One year ago this month, Mike Durham went from officiating basketball straight into calling balls and strikes at a baseball game. The rapid pace is in Durham's DNA.

A year later, however, Durham sits patiently among family and friends waiting out COVID-19. The coronavirus didn't just sideline athletes and coaches, it's had an effect on officials, too.

"Last year, I went straight into baseball after basketball," Durham said. "I worked the (Arkansas state tournament) basketball final on Saturday (March 9, 2019) and went straight into baseball on Monday."

That was the plan this year, too.

After working the 2A state boys final on March 12, Durham was scheduled to work his first baseball game the following Monday.

But by Friday, the Arkansas Activities Association hadn't just squashed the state tournament, or what was left of it, but they'd sidelined all sporting events indefinitely.

Like most players and coaches, Durham's second job has been put on hold. He's holding out for a return to the baseball field by mid-summer.

"I don't think we knew what it (coronavirus) was," Durham said. "It all happened so fast."

A 1990 graduate of Hackett High School, Durham remembers the look on Don Brodell's face when he told officials at the state tournament that  Gov. Asa Hutchinson was pulling the plug on the final two days of the state tournament.

"Don Brodell came in and you could tell he was upset," Durham said. "He said we were going to play these games and the governor said no. 'He (Hutchinson) and I had a conversation about it.'

"The repercussions are huge."

Initially, the Arkansas Activities Association suspended all spring interscholastic competition from March 15-March 30. The AAA has since pushed things back to April 17.

Gov. Hutchinson's mandatory school closing applies through April 17 as well.

Durham said canceling the final two days of the state tournament was hard on the players and coaches.

"In a week, what's going to have changed so much? I feel bad for the kids," he said. "For me, I'm a grown man and I've already done that. If you're a senior, you're losing your senior year. Some of these kids were 50/50 at going to the next level, and now they can't play in front of anybody.

"I feel sorry for all the kids."

It's been tough on Mike and Sarah Durham's pocket book, too.

"I usually work about 100 senior high games and a few college games," Durham said. "There is zero time off."

Durham, whose been calling games since 1992, is hopeful things return to normal by August.

"I usually work 14 Fridays, including the playoffs," Durham said. "I work every Thursday (junior high) and usually every Monday I'll work with a young crew."

The cheapest pay for basketball games is $50 per game, Durham said. "For baseball, you get $10 an inning. If you work a seven-inning game, that's $120 dollars. That's $360 a week."

There's even more money to be made in travel baseball. The USSSA baseball (United States Specialty Sports Association) have tournaments all over the state — Bentonville, Springdale, Alma, Conway and Cabot, among others.

"Utrip tournaments are where the money is," Durham added. "You can make as much as $500 a weekend. The most I ever made was $450. Add that up over a four-week stretch in May? That's a lot of money."