An umpire being punched in the face brings awareness to the reason for the officiating shortage
SOUTH BEND, Ind -- An incident where one umpire says she was punched in the face after a game is raising an awareness on the reason for an umpire shortage.
"It’s sad to see that it’s come to that level. That youth sports have got to the point where you’re willing to assault somebody," said USA Softball Assistant State Umpire in Chief Tim Gore.
Gore has been officiating softball for over 20 years across the country.
He says over the years finding an umpire for any league of any age has become a hard task to the point that games are being cancelled and rescheduled.
"I remember back in the day you had to battle to get games. You had to prove yourself in order to work some of the upper level games. Nowadays nobody seems to be interested," said Gore.
Having to staff umpires for multiple games and even helping other locations staff their games has become more and more difficult.
While many industries are struggling to find full-time employees, Gore says finding part-time employees is even harder.
"I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that a lot of the coaches, the fans, everybody seems to have an opinion nowadays and wants to share it with the umpire and that’s one of the biggest problems I have when I try to recruit a new umpire nowadays. Is they don’t want to do it because they don’t want to put up with the crap," said Gore.
Chatter amongst fans is common at games but physical and verbal abuse is not okay.
"They don’t want to put up with the hassle of getting yelled at and everything and it’s hurt a lot of the sports. It’s been tough to find umpires and like I said at any officiating level," said Gore.