“We’re Hurting”: Severe shortage of umpires threatens baseball and softball

BAKER CITY — Little League and high school organizations across Oregon are desperate for umpires this upcoming spring.

The Oregon Athletic Officials Association and the Oregon School Activities Association says  there is an immediate need for umpires in baseball and softball. 

But a Baker City umpire, who also happens to be a Sergeant Detective with the Baker City Police Department, says it’s hard to attract volunteers anywhere in this state.

“We’re hurting for volunteers. Many people say it’s because of the time commitment, which isn’t really that bad, but also because how bad parents have become,” said Wayne Chastain. 

The OSAA says becoming a high school official has several benefits including staying involved in athletics, maintaining good physical condition and earning money.

“Oregon has an urgent need for officials in all sports,” Folliard said.  “Officials provide valuable service to high schools and students, make a positive impact in the community and build relationships.”

Those interested should visit www.newofficials.org.