7 Must-Have Tools for Every Umpire

Umpiring is a rewarding career that requires a great deal of dedication and skill. To become a successful umpire, there are some essential tools you will need to have in your arsenal. From protective equipment to specialized training and instruction, the following is an overview of the essential tools you will need to become a successful umpire.

We’ve listed the top 7 essential tools for umpires new and old below:

1. Umpire Uniform

  • The umpire's uniform typically consists of a shirt, pants, and cap, and it is important to wear the correct uniform to ensure that you are easily identifiable as an official on the field.

2. Protective Gear

  • Umpire protective gear can include a mask, chest protector and shin guards. These items are worn to protect the umpire from potential hazards on the field and stray balls. The mask helps protect the face and head, while the chest protector helps protect the upper body, and the shin guards protect the lower legs. Depending on the level of baseball or softball you are umpiring, you may or may not be required to wear safety gear on the field.

3. Rules & Knowledge

  • In order to be a successful umpire, it is essential to have a strong knowledge of the rules and regulations. This includes understanding the different types of calls, positioning, and game times. All of the most up to date rules for your league can be found on Umpire Cheat Sheet.

Make sure you have the mobile version of Umpire Cheat Sheet installed so that you can refer to the rules of your league if you are unsure.

4. Umpire's ball bag

  • This is a bag used to store and transport the baseballs or softballs that will be used during the game. Your bag should be big enough to carry a couple of game balls, as well as a few spare balls at all times.

If your league does not require a specific bag, you can customize your own ball bag for softball or baseball.

5. Umpire's Clicker

  • In order to keep the count for balls, strikes, and outs, you’ll need an umpire clicker on the field. A clicker is a simple tool that is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need as an umpire.

6. Lineup cards

  • These are cards that contain the names and positions of the players on each team. They are used to ensure that the correct players are on the field and to keep track of substitutions. You’ll need to collect these from each team at the beginning of your games.

7. Plate Brush

  • A plate brush is specifically helpful to baseball umpires. They are used to keep the home plate clean, and can improve the overall quality of play.

Looking for an easy way to keep track of your league’s rules and regulations? Sign up for Umpire Cheat Sheet, and your rules will be available to everyone in your league.