Facing a shortage of officials, the Idaho High School Activities Association put out a call on social media for those interested to sign up. Cost to register is $40 per sport ($50 for baseball and softball). Officials are required to attend a district rules clinic, take two certification courses and take an exam.
Officials’ pay is $48-$55 per game, not counting mileage. Including mileage, pay for some varsity spring sports games in Idaho County historically has ranged up to $125 per game.
During basketball season, Free Press area schools are generally able to cover these costs using entry fees collected at the gate. Many schools charge participants a fee that covers costs such as travel and equipment.
“We have a great group of parents and fans who go to all of our games,” Summit Academy athletic director Mandy Crea told the Free Press.
Officials pay for mileage alone can range up to $100 based on distance travelled, IHSAA coordinator of officials Tyler Ostler told the Free Press.
Idaho District II Softball Commissioner Pat Zink told the Free Press an umpire is paid $55 for one varsity game and $105 for two games, while for one junior varsity game an umpire is paid $48 and $91 for two games.
“The driver for a game will get between $30 and $60 depending on the distance the school is from where they live,” Zink said.
A new umpire will typically work JV games for their first three years, and a new umpire typically books two or three games per week from the beginning of March to the beginning of May.
“We use an online scheduling program that allows them to simply enter the days they aren’t available to work or time during a day they aren’t available,” Zink explained. “Potential umpires do not have to be available every day. Any day they are available is a big help to assignors, since we are short officials in every high school sport.”