Arrive on time and be prepared. Nothing is more aggravating than a umpire that arrives two minutes before game time. In general, one should arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before game time, at your assigned field. If you anticipate being late you must call Buddy.
Look sharp and dress the part. We’ve all heard that you are judged before you make your first call. This is VERY true. Spend some of your fee and replace those pants and shirts that have been around for the last ten years. And wash your uniform EVERY TIME it gets dirty and keep your shoes polished. Perception is reality.
Get your butt out from behind the dish. Unless a play at the plate is imminent or a time play is possible, there is nothing for you to do staying behind home plate. This means on EVERY PLAY. Do you think that players and coaches don’t notice that you’re lazy? Nothing makes you look worse than trying to make a call at third from 5 feet in front of the plate because you didn’t think the situation would allow the runner from first to advance. This is one of the things that will be noticed, which leads me to….
Always hustle. It distinguishes you from the poor or average umpire.
ALWAYS STAY FOCUSED on the game. If you want to count the spectators or admire the scenery, do it between innings. Your lack of focus is noticed, and sooner or later you will get a late start or miss a play. This lapse can come up and bite you when you least expect it and in a matter of seconds.
PAUSE – READ – REACT. These are probably the most fundamental elements of successful umpiring. Good timing is essential. From the set position, observe the ball, pause to read the situation, see the developing action and react in the appropriate manner. The few extra moments can be the difference between proper reaction and running off in the wrong direction.
Be aware that the strict and literal interpretation of the rule book is not always the way it is done. This comes through experience. Having your own style is ok but relax and NEVER be on a “power trip”. We are only human and we all make mistakes and miss calls. Don’t have an attitude!
Slow down your timing!! Nothing is more embarrassing than seeing an umpire make an out call just as the ball squirts loose, or his right arm coming up just before calling a runner safe.
Always be careful what you say. You never know who is listening. Simply a word to the wise.
Read the appropriate house rules regularly and know sanctioning body rules. No one is so good that they can’t use a regular refresher.
Always verbalize a FOUL ball, hand/arm gesture(point) for FAIR ball.
Use your left hand to indicate balls and right hand for strikes. Use your right hand always for OUT call!
Never call a pitch(ball/strike) on where it lands
Maintain control of the game! If you see players starting to get out of hand then speak to coach and also talk to field supervisor. Warnings if needed!
Check bats before EVERY game!
Try to make the game fun and safe for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Written by Alan Keller
PCA – Know your “Primary Coverage Area” Work that area as much as possible, then reach out a bit if nothing is there ..