There’s an interesting debate going on over at umpire-empire regarding paid versus volunteer umpires in general – and in the big championship series in particular. The Little League World Series is famous for NOT paying its umpires. It is considered an honor to be asked to do the series – they give you some complimentary equipment, and free bunk on the dorm, and let you do the YMCA with rupport on the field – but no dough. Some guys on the board are pulling out the salaries of the big wigs, and how much money the league takes in…and why can’t you pay the best umos to do the big game?
Here’s what I think: leave it alone. Even though its an international event, its a kids game. The umps who do dozens of regular season and local playoff games every year deserve a shot to go to the big game. Just by virtue of the fact that they’ve put in enough years (in some cases all volunteer and PURELY for the love of it) makes them good enough to work Williamsport, as far as I am concerned. I think it’s OK that the big series is a reward for years of volunteerism. And at the series, they can select the best 4 (not 6!) to do the finals.
Thats what I think