SUMMARIZED: NASO's 13-Point Plan to "Getting Back to Officiating Sensibly"May 27th, 2020
NASO President Barry Mano addresses sports officials and a common-sense approach to game resumption and personal safety.
"...feel much more confident in taking the floor, field, pitch and diamond."
We summarize his 13 points and categorize them by stakeholder and filter them to the 7 that are competition-related.
(NOTE: We do not include that you shouldn't officiate when you are sick or have a fever. You know that already.)
- Responsibility & Provisions for Officials
Organizations, not officials, should be responsible for maintaining a virus-safe working environment for all, including "adopting & publicizing provisions designed to enhance the safety and well-being of the officials."
- Rules Adjustments
Any that are adopted must give "strong consideration to the officiating role in the application and enforcement of those adoptions."
Assigners (& Assignments)
- Independent Contractor Status
Officials have the choice of taking (or not) any assignment for personal health concerns.
- Respectfully Declined Assignments
Be thoughtful should an official not take an assignment for health reasons.
Sports Officials (& In-Game Officiating)
- Personal Hygiene
Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and minimize touching your face.
- Social Distancing
As reasonably as you can, stay safe at 6 feet away from players, coaches and other officials.
- Mask Wearing
Know whether or not you are required to wear a cloth mask. If optional, accept any risk inherent of not wearing one.
Buy Your Cloth Masks Here.
For any referee who wears a mask, consider using an electronic whistle or other appropriate device.
Read the Full 13-Point Article at NASO.org
Includes additional recommendations on testing and vaccinations
- CDC Guidelines Updated for Masks & Gaiters
- Sports Officiating Resources & the Coronavirus Pandemic
- High School & Middle School Associations Decisions on Fall Sports
- The (Nearly) Definitive State-by-State Guide on Sports Re-Openings
- Smitty Making Cloth Masks - Buy One, Donate One Program
- FROM THE ASHES: How Thomas Edison Inspired Our Company to Survive the 2020 Sports Shutdown
- Electronic Referee Whistles As Alternative for Sports Officials During COVID-19
- Social Distancing Behind Home Plate: Could This Solution Provide the Best Compromise for Umpires, Leagues & Safety?
- Calling Balls/Strikes from Behind the Mound? Follow an Easy Safety Tip
About the Author
President Jim Kirk
Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought Ump-Attire.com in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide and a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020 & 2021. He maintains long-standing relationships with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy and the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO). He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.