Area baseball leagues dealing with potential umpire shortages
By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Nick Ballenger
Little League organizations across the country are striking out when it comes to finding new umpires.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, the number of umpires around the country has dropped by nearly 20,000 members since 2018.
Part of the reason? A growing number of altercations with parents and coaches seem to be pushing umpires out and discouraging new ones from joining.
Just last week, a video from a Shelby County little league game went viral in which a coach could be seen fighting an umpire.
Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority Director of Community Outreach and Athletics Jay Logan said the organization is working around its own shortage of umpires.
“We’ve seen a shortage, but we’ve been fortunate here locally in our county,” Logan said. “We’ve been very intentional and communicating well without sports leagues and our sports officials.”
If you’re interested in joining the umpire ranks, you can call PARA at 205-562-3200.