ZANESVILLE, Ohio – There has been a disturbing trend in high school athletics the last few years; a lack of officials.
According to the OHSAA from the 2010-2011 school year to now the number of total active high school baseball umpires in the state fell from 4,248 to 3,461. Zanesville High School is hoping to help fix that problem.
ZHS athletic trainer Steve Shroyer is hosting a class to help people get registered to become a licensed umpire in the State of Ohio.
“All of our officials are getting older. We need younger ones. A lot of them aren’t staying with it because they don’t like getting yelled at from the stands. The stat I saw is that for every 10 officials that take the class, regardless of sports, the retention rate is only two officials out of every ten after their third year of officiating,” said Shroyer.
The class will be held at Zanesville High School and will start May 21 and will run from 5 p.m. 9 p.m. The cost to get licensed is $65 and the class will include 25 hours of instruction both in the class room and on the field. It is open to anyone age 14 and up.
This past year Shroyer taught a class for high schoolers to learn the ins and outs of the sports and hopefully to get registered. He hopes holding a class at the end of the season will help motivate baseball fans in the area to register in time for summer ball.
Shroyer said officiating high school athletics can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
“If you really enjoy the game and you want to give back to the sport it’s a great way. It’s a way to help kids play the sport that they really enjoy. Eventually if we don’t have any officials it will make it difficult to play the sport,” said Shroyer.
Those interested in registering for the class can do so at ohsaa.org/Officiating. Shroyer also said they can help anyone with the registration process during the first class.