Oregon council on Monday will consider approving a two year contract with the Independent Umpires Association to officiate athletic events scheduled by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Oregon has been with the Independent Umpires Association for five years, Administrator Ken Filipiak said at a committee of the whole meeting last Monday.
”We’ve had a pretty good working relationship with them,” said Filipiak. “For the last couple of years, the fees have remained the same. Over that period of time we’ve expanded the agreement to include soccer, football, and volleyball.”
This year, there are changes in the agreement, such as the assessment of fines against umpires who, without a reasonable excuse, are absent from games at which they have agreed to officiate. Continued absences from contests in which they are scheduled will result in their expulsion from the IUA.
“This is something that we wanted to put into our program to encourage umpires who are assigned to officiate a game to be accountable,” said Joe Wasserman, Oregon’s recreation director.
“If they do not show up, there would be a fine assessed against the umpire. The rationale for that is we try to have most of our contests officiated by two officials, which a lot of communities are not accustomed to. But we feel that’s a standard we want to exhibit. And we want to put some ownership and a little bite into our bark with the idea if you are assigned and agree to take a position to officiate, then you will report.”
Additional changes include new programs that will be subject to the agreement, such as youth soccer for all ages and grades, youth flag football for all ages and grades, and youth volleyball.
There is also a slight increase in the adult men’s, women’s and co-ed softball, which would be incurred by the adult programs.
“Then there are slight increases for some of the other youth programs,” said Wasserman. “In most cases, it’s either a $1 or $2 increase for each official.”
Umpires at the smaller youth programs, such as the high school softball program and co-ed softball, as well as soccer, flag football, and volleyball can be scheduled by Wasserman, which will save the city $1 per official per contest.
”I can be more selective of who I feel will best suit that age group and that sport, which then saves us a dollar per official per contest. And that could add up with the number of games and contests we have,” said Wasserman.
Most of the officiating fees increased between $1 to $2 per contest compared to last year, said Wasserman.
“For example, in the adult programs, the officials were paid $20 per game. Now it’s going to be $22 per game,” said Wasserman, who compared the officiating fees with other communities such as Maumee, Sylvania, Rossford, Perrysburg, Fremont and Bowling Green.
“We’re very competitive with that cost,” he said.