The Umpire In Little League
Competent leadership on and off the playing field is essential to the full benefit and enjoyment of the youngster who plays Little League Baseball.
A requisite to good leadership is knowledge of, and ability to do a specific job. The umpire and other adults who perform services in Little League are looked upon to provide leadership in much the same fashion as is the manager and coach. Each must know his job and develop the respect of players and adults alike.
Umpiring is as important to the successful conduct of a local league program as is managing and coaching. Traditionally, Little League has maintained a high level standard in this area of the game. While the people who perform this service do so as volunteers, their devotion to the program and their desire to widen the scope of their knowledge and experience has reflected creditability on Little League. Character, good judgement, ability to get along with youngsters and the desire to do the job well are the attributes of a good umpire.
Adults who volunteer for service in the Little League undertake a difficult and sometimes thankless responsibility. Temperament as well as technical skill must be considered in selecting umpire candidates. Little League umpires must have full appreciation of the aims and principles of the program. They must understand youngsters of Little League ages; their comparable skills, limitations and imperfections.
The umpire’s conduct on the field will, in a marked degree, determine success. This attitude in disposing of disputed decisions can elevate an umpire’s effectiveness rather than lower dignity. An umpire should never use profane language or smoke.
By hustle, decisiveness and self-control in covering plays, the umpire should be able to keep the game under control. Each umpire should demonstrate that effort is being made to cover every play from the best possible view. However, the umpire should remember that an umpire is only there to make decisions based on the rules, not to steal the show.
Appearance is a solid attribute to good umpiring. The well-groomed official creates an atmosphere of respect and dignity.
You are being paid for each scheduled game, therefore this will be considered a JOB and any misconduct will result in suspension from program.
YNLL will provide:
- Umpire Shirt, Chest Protector, Shin Guards, Face Mask, Ball Bag, and Brush (Items must be returned to the Umpire shack after each game)
Each volunteer umpire must provide:
- Blue Cap(Plain), Ball and strike indicator, Gray Trousers, Protective shoes (for plate assignments),and a Protective cup.
Yakima National Little League Umpire Rules
- All umpires must initial games scheduled. You must give a 2 day notice to the Head Umpire if you are unable to make your scheduled game. Three unexcused no-shows will result in suspension for remainder of year.
- All umpires must be in umpire shack 30 minutes prior to game schedule with the exception of games scheduled at Castlevale fields, in which case you need to be at field 15 minutes prior to game.
- No switching of assigned fields unless approved by Head Umpire.
- No drinking or eating on fields with the exception of eating of sunflower seeds.
- All equipment will be signed out for each game scheduled on the sign-out sheet provided. All equipment will be labeled with a YNLL number.
- All equipment must be returned to umpire shack after each game, If any items signed out is not returned. The umpire’s paycheck will be withheld until equipment is returned.
- Any problems on the field with regards to rules, manager/coaches behavior shall be brought to the Head Umpire’s attention immediately. Do not make matters worse by threatening to eject manager or coach, this does not resolve the problem, only adds to it.
- Be familiar with the rules; if you’re unsure of a certain situation don’t hesitate to ask the veteran umpires or the head umpire.
Most Common Rules Questioned By Managers, Coaches & Parents
Strike Zone: Is that space over home plate, which is between the batter’s armpits and the top of the knees when the batter assumes a natural stance. (The umpire shall determine the strike zone according to the batter’s usual stance when that batter swings at a pitch)
Infield Fly: Is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, OR first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder stationed in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule. When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners.
Sliding: A runner must avoid contact. A runner shall be called out if the runner does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make a tag or play. There is NO “Must slide rule” The rule is slide or attempt to get around. If the fielder does not have the ball, and there is a collision, you CAN NOT call the runner out.
For safety reasons, intentional headfirst slides are not allowed while advancing,the player will be called out.(Diving back to the bases is allowed)
Balks: There are NO balks in Little League Majors, Minors or Tee-Ball. The pitch shall be called a ball.
Catcher’s Gear: All catchers must wear protectors with neck collar, throat guard, shin guards and catcher’s helmet. All catchers must wear a mask, “dangling” type throat protector and catcher’s helmet during infield and outfield practice, pitcher warm-up and games. Skull caps are not permitted.