Baseball Umpires’ Learning Blog

Our Place to Share the Game

How Can You Become an Umpire?

Several people have come to our learning blog trying to find out how to become an umpire. I am very aware that virtually all umpire associations would enjoy having a fresh batch of umpires every year. For this reason, we should answer this no so simple question when we are communicating with a world full of baseball leagues. However, we welcome your comments on other ways to become an umpire. Once the season has begun, the best way to learn how to become an umpire is to introduce to the umpires shortly after a middle school or high school game (generally in the parking lot).

Beginning your experience as a volunteer Little League umpire in a local league works well for many people and truly makes a difference for children and families despite your beginning ability. Little League has excellent local and regional training programs. Go to the Little League Baseball Official Website ( to locate a league near you and/or click on “UMPIRES” here or at the top of the page for more information.

The best thing to do is go out and watch games and meet umpires. Introduce yourself and ask the umpires who to contact and give your name to the plate umpire who can write down your name and number on his lineup card. Hopefully all umpires will pass this information along to the proper member(s).

Prior to the season watch the sports pages in your local newspaper 6-8 (?) weeks before the high school season begins or contact an umpire that you know or met. Ask the people you think are good umpires where they are working their next games and go to additional games. Find a mentor. This can be an important first step for true beginners and green umpires.

Mentoring programs are proven to have profound effects on all professional groups that utilize this model. Most umpires could also benefit from a structured teaching and feedback system so the entire officiating group can focus on a short list of specific topics and national points of emphasis to standardize the learning. This is an important function of Executive Committees in conjuntion with the local rules interpreter.

I presume that every state that uses National Federation rules also has a state umpire-in-chief. I hope some readers can confirm this presumption and give us a resource where we can all find state-by-state information. In the process, active umpires from around the country/world will discover who they can contact to answer their toughest rule questions. Asking only questions about rule situations that actually, almost, or might really happen will make this a productive exercise for you and your state umpire-in-chief (and they won’t hate me for telling you to call them!).


  1. i’m from the cnmi islands i iwant to learn how can i be a certified little league baseball umpire?

    Comment by Manuel C. Atalig | March 3, 2008 | Reply

    • I am not a certified umpire yet, but i would like to become one. I would just ask the UIC of the league you ump for. You can also contact the chief umpire of the region you are in. Post a coment telling me what region you ump in and I will tell you the person tocontact.

      Comment by littleump | July 5, 2009 | Reply

      • Where is the cnmi islands. I can find out who to contact.

        Comment by littleump | July 6, 2009

    • go to the President of the league and he should pay for you to go to a local clinic where you will be certified. Good Luck. UIC in Nor-Cal.

      Comment by Jim | November 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. When a runner is on any base with less that 2 outs and the batter hits a fly ball to the outfield, the runner is on his base to tag up. When the ball hits the fielders glove, can the runner leave the base? In the situation I am describing, the fielder bobbled the baseball after it hit his glove but eventually caught the ball. My runner though, released from his base after the ball was first touched by the fielder. My runner was called out for leaving the base to early. The explanation the umpire gave me is that it was not declared a catch until after the field ump could see that the ball was in possession of the fielder. Was my runner out and where can I find any information regarding this rule.

    Comment by Bill Welch | April 17, 2008 | Reply

    • as soon as the ball touches a fielder the runner can leave so the call was wrong in this situation

      Comment by Aaron Donais | June 22, 2009 | Reply

    • i think that the call was wrong cause as soon as the ball makes contact with the fielder the fence or the ground the ball in play and the runner on base can run

      Comment by james | August 13, 2011 | Reply

  3. If the situation is as you described it, your runner can leave the base at the moment the ball touches the fielder. The runner does not have to wait for secure possession. Hopefully this umpire went home and opened his rulebook to make sure he was right and discovered otherwise.

    Comment by Shawn Kimball | April 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. . . . . . the runner can not tag up until the batter is out. The out is not recorded until the fielder has possesion of the ball. Therefore, the runner cannot tag up and leave the base until the fielder has posession of the ball and the batter is out.

