BCBUA Member Update - June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

June is normally a month where we are all run off our feet trying to keep up with all of the baseball amidst the last month of school, graduations and families preparing for summer….this spring has felt surreal for all of us. In an effort to do our best to serve our members, the BCBUA Board of Directors has met several times in the last few months trying to keep up with all the changes and ensure our members were kept up to date. We have worked diligently to provide as much baseball education through non-contact methods as possible.

Many of our members have enquired about refunds of their membership because there has been no baseball so far this year. Although there are now plans underway for potential limited startup of some play in late summer or fall, to date there has been no need for on field officials in baseball.

After much debate and careful consideration, the BCBUA has decided it will not be issuing refunds for this season. I am hopeful that after some clarification of what that looks like, members will understand and support the rationale. The BOD wants to make sure that our members really understand what their membership actually pays for, and what it does not.

A BCBUA membership covers:

  • Access to education through progressive levels of competency created exclusively for our members
  • Exams and evaluations that allow progression and advancement through our level system consistent with national standards set by Baseball Canada
  • Access to individual mentorship by other officials both on and off the field
  • Eligibility for selection to provincial and regional championships
  • On field insurance against liability and injury including claims which result in loss of wages
  • Membership in Baseball BC as the Provincial Sport Authority
  • Operational costs of the BCBUA Board of Directors in order to administrate the organization
  • Creation and development of learning materials
  • Member supports such as personal advocacy when needed, investigation and execution of umpire related discipline matters, and representation with other partner groups within the BC baseball community to ensure that the best interest of umpires is considered in all decision-making
  • Access to members only communications through our website and newsletters
  • Ability to attend instructional clinics in multiple municipalities throughout the province that are suited to the level of certification of the member without any charge

A BCBUA membership DOES NOT cover:

  • Allocation of on field assignments during the season – this is an association responsibility.  To the extent a member receives or does not receive field assignments, this is not a matter within the scope of BCBUA’s responsibility
  • A guarantee of level of baseball an umpire can officiate during the regular season – this is an association responsibility

It is not lost on the BCBUA Board of Directors (“BOD”) that our new Level 1 umpires this year – who have never been on field as an umpire nor had much opportunity to interact with our other members have not fully benefitted from their membership this year.

Although this is a result of the COVID-19 situation and no fault of our own, the BOD wants to assure our new members that our plan is to make a recommendation at our fall Annual General Meeting of members, that all new 2020 level 1 umpires will be receiving a credit towards their membership fees for 2021.  Roughly ½ of our in-person education clinics were administered prior to the shut down in March, and the BCBUA has since adapted – like the public education system – to an online delivery format for these new members who still deserve access to their first year of learning as an umpire.  The Education Committee at BCBUA worked very hard to create a quality product for our members. We have designed our online program after careful consultation with other provincial umpire education committees across Canada, and we have produced the best learning opportunity under the circumstances that we can.

If you have not yet had a chance to check out our learning opportunities, please go to the “Education” tab on the left side of the page once you have logged in the BCBUA website.  If you have already taken the Level 1 in-person clinic this year, you can still review or repeat your learning through this portal.

We know everyone is disappointed this year.  We all are too.  However, the BCBUA continues.  Our work continues.  Our resource development and members services continue.  Our expenses continue.  The BCBUA hopes this helps you understand the position of the BOD at this time.  We have spent, and continue to spend, significant effort to ensure that we have done all we can for our members during this difficult time, which includes the planning for a potential start up yet this year, as well as how we will manage our member dues for 2021.

Please take care of yourselves and each other.  You always have access to myself, your Area Representative, and the rest of the executive for questions or clarifications.  We will continue to be as communicative as possible through all of this and we look forward to seeing you all on field at some point hopefully sooner than later!

On behalf of our executive,

Rhonda Pauls

President, BCBCUA