(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
The Spokane region is having a difficult time trying to find umpires to officiate baseball and softball games.
"It's been a bit of a struggle really," said Deer Park Athletic Director Chris Snyder.
On Tuesday, 18 games were cancelled due to the lack of umpires. Snyder says that there really isn't anyone necessarily to blame the shortage on "It's a fact that there's been fewer people that actually want to umpire games," added Snyder.
In a Junior Varsity game Tuesday in Deer Park, they had to pull someone out of the stands to call the strikes.
"It's just the reality right now and we are doing the best that we can to get through it," Snyder said.
As a freshman pitcher Bennet loves taking to the mound and throwing the baseball really fast. But because of this umpire shortage, some games have been cancelled. "It's kind of upsetting, "said Bennet
This ump shortage isn't impacting the varsity level, but junior varsity, freshmen and middle school teams are being hit the hardest with this officiating curve ball. Right now the Washington Officiating Association only has 65 umpires to officiate several leagues.
"I can't stress they're doing the best they can to get as many games umpired by someone that's certified.." said Snyder about the umpire situation.
There are several steps in order to become an umpire. You have to go through several certifications, but you also get paid to watch baseball.