Umpires Corner

Umpires Corner
A Big Thank You to All the Umpires for a Great Season!  Thank You for All Your Hard Work & Committment!


Umpire Tips
  • Arrive on  time and be prepared (30 minutes prior to start time).
  • Always have  a pre-game with your partner.
  • Look sharp  and dress the part.
  • ALWAYS put  the ball back into play.
  • Get your  butt out from behind the plate.
  • Always  hustle – it distinguishes you from the poor or average umpire.
  • ALWAYS STAY  FOCUSED on the game.
  • As the BASE  umpire, NEVER leave the infield with runners on base while the ball is live.
  • As the BASE  umpire with NO ONE on base, only leave the infield on fair/foul calls down the first base line or possible trouble balls from the right fielder towards  the foul line.
  • If you are  the BASE umpire, do not make out calls on balls hit to left/center field with no one on base.
  • Be humble –  Never try to “run” the game or “coach” a player.
  • Use – give  - respond to signals with your partner  (not just in an infield fly  situation).
  • NEVER turn  your head away from the field when calling balls and strikes.
  • PLEASE stop  coming in and talking to the plate umpire between every half-inning.
  • Watch EVERY  touch of the bases by the runners.
  • DO NOT say  “strike three-you are out”, “Ball four-take your base” or point the  batter-runner down to first.
  • DO NOT point the batter to first base after a walk (simply state “ball four” after the pitch)
    • Danger example – plate umpire points to first base alerting the batter that he is to go to first base because it is a walk. The first base umpire misinterprets the plate umpire’s signal and thinks the plate umpire is  appealing to him on a check swing.  The first base umpire indicates  that the batter did – in fact – swing and calls the pitch a strike. Do not point to first on a walk.
  • Appeal to  the base umpire on a check swing by pointing with your LEFT hand.
  • Do NOT  indicate pitch location on called balls.
  • Do not call  “time” until the base runners return to their base.
  • Do not call  “time” every time a defensive player asks for it.
  • NEVER call  “time” to get yourself back into position.
  • Do not hold  onto the game ball at the mound and wait for the pitcher to arrive.
  • Slow down  your timing – wait for the play to be over – then make your call.
  • Work the  slot and keep your chin level with the top of the catcher’s head.
  • Keep your  head motionless – you must “lock in” your head position.
  • Stop  constantly looking at your ball/strike indicator.
  • NEVER make  a call or a decision on the run – always STOP moving before making any call.
  • Do not wear  a watch – do not use your cell phone.
  • A foul ball  is NEVER a foul tip and a foul tip is NEVER a foul ball.
  • Do not get  talked into asking for help on your call after it has been made.
  • NEVER put your hands into your pockets.
  • Posture & preparation-do not fold your arms-do not cross your legs or slouch-this gives the wrong image-get in READY position.
  • DO NOT  become best buddies with managers, coaches, or players.
  • ALWAYS  enter and leave the field with your partner(s).
  • Do not hold  your mask by the strap – ALWAYS remove it with your LEFT hand.
  • Always be  careful what you say – you never know who is listening.
  • Read the  rule book regularly – no one is so good that they could not use a regular  refresher.
  • Stay down  an extra second on your ball calls – timing is important – be consistent.
  • On check  swings – do not be so hard headed that you will not ask your partner for  help.
  • When  working the plate and a foul fly is heading back toward the backstop, follow  the movement of the catcher, not the flight of the ball.
  • Stay off  the catcher – give him space to do his job.
  • Do not be a  human scoreboard – when working the plate, it is not necessary to indicate  the ball/strike count before every pitch.  Signal  balls/strikes after every 3rd pitch.
  • Do Not make stadium calls
    • A stadium call  is when the umpire is loud and emphatic when they don’t need to be.        Example:  An obvious foul ball does not need a loud emphatic “foul” if everyone in the stadium knows it’s foul.
    • On an obvious foul ball back to the screen – DO NOTHING.
  • Do  Not forget to put the ball in play after a foul ball or a time out.
  • Do  Not wear a ball bag while umpiring the bases.
  • Do  Not take your eyes off of the ball ever (while the ball is in live).
  • Do  Not have rabbit ears.
  • Do  Not carry a rule book on your person.
  • When cleaning the plate, move out in front of the plate to face the crowd - never show your back side.


Attributes Of Great Umpires
The relentless pursuit of perfection can be applied to five skills areas if an individual is determined to achieve distinction as an umpire.

1. Rules Knowledge
  1. An intimate knowledge and understanding of the rules and their accurate and clear implementation.
  2. You're strong in some areas of the rules, not so strong in other areas, it's a fact of life with each of us. Pick those rules where you are weakest and learn them cold. Remember learning the rules and gaining a thorough understanding takes patience and time.
  3. Adopt a working knowledge of the rules in terms of advantagedisadvantage. Understand the intent of a rule not just the ability to recite it word for word.
  4. Avoid third world calls, they make you look like an amateur.
2. Timing and Judgment ( This means continuous refinement )
  1. Make a conscious effort to slow down, make this a part of your pre-game check off list.
  2. Read, pause, react - allow plays to develop and come to a end before making your decision.
3. Mechanics
  1. Are all about your behavior and your willingness to put forth a focused, continuous, effort for the entire game.
  2. Be crisp in all of your actions.
  3. Hustle all the time. This always overlooked behavior on the part of umpires creates respect from all and keeps coaches in the dugout on close calls.
  4. Hit your spots on the field (positioning) with accuracy, know where you are supposed to be and where your partner is supposed to be. Learn to make immediate adjustments when your partner is out of position. You can talk about what should have been done when you and your partner do a post-game review.
4. Game Management
  1. It's your game to run.
  2. You are the final authority on the field, this means you have a duty to remain calm and in control at all times.
  3. Learn to be professional and approachable but not fraternizing.
  4. Raise the level of awareness in your game. Defuse potential situations before they have a chance to develop.
5. Appearance
  1. Dress impeccably as an umpire, it speaks volumes about how you accept your professional duties.
  2. If you look rumpled you will be treated with disrespect, you single handedly compromise your own authority. Fact: The higher the level of play the more profound this becomes. You earn respect by dressing the part. Remember more than 50% of how you are judged by on-field personnel centers on your appearance. 
Regina Optimist Baseball Association