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West Sacramento News-Ledger

When Something You Love Makes You Money

Jan 26, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Michele Townsend

Becoming an umpire is easier than you might think. Photo: Pixabay

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It’s January… and with January comes the planning of the year’s Baseball and Softball season! Are you a baseball or softball fan? Some of the best games you will ever see, will be those played in Little League. Do you miss your glory days of playing ball? Or maybe, you loved the game, but you weren’t one of those people blessed with the gift of being athletic. Well then, umpiring might be just the thing for you.

Umpiring is a great way to make some money as well. Depending on the league, and sometimes the level, umpires will often make between $25 and $75 per game. Umpires create their own schedules so you work as much or as little as you want. On weekends, there are often 6 games in a day. That can easily be a $600 weekend in pay, or more.

Becoming an umpire is easier than you might think. Knowledge of the game is not required, but it does help. All you need to do is sign up for umpire clinics that are offered by local little leagues and softball leagues. The clinics are generally free and teach you from the basics to recent rule changes. They teach you what equipment is legal, and why other equipment is not legal.

There are free webinars and videos on If you live in the Sacramento area, USA softball is offering an umpire school on January 29th and 30th, in Roseville. Simply go to www.usasoftballsacramento.or or go onto Facebook at to register for the umpire school. You can also call Chuck Brabec at (916)834-8074 or email [email protected]

If you miss this one, don’t fret. There will be other clinics in your area soon. Simply call Little Leagues or softball leagues in your area and ask to speak to their Umpire in Chief. You can also contact your District office and inquire about umpiring with them. In case you don’t know what District you are in: Rocklin & Auburn is Dist. 11; Dixon and Woodland is Dist. 64; Carmichael is Dist. 5; South Sacramento is Dist. 7; Gridley is Dist. 2; and West Sacramento is Dist. 6.

Don’t worry about if you are new at umpiring, they won’t just throw you to the wolves. They train you and move you up as you gain confidence and experience. As you learn the profession of umpiring, like anything, it’s all what you make of it. You can be one of those umpires that enjoy what they are doing and have fun being part of the game.

You can become one of those umpires that spots a shy or nervous kid and encourages them to get that hit or make that catch and know that you played a part in giving that child some self-confidence and pride. Most sports fans are officials from the stands or from their living rooms. Why not do it for real? It’s a great way to stay active and have fun.

If baseball and softball is not your game, then consider officials training in whatever sport you like! In the last few years, there has been a real shortage and need for game officials in youth sports. It’s really up to you where you take it. You may start out refereeing basketball for parks and rec, or umpiring for softball minors, but you may take it to officiating for schools, or for semi-pro or pro teams.

Regardless of the sport(s) you choose, working two days a week doesn’t sound bad either. Officiating youth sports is a great way to give back to your favorite sport, your city and your kids! Put the knowledge you already have to use, and maybe learn some more about the game(s) you love.