How to Create and Lead a Successful Umpiring Crew

The first step to having a successful umpiring crew is to recruit high-quality umpires. This team should be comprised of experienced umpires who are highly knowledgeable about the sport and have a good understanding of the rules and regulations governing it.

Are you a convenor who is looking for umpires to officiate your league? Get started by setting up your rules at so that every umpire is following the rules to a tee!

1. Getting Started

Selecting Your Umpire Crew Members

An umpiring crew consists of multiple umpires who are responsible for making sure the rules of the game are enforced. The members of the crew should have a good understanding of the sport, its rules and their responsibilities

You should select umpires who are well-versed in the sport, preferably having umpired it for a number of years.

Umpire Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the umpiring crew include ensuring that each game runs in a fair and orderly manner and that the set game times are strictly followed.

Umpires may also have to take care of pre-game preparations such as field/court setup, equipment inspection and briefing both teams on any rules or regulations they have to abide by.

Additionally, they should ensure that the players, coaches and spectators comply with the rules for the duration of each game.

It is important that you set a clear leadership philosophy for the umpiring crew. This should include the way in which decisions should be made, how disputes will be handled and how the crew will actively promote fairness between teams on the diamond.

Benefits of Leading an Umpiring Crew

One of the main benefits of leading or creating an umpiring crew is that you will be able to make sure the game is being officiated fairly. This will create a better atmosphere for the players and spectators, and it will also help to ensure that the rules are being followed. Additionally, it will help to develop a higher level of trust between the umpires, the players and the spectators, no matter what skill level you’re playing at.

2. How to Mentor Your Umpire Crew

The best way to mentor and develop new members of the umpiring crew is to provide them with guidance and feedback. This can be done through engaging conversations, shadowing experienced umpires, and providing constructive criticism.

Setting aside time to go over rules and regulations in an umpire meeting can also go a long way in helping your crew to develop and improve their skills as umpires.

If disagreements ever arise between members of the umpiring crew, it is important to take a step back and come to a solution that is fair and beneficial to all parties.

What Qualifications do Umpires Need?

In order to be an umpire, it is important to have the appropriate education and training. If they have experience as a ball player outside of umpiring, they will likely have the understanding of the sport that they require to umpire.

Depending on your state or province, the requirements for becoming an umpire may vary. Generally, umpires require a good understanding of the sport, its rules and regulations, as well as experience officiating the sport.

Every member of your umpire crew must also pass the Umpire Certification exam online, either through SPN or NSA (for Canadian umpires).

Physical requirements

It is important to have the physical capability to officiate a game correctly. Generally, umpires are required to be able to stand for extended periods of time, have good vision and hearing, and be able to move quickly and precisely along the base lines to spot plays.

In addition to the physical and educational requirements, it is important to be an umpire that is fair and impartial. Umpires must also be able to make decisions quickly and objectively, and perform well under pressure.

3. Organizing Your Umpiring Crew

Once the roles and responsibilities of each member have been established, it is important to set up communication protocols between the umpiring crew.

This should include how decisions are to be communicated to the team leader and other members, how disagreements or disputes should be addressed, how feedback should be delivered, and how issues can be addressed quickly and effectively.

Make sure to let your umpires know when you expect their availability to be given, so that you can schedule all of their games in a timely manner.

Scheduling Games

Umpiring crews should be provided with the necessary information and equipment in order to properly prepare for games.

This should include the date and time, the type and level of game, the location of the diamond, and the teams playing. As well, each umpire should be provided with enough balls to use for the whole game.


Umpiring is an essential role in any game, and requires a great deal of knowledge, skill and professionalism. A successful umpire must have a good understanding of the rules and regulations of the game, be able to communicate clearly and effectively, and have the ability to remain calm and professional at all times.

If you’d like to keep your umpires up to date on all the rules, use the Umpire Cheat Sheet - also available on mobile!