There is a huge shortage of umpires and officials, especially at the youth levels – much of it because of the abuse from parents, coaches and players. Without officials, there are no sports. UMPS CARE Charities and NASO are two organizations working hard to combat this crisis.

That’s why more than 500 officials and leaders from the big leagues like MLB, NFL, college, are in Denver for the NASO Summit.

UMPS CARE Charities, which was started by the MLB Umpires in 2006 as a way to give back, will be featured at one of the panels. They launched their newest initiative, the Official Leadership Program, last year in response to the ongoing crisis across the country with the shortage of umpires and referees in youth sports.

They are training teens in under-resourced communities not only to learn umpire mechanics on the field, but leadership skills off of it. They align them with mentors in the community and help create a direct pipeline to employment.

UMPS Care consider this a win-win, but they have a lot of work to do!