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Tuckahoe Little League grappling with umpire shortage ahead of spring season

Another curveball hit Tuckahoe Little League and many other little league teams. A labor shortage is affecting their ability to find umpires.
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 6:15 PM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Another curveball hit Tuckahoe Little League and many other little league teams. A labor shortage is affecting their ability to find umpires.

Many leagues depend on specific umpire associations to provide professional umpires for games. Now, the association cannot offer that service for little league teams, leaving them scrambling on very short notice.

“They’re committed to high school and JV games, and they’re also experiencing a shortage, so the high school, JV, and college games are taking priority over the little league,” Vice President of Tuckahoe Little League Jody Rogish said.

This comes as demand grows, with more kids than ever coming out this spring.

“The worst-case scenario would be that the kids can’t play. Our umpire situation is not good,” Rogish said.

He says after all that children have been through in the last two years, Little League wants to give kids a fun outlet to learn and play baseball worry-free, without unnecessary cancellations.

“We have to, by little league rules, have an umpire on the field in order to have a game, for various reasons,” he said. “Worst-case scenario would be that we have to cancel games this year.”

Right now, they only have about 12 people signed up to be an umpire, but they’re looking for up to 50 people. They are turning to parents, teenagers, grandparents, and the community to lend a hand.

“We have a ‘higher than projected’ turnout of kids. We have almost 1300 total kids, so we’re up about 12% this year,” Rogish said.

He says there are already up to 400 games on the schedule this year. They’re beefing up the incentives, now offering to pay umpires an average of 60 bucks per game.

“You can actually do two games and make $120 a night at Tuckahoe Little League,” Rogish said.

If you’re interested in being an umpire, click here.

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