way or the other.

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