Local Umpires Anxiously Waiting to Hear Fate of High School Spring Sports Season

The fear is that the loss of the entire spring sports season will have long-term effects on the future of umpiring in the Northland.

DULUTH, Minn. – The impact of the coronavirus has been wide-ranging in the world of sports, including teams, players, schools, coaches and even in the media. But here’s another group that is hurting bad: referees, specifically umpires.

Schedules have been turned upside-down as local umpires are waiting on the MSHSL’s decision on the fate of the high school spring sports season, which is currently postponed. And that uncertainty makes it tough for those working the games, who already have had issues in the past few years.

“I still have all my games on my schedule. We have an online assigning software. None of those have been cancelled, except the college ones. Those actually become open dates for high school. I’m still getting games. Whether they are played or not is yet to be determined,” said local umpire Matt Solberg.

And the fear is that the loss of the entire spring sports season will have long-term effects on the future of umpiring in the Northland.

“We have a lot of guys who are in their golden years of umpiring. They don’t have many left. This may be a catalyst for some of those guys just to hang it up and say ‘hey this was going to be my last year. this will be my last year’. Not having a whole year without any games, if that does go that way, to get those guys back next year is going to be tough,” Solberg said.

The MSHSL is expected to make their decision in the first week of April.

Categories: High School, Sports