Most of the umpires that work Division I ball get booked every weekend because this is when the conferences choose to play the majority of their games. This is also when there is an acute shortage of umpires. I don’t want to go through the exercise of giving people weekend games when I know they will have to give them back once the Division I schedule comes out. If the CBUA and other associations like it would release their schedule earlier, it probably wouldn’t be a problem. However, as we both know, they wait until the season is almost on us to release their respective schedules. I get mine out early. Once it’s out, those who don’t have assignments on a particular weekend generally make other plans. Suddenly, I get a slew of weekend turn backs and I have no umpires available to work. I am simply reversing the process. If I have weekend games at the end and those who work D. I are available, they will get games that are unassigned.
The Chesapeake Basin association is dedicated to our conferences. They come first period. It is my job to make sure they have umpires for all of their games. I’m not shutting out anyone that wants to work Division I. I will work with those that do. I’m just not going to make extra work for myself assigning people to games they probably will have to turn back. In addition, by being a member of our association, it implies that you want to work for our schools and conferences.
I will continue to work with any member that wants to do Division I ball as well as D II and III. I’d be a fool if I didn’t. However, last year, I had far too many last minute turn backs that caused a lot of problems. There has to be some loyalty to our association. If a game is accepted, then it is your game to work unless we have adequate time to make a substitution. Emergencies happen. People get sick; have to work, or other things. Calling off a game at 10:30 at night to work another higher level game is not an emergency; it is an abuse of privilege.
I am the assignor for the Chesapeake Basin Umpires Association. My responsibility and loyalty belongs and will remain with those schools and conferences that contract with us for umpires and with those umpires that work those games. I see no reason why I should have one of our members unassigned while another member has a weekend game sitting in his pocket just in case he doesn’t get a D. I assignment that weekend. – Dennis Helmstetter