Checklist for Working with Umpires

By Dave Holt

1. Stay off the umpires.

2. If you have a ‘beef’ then approach the umpire respectfully—make your point and get on with the game.

3. Set the tone by never letting your players alibi about the baseball umpires.

4. Make sure your baseball parents know you have a ZERO tolerance for saying anything to the umpires.

5. Find out the umpires names and address them by their names.

6. The umpire’s names ARE NOT ‘BLUE’.

7. Have an extra player or coach hustle the baseballs out to the homeplate umpire and put the baseball in the umps hands.

8. Never roll the baseballs on the ground or toss the baseballs to the umpires. Watch the pros--have the ballboy (wearing a helmet) quickly run the baseballs out to the ump and PUT the baseball balls in their hands. Umps do not want to be bending over picking up baseball and trying to catch the ball without a glove.

9. Get your baseball team immediately on and off the field between innings so the umpire can keep the game moving and within the time limits. Make sure you have an extra catcher ready to warmup pitchers between innings.

10. Have your on-deck batter retrieve the foulballs near the backstop for the plate umpire.

11. Umpires umpire—players play.

12. Never look back at the umpire and talk to them while batting. If you say anything to the ump do not turn towards them.

13. Your catcher should never turn around and face the umpire. You can talk without turning towards the ump.

14. Don’t let your pitcher and hitters display negative ‘body language’ after a pitch.

15. Catchers should not be taught to ‘yank’ the catcher’s glove while framing in an obvious attempt to deceive the umpire to get a strike call.

16. A ‘subtle’ glove movement toward the strikezone is usually acceptable.

17. Take caution asking one umpire to over rule the other ump. There is a time and a place. If there is a call at 2B and you ask the homeplate umpire to over rule the the base umpire you will lose respect.

18. Be cautious when questioning ball and strike calls. The rules strictly do not allow ball/strike arguing.

19. Thank the umpires after the game for coming out to call your game. Believe me they do not get rich and never get appreciated.

20. As a courtesy always notify the umpires about the lineup changes during the games.

21. Provide designated parking spaces and dressing areas when possible.

22. Have your kids SWING THE BAT. Most umps ‘expand the zone’ a little so do not let your hitters go up looking for a walk.

23. Always show respect and class toward a baseball umpire—you might get some back.

24. Umpires are never going to measure up—so don’t make a big issue about them.

25. If you think baseball umpiring is that easy then try it yourself—I did.

After finishing his professional playing career Dave spent eleven seasons managing in the Red Sox minor league system helping to develop several major league ballplayers. After leaving the Red Sox Dave managed and recruited in the Independent Professional Baseball leagues. He has also coached collegiate wood bat and high school teams. His site, is a wealth of information for baseball players and coaches of all levels.


Leave a comment: