Texas baseball playoffs postponed because of feud between umpire groups

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

All different kinds of situations can lead to delays or postponements of baseball games. Weather issues often come into play, and occasionally electrical outages can throw a wrench in the best laid plans. And of course umpire disputes can delay a game or series, too.

The San Antonio Madison baseball team celebrates a win — BeRecruited
The San Antonio Madison baseball team celebrates a win — BeRecruited

Wait, what? Umpire dispute? Incredibly, in Texas that's precisely what happened.

As reported by the San Antonio Express-News, two different high school baseball playoff series had to be delayed because of an injunction filed in relation to a dispute between two different groups of baseball umpires. While the Texas Collegiate Umpire Association was scheduled to work the San Antonio (Texas) Madison High vs. San Antonio (Texas) Judson High series and the Boerne (Texas) Champion High vs. Buda (Texas) Hays High series, a suit from the San Antonio branch of the Texas Association of Sports Officials forced the opening of both series to be delayed.

The two groups of officials don't necessarily play well together, so it was not particularly surprising that one would be upset when the other was chosen to officiate a prestigious playoff series. Rather, the issue may be why the decision to pick one over the other was considered a major surprise.

As the Express-News noted, the San Antonio North East Independent School District used TASO-San Antonio officials throughout the regular season only to choose TCUA officials for the playoffs. That upset the TASO members, who then filed an injunction claiming that they had a right to work the playoffs because they were the officials working that region during the regular season.

A TASO official works a softball game — TASO.org
A TASO official works a softball game — TASO.org

With no quick resolution in sight, athletic directors from the effected schools decided to postpone their playoff series rather than scramble to find other officials to work the game on a moment's notice, even though Champion was actually en route to Hays for their game when they first learned of the umpire snafu.

In what may be a fitting twist to the feuding officials groups, the injunction filed between the two may actually keep either group from being able to officiate either playoff series.

After having a team from one of his schools waste an afternoon trip up the road only to turn around without a game, Boerne Independent School District Athletic Director Stan Leech asked the state's governing body for athletics, the University Interscholastic League, to provide officials for the Champion vs. Hays series. While it was unknown whether UIL officials would be used for the Judson vs. Madison series, the ongoing injunction between the umpire groups made that a likely possibility.

While it seems extremely unlikely that officials from either group entered their fray hoping to make both irrelevant for the remainder of the San Antonio baseball playoffs, they may have accomplished just that with their untimely feud.

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