To the Editor,
This letter is about the continual unequal treatment of girls sports.
In Robeson County, boys baseball games have always had two umpires, one to call behind the plate and the other to cover field action. Girls games, because of what is termed budget concerns, are only afforded one official. The issue was brought forth to Ronnie Chavis, who was athletic director in 2011. He listened to the concerns and told us it would be addressed for the following school year. At the start of the 2012 season the “solution” was to let the athletic directors of the participating schools vote as the whether their school would utilize two umpires. Lumberton Jr. High Athletic Director Ted White was the only one who cared enough to implement two officials.
This season as we have traveled to other schools, the difference is noticeable. It is a great disadvantage to both the teams and the umpire to try and manage a fast pitch softball game with one official. The coaches, players and fans get frustrated when calls are missed. The officials in turn get an awful lot of grief from the same folks. In fast pitch softball, it is too much to expect one umpire behind the plate to be able to call a game accurately. In the event that the lone official is late, a game cannot even start on time.
What is the rational used to decide whether the boys or girls are funded? I pay the same $3 to see my daughter play as my friends who have boys playing baseball. Perhaps I should only have to pay $1.50? The parents of the Lumberton Jr. High softball team urge all parents with girls playing softball to attend the school board meeting on May 8 and voice your concerns about the umpire issue. For those of us with girls heading to high school next year, it is too late but perhaps we can level the playing field for future junior high softball players to have their games officiated appropriately.