The Oregon School Activities Association and Oregon Athletic Officials Association are recruiting for high school officials with an “immediate need” for umpires in baseball and softball.
“Oregon has an urgent need for officials in all sports,” OAOA executive director Jack Folliard said in a press release. “Officials provide valuable service to high schools and students, make a positive impact in the community and build relationships.”
The Statesman Journal reported last year on the shortage of fall sports officials across the Willamette Valley as they often endure intense hours, heckling fans and low pay.
Officials needed in Salem and Lane County
Jon Thompson, commissioner for the Salem Baseball Umpires Association, said there are currently 23 registered umpires for the upcoming season, but at least 75 or more are needed.
“Many of our officials work every day which can cause burnout,” Thompson said in an email to the Statesman Journal.
Lane County Softball Umpires Association commissioner Dale Shrum said the number of umpires will be about the same as last year with 26. However, he mentioned 30-32 “would be ideal” for the season.
“This would give the schools more freedom when they could schedule their games,” Shrum said in an email. “Like other associations, some of our umpires are not as flexible because of their work schedule and the early start times of games. This requires our ‘more experienced’ umpires to have to work more games than some want.”
For information on becoming an official, go to oreofficials.org.
Edith Noriega is a sports reporter for the Statesman Journal and The Register-Guard. You may reach her at ENoriega@salem.gannett.com and follow her on Twitter at @Noriega_Edith.