USSSA Expands Tournaments in Illinois

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) is expanding its tournament schedule in Illinois. The state UIC shared that USSSA is prominent in southern Illinois and is expanding its tournament schedule moving north this year.

Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, and Peoria will all host USSSA tournaments this season. The Louisville Slugger complex in Peoria will host the USSSA State Championships (July 8-11) and the USSSA Great Lakes National Championships (July 19-24).

USSSA umpires are easily recognized in their trademark red uniform shirts and heather grey pants, accompanied by black hat and black ball bags.

If you’re interested in becoming a USSSA registered umpire visit the USSSA Umpire Registration page. The organization offers multiple tiers of membership and allows umpires to choose if they want to accept or decline insurance coverage from the organization.

IHSA Decision Shakes Up the Season

A couple of weeks ago the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) adjusted the start date of many Spring sports, softball included. With practices able to start on April 7, and no more than seven practice dates before being able to play, most high schools have adjusted their schedules.

Originally many schools had their games starting later in the Spring and going through early-to-mid June. The IHSA Spring softball season is slated to end on Saturday, June 19, with the possibility of a state series to wrap up the season.

Umpires have likely seen a number of cancellations over the past couple days as schools move their late May/early June games to mid-April. These changes have caused a lot of work for athletic directors, assignors, and umpires. Believe me, the athletic directors have earned their pay over the past year as they work to provide the best possible athletic experience to student athletes.

As with any Spring, there will be additional adjustments as mother nature brings us showers, and games get postponed, rained out, or rescheduled. I sincerely thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we work to get things squared away.

Yours in sport,


Tri-Valley Summer League Contracts with CISassigning

The Tri-Valley Summer travel league has contracted with CISassigning to assign its Summer softball program. Those games will be posted in upcoming months.

The Tri-Valley league features three teams – 9u, 12u, and 14u totalling approximately 20 games between the teams. This program plays under USA softball regulations, so umpires must be USA patched to work their games.

Sangamon Valley Conference Contracts with CISassigning

The Sangamon Valley Conference (SVC) has contracted with CISassigning for the Fall 2020 softball season.

With a shortened season and limitations placed on schools, the SVC has collectively decided that having a single assignor to assign all softball games would simplify the experience for school personnel and allow them to focus more on student safety and well-being.

SVC member schools include Blue Ridge, Corpus Christi (Bloomington, IL), Epiphany (Normal, IL), Fisher, Heyworth, LeRoy, Lexington, Ridgeview, and Tri-Valley.

If you are an umpire interested in working these games, you will need to join the Central Illinois Softball Assigning umpire roster. You may register for an account on the CISA registration page.


USSSA Resumes Play in Illinois July 1

USSSA softball will begin holding tournaments in Illinois on July 1, announced Perry Clark, Illinois Director of USSSA.

There are a few requirements that must be met prior to working a USSSA tournament. If you haven’t completed these yet, I encourage you to do so as soon as you are able.

  1. Register online for the 2020 season which will take you until Dec 31st, 2020.
  2. You MUST complete the ONLINE background check per Federal Law (Safe Sport Act). 
  3. You must contact Tim James to umpire any tournaments in Northern or Central Illinois. (Louisville Slugger Events are handled by LSSC.

Umpires will be paid $47.00 per game for all games assigned by OfficialsFinder. The merit-based pay system proposed by USSSA in the past year has been removed in favor of a straight pay-rate. The Louisville Slugger complex in Peoria, IL will assign its own umpires and set an separate per-game rate.


IHSA Cancels Spring Season

IHSA COVID-19 Update

* Last updated at Noon on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met for their April meeting via a video conference call on Tuesday, April 21, where the Board of Directors announced its decision to cancel all IHSA spring state tournaments. The decision to cancel the spring state tournaments comes in conjunction with Friday’s (April 17) announcement by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education that all Illinois high schools will complete the 2019-20 school term from home via e-learning.

For the full press release visit the IHSA website.


USA Softball Umpires – SafeSport Requirement

Every umpire registered with USA Softball is required to complete SafeSport training before being allowed to work any USA softball games. The training is available at any time by visiting the Register USA Softball website. You must be a registered USA softball participant (coach, administrator, umpire, etc.) to access the SafeSport training.

SafeSport training is available at no cost to USA Softball umpires. Instructions to access and register with SafeSport is available in a PDF. If you have questions about SafeSport training, contact USA Softball of Illinois.

Download SafeSport Registration Instructions

Local Bloomington-Normal Pitcher, Wiegand, Ends the Season with Grace.

This is a great article by local Sports Editor Randy Kindred about how one local IWU senior handled the sudden end of the season.