As we head into the 13th edition of the All-Star classic Tuesday, June 26, I am reminded how different the three leagues in north central Alberta men’s baseball are.
In trying to throw together an exhibition day of games in Armena, one Battle River team found it ridiculous they would split the cost of umps or not get a payout. It’s totally understandable coming from their history and current tournament structures.
They play just nine regular season games. They go to tournaments where friends and local people ump the games sometimes at no cost. The thought of paying out more than $100 for umpires per games seems absurd. We have teams in our league who get sweetheart deals as well.
It’s all good.
The NCABL is another step of conformity and costs and fundraising upfront. It arguably works out about the same per year but it does take more planning and upfront scheduling/money in early spring.
The PBL is somewhere in the middle, which is a dangerous place sometimes. We have elements of that Battle River League whereby some teams scoot by with an unqualified ump or a friend on the bases. But we mostly always have two somewhat neutral parties out there, and everyone seems OK with it.
We pay a bit more for tournaments. We all pitch in to help work the fields and line them, with the exception of Leduc.
As we head to the all-star game June 26, it seems more than ever before, the two leagues are growing much different each year. So it is amazing every season the game works. Umpires volunteer their time, if you did not know. The field cost is covered.
If this were to change, would the game continue – maybe. But it is for sure each year every league and all star game pass, is one more we are lucky to have.