Expectations and Operations Review

Now that the IHSA season is about to begin, this is a reminder to review the CISassigning Expectations and Operations document before the season begins. Even if you’re an experienced official or AD, you should review this document annually.

The Expectations and Operations document lays out how CISassigning works and clarifies expectations for umpires, schools, and organizations that use CISassigning’s services. The first half of the document is for umpires. The second half is for organizations that I assign for. Everything is included in a single document for transparency. Use the Table of Contents to help navigate the document.

You must have a CISassigning account to access this document. If you have questions after reviewing the document, please reach out to me.

Two Schools Announce Pay Increase

Two local schools have announced that they will increase their umpire pay for the Spring 2021 season.

Dee-Mack will pay $60 for a single game and $110 for a double header.

Central Catholic will pay $65 for a single game and $120 for a double header.

I am still working to get pay information from other area schools and will update the Pay Rates page when information is provided.

2020-2021 CISA Expectations and Operations Document Published

The 2020-2021 Central Illinois Softball Assigning Expectations and Operations document is now published on cisAssigning.com. This document is designed to provide a clear and concise set of expectations for officials, coaches, and staff for softball contests assigned by Central Illinois Softball Assigning. You must be logged in to access the page.

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IHSA Licensing and Concussion Test

I emailed a number of officials a couple of days ago notifying them that they are not able to umpires IESA/IHSA games because their registration is incomplete.

Umpires, please remember that CISA cannot assign you to work IESA or IHSA contests if you are not on the IHSA approved umpire list. The most commonly overlooked element that prevents umpires from being approved is the concussion test.

The approved umpires list is updated multiple times a day, so if you did forget to complete that test, and take and pass it, the list will reflect the change fairly quickly. If you have received that email from me, please complete your registration and ensure your tests are complete.

Schools can rest assured that any umpires who are not IHSA-licensed will not be assigned to games.

Area School Rates

A number of umpires, and athletic directors, have asked what each organization pays for games. The feedback you’ve given over the years is that you’d prefer more transparency, and now that’s available.

In response to requests for rates, a new Pay Rates page is available under the Umpires area of the website. You must be signed in to the site to see this page. Non-CISA umpires or schools can not see the information on the page. This is a work in progress, but most area junior high rates have been added.

Over the next new months high school and travel ball rates will be added to the page.

As always, your feedback is appreciated. Please feel free to contact me with thoughts on how to improve this site or CISassigning services.

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Liability Insurance Through NASO

The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) produces the monthly Referee magazine, but did you know they also provide one of the most comprehensive insurance packages for officials?

Typically, umpires are provided liability insurance by an organization for which they are a member. Most commonly in Central Illinois that the IHSA, USA, PGF, or USSSA. That insurance is good if you’re working one of their sanctioned games, assuming your partner is also a member of the same organization.

What happens if your partner isn’t a member? Generally speaking, you aren’t covered. What happens if you’re asked to work a scrimmage? Not covered. What if you work a club softball game for a university? May not be covered. Or, if you work games for a fundraiser or similar situation? Not covered…that is, unless you’re a NASO member.

This morning I spoke with the NASO insurance department to follow-up on questions I am receiving from junior high coaches and ADs about non-IESA-sanctioned games. Because those contests are not run by a specific organization, I wanted to know if NASO members would be covered by the NASO insurance.

In short, yes, you’re covered! As long as the game is organized, scheduled, and following a set of pre-determined rules (such as NFHS), a NASO member is covered.

The exact language states, “…while acting in their capacity as officials during sports events organized by a recognized sanctioning body or organized by another entity, where the rules of a recognized sanctioning body are followed, such as a local Park Department or any formal organized association and while assigning, attending seminars, conferences, camps, clinics and similar meetings.”

If you are not a NASO member, and would like to become one, you can visit the NASO website and join for $116 per year. NASO has also provided me with a coupon code to save $10 off the annual membership fee. To get that discount, enter SAVETEN during checkout.