Attention Umpires! 10 Things You May Be Forgetting

As an umpire, it's important to have a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of the rules of the game.

However, even the most experienced umpires can sometimes forget to look for certain things on the field.

In this blog post, we will discuss the TOP 10 things that umpires sometimes forget to look for, including the batter's footing in the box, illegal balls, the pitcher's grip, and more.

By understanding these often-overlooked details, you can improve your performance as an umpire and make more accurate calls on the field.

10 things that umpires should look for

1. The batter's footing at the plate

The umpire should ensure that the batter is positioned properly in the batter's box, and that they do not step on home plate while hitting.

2. Illegal pitch height

Umpires should be aware of the rules regarding the height of pitches, and call pitches that are too high or too low as illegal.

3. Pitcher's grip

Umpires should check the pitcher's grip on the ball before each pitch to ensure that it is legal and within the rules of the game.

4. Foul balls and strikes

Umpires should keep track of the number of foul balls and strikes during each at-bat, and call strikes and balls accordingly. An umpire should follow the ball to an extent to accurately see foul vs fair balls.

5. Game situation and score

Umpires should be aware of the game situation and the score, and make unbiased calls throughout each game. It’s always a good idea to keep track of the score as you may be asked this question several times throughout a game.

6. Base runners

Umpires should pay attention to the base runners and their positions on the field, and make calls on close plays or steals. If players are substituting runners, you should be keeping track of these substitutions.

7. Defensive positions

Umpires should ensure that all defensive players are in legal positions before each pitch, and call any infractions. This is especially important for outfield players, and umpires should always make sure that the fielders are out far enough.

8. Batter's time

Umpires should be aware of the batter's actions once they approach the batter's box, and call time if they request it.

9. Equipment violations

Umpires should check for equipment violations, such as illegal bats or gloves, and deal with any infractions prior to starting the game.

10. Time between pitches

Umpires should monitor the time between pitches, and keep the game moving at a steady pace for all players. Teams should be informed before their games that they should hustle in and out of the field to decrease downtime.


It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list and umpires may forget other things that are specific to a certain level of play or a certain rule. Umpires are human and can make mistakes, but being aware of these things, and being prepared to look for them, can help them make more accurate and consistent calls on the field.

If you’re looking to up your skills as an umpire, consider joining the Henning Park Umpire Program! With different levels to achieve, there’s plenty of opportunity for advancement.