All this discussion about bad high school umpires seems to assume the coaches and players are performing at higher levels than the umpires are.
That's seldom the case.
In fact, one of the lines I use in post-game critiques with my partners--after we review any plays on which our movement or communication could have been improved--is, "OK, we've identified some things we need to work on, but all in all, I'd say the quality of the officiating tonight was at least as good as the quality of play and the quality of coaching."
It always gets a chuckle because it's nearly always true. (It's not true because umpires are special: it's true because it's easier to become a good umpire than to become a good player or a good coach.)
High school teams--even at large high schools--create opportunities for their opponents by not fielding ground balls, not covering bases on bunt plays, not hitting cut off men, putting in relievers who have no idea how to hold runners, and by not doing other basic things that well-coached teams routinely do. And their opponents routinely squander those opportunities by not taking proper leads, not knowing the situation, not reading pitches in the dirt, not exploiting poor throws, and by running into outs. These player and coach issues are far more likely to determine the outcome of games than even the most obvious umpire deficiencies.
Most high school hitters have terrible batting eyes. It is common for a player or parent or coach to act surprised or resentful over a called third strike that might have been a smidgeon off the plate after the first strike was a swing at a ball a foot out of the zone and the batter took the second strike right down the middle. When players vividly demonstrate lack of eye, discipline, and approach early in the count, they might want to consider a little humility when they get rung up.
Nah, just scream that the umpire sucks. That'll fix it.
Coaches are often no better than the players. In a recent game, a team surrendered a three-run home run after its coach chose to pitch to one of the top rated players in the state with first base open and then chose to keep pitching to him when the pitcher fell behind 3-1. Naturally, the coach was sure the reason his team lost was my partner's strike zone and my not awarding a strike on a checked swing appeal three innings later.
Creating a fuss about balls and strikes will always distract the rubes in the stands from noticing the coaching blunders.
Yes, there are bad high school umpires. There are games when blown calls or inconsistent strike zones affect the outcome. But if you look at the overall state of high school baseball, the quality of umpiring is not holding back the progress of the game.
Even so, there is room for improving high school umpiring, and it can be achieved much more simply and inexpensively than by installing advanced sensor systems. Schools can pony up the money to pay for a third umpire. Nearly every game, umpires make important calls from a sub-optimal vantage point (e.g., pick off plays at first) or don't make calls (e.g., checked swing appeals when the base umpire is in the middle of the diamond) because of the limitations of the two-man system.
But as long as schools won't pay for three-man coverage, any talk of automating umpiring at the high school level is unrealistic.