Essential Tips for Being a GOOD Umpire

Umpires are trusted to officiate each baseball, softball or slo-pitch game in a neutral manner, and apply the rules to make fair decisions during the game.

As an umpire, you’ll become used to transitioning between different rule sets and age groups with the various games you officiate. Throughout all of your experience, it’s important to learn and grow so that you can always be considered a good, respectable umpire by the team coaches and players you share the field with.

Umpiring is a challenging and rewarding role that requires considerable skill, knowledge and professionalism.

We’ve put together out list of 5 essential tips below to help you become a better umpire! Check out these tips, and use them to help guide you and improve your umpiring skills throughout your career.

1. Make each call clearly

Umpires must make their calls clearly and confidently. It is essential for umpires to be audible and use the correct hand signals when making calls. Umpires should also project their voice and be sure that players, coaches, and spectators can hear and understand the calls they are making at all times during a game.

Be sure to clearly state each pitch result, whether it’s a ball or a strike, and clearly call outs as they happen. There’s nothing worse than an umpire who mumbles every call, so speak clearly and loudly so that your games are easy to follow.

2. Understand the rules

Umpires are expected to have a good understanding of all the rules of the baseball, softball or slo-pitch games they are running. It’s important to be aware of rule changes throughout the season and understand how these rules apply to each game.

By signing up for Umpire Cheat Sheet you can stay up to date on rule changes for all of the leagues you ump, and even input your own league rules.

Register for an account to access your own custom league rules!

3. Be Patient

As an umpire, you will often have to deal with difficult circumstances and people. You must stay calm and be patient when addressing any issues. You should also be prepared to explain the rules and your decisions to players, coaches, and spectators if they have questions or disputes.

A good rule of thumb for an umpire is to remain professional and calm when talking to anyone during a game. Not everyone is looking to start an argument with you based on a call they didn’t like, so be polite and treat everyone with respect before assuming the worst.

4. Remain Impartial

One of the most important qualities of a successful umpire is their ability to remain impartial and make impartial decisions. As an umpire, you must remain unbiased and not show favouritism to any team.

You may run into a scenario where you are umpiring a game with a team you like, or a coach you know, so stay impartial and run the game as a professional without choosing any sides.

5. Have confidence in the calls you make

Confidence is key when umpiring. You must to make sure your decisions are sound and resolute, and do your absolute best to not second guess your own decisions.

As an umpire, you are the authority on the field. Always stand your ground when making a decision, but be open to hearing other people’s views. As long as they approach you in a friendly and respectable manner, you should hear them out on any advice or tips for improvement.

Looking for advice on umpiring, or would like to input your own set of rules? Get started by registering an account.