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Sports stoppage due to the coronavirus is affecting officials’ income

Home plate umpire Chris Guccione points at Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in 2017. Sports officials are sidelined during the sports stoppage.
Home plate umpire Chris Guccione points at Tampa Bay Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in 2017. Sports officials are sidelined during the sports stoppage.
(Associated Press)

Besides coaches, players, fans and parents being affected by the suspension of pro, college, high school and youth sports seasons, some officials are facing a severe loss in income.

High school baseball and softball umpires could have been working close to 20 games this spring. That’s a loss of $1,600 in the Southern Section and $1,700 in the City Section for baseball umpires receiving up to $87 a game. Softball officials are losing out on more than $1,500.

Officials are also losing out on working youth leagues and adult leagues during weekends. While most use officiating to supplement their incomes from a main job, it’s all part of the sports economy that has come to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With many schools closed until early May and uncertain whether the high school sports season will resume, officials are in a holding pattern.

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“People are kind of in shock,” said Kirk West, an assigner of officials in the San Fernando Valley.

If the season were to resume in May, there would be a scramble to get enough officials for various sports playing multiple games in a week. That would be a good problem to have.


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