“95% of the game of softball game are judgement calls,” said North Dakota’s Umpire in Chief Mike Wolf.
From balls, to strikes, to hundreds of other judgement calls, the job of the umpire is to assure a proper game. But sometimes, the players might not agree.
“When it’s a bang bang play somewhere, somebody’s not gonna like it. 50% are going to like what you called, and the other 50% don’t like it,” explained Wolf.
A problem usually arises when alcohol is involved. Alcohol is prohibited in and around the softball games, but that doesn’t stop some players from partaking in the drink.
“The more people drink, the more they become abusive to the umpires,” said Wolf.
The loss of umpires in Bismarck has led to some games being without an official. This has led to some players in recent games needing to fill the role themselves.
“The players had to umpire their own games and they find out, it’s not as easy a job as they thought it would be,” continued Wolf.
The goal moving forward is to educate both players and umpires in an effort to stop the conflicts. The umpire board is meeting this winter with the men’s and women’s associations to talk and come up with a plan to accomplish this.