    Comment by Ravi Nadesan | May 22, 2008 | Reply

    • The second the ball touches the fielder’s glove the runner can leave so he can leave before the out is recorded.

      Comment by littleump | July 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. The National Federation rulebook states that the runner can leave at the moment of first touching. Rule 8-Section 2 and appears in the rule book after 8-2-5 under Penalty Articles 1-5. I guess I should have used a specific rule so you would have reason to believe my response. To further clarify when the out actually occurs, the out is not called by the umpire and official until there is secure possession and voluntary release. Therefore, to be fair, runners tagging up may leave their base after the first contact with the ball by a fielder. I am very confident that all other levels of baseball have this same rule. Anyone have rule books handy to share those rule references?

    Rule Book:
    “PENALTY (ART. 1-5): For failure to touch a base (advancing or returning), or failure to tag up as soon as the ball is touched on a caught fly ball, the runner may be called out if an appeal is made by the defensive team.” NFHS Baseball 2008 Pg. 49

    NFHS Case Book:
    Situation 8.2.2 Situation B (page 64-65)

    Comment by Shawn Kimball | May 22, 2008 | Reply

  6. I knew the answer to this question. It quite obvious the runner can leave the base as soon as the fielder comes in contact with the ball/

    Comment by Christopher Thompson | August 13, 2009 | Reply

  7. want to know how to become an umpire for d3 and junior d1 2 3

    Comment by sam sparacino | September 26, 2009 | Reply

  8. what do you mean by junior d1 d2 d3

    Comment by luke | September 26, 2009 | Reply

  9. Are you looking to do College, High school or something else?

    Comment by Troy | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  10. I am a HS varsity umpire in New Jersey for the past 9 years. I am considering employment in Madawaska, ME. Is there a baseball umpires’ association there? What kind of baseball is there in the surrounding area? I love to umpire 14U and above so I am quite concerned that I may have to give up something I love to do. Please advise. Thanks.

    Comment by Bernard Fontaine | November 1, 2009 | Reply

  11. There is a board up there.

    You can contact our secretary, he probably knows who the contact is. Our secretary is Neil Ashton – his e-mail is:

    Good luck

    Comment by Troy | November 4, 2009 | Reply

  12. I’m very interested in becoming a high school umpire or even a college umpire. I’m just a little unsure of how to get started , where to go , or who to talk to in my area.

    Comment by Mike Perez | May 11, 2010 | Reply

  13. How do i become an umpire?

    Comment by George Strunk | November 2, 2010 | Reply

  14. What is the minimum age requirement for umpiring?

    Comment by Evan Harley | February 1, 2011 | Reply

    • how old are you i can tell you where you can ump where do you live

      Comment by luke | June 13, 2011 | Reply

      • I’m 16 and I live in Fresno, California.

        Comment by Evan Harley | June 13, 2011

      • umm is fresno southern california or northern california also do you want to ump little league or travel ball

        Comment by luke | June 13, 2011

  15. I have been a varsity high school umpire for 10 years now.Would like to move up and start doing college ball.I live in New Jersey.Who can I contact??How can I get started?

    Comment by Ray Fundora | February 26, 2011 | Reply

  16. ray – try these guys:

    Comment by amateurumpirepaul | June 21, 2011 | Reply

  17. i’ve been umpiring since i was 12 and am not getting paid much, but am told that i would get paid more if i am certified. i live in northwest iowa, any tips?

    Comment by Charlie | June 22, 2011 | Reply

  18. Not sure if I am in the right place, but here goes.

    I umpired way back when I was a senior in high school. Pro bono of course. My eldest daughter is an all star catcher playing rec, travel and high school ball. And now I don’t coach or manage her teams any longer, so I’ve hung up my manager/coach shirts and want to get into umpiring again. Little league, adult/youth softball, etc. I live in Bensalem, PA and just looking to get started.



    Comment by Dave | June 24, 2011 | Reply

    • is bensalem in east or west pennsylvania

      Comment by luke | June 26, 2011 | Reply

  19. contact and tell him you would like to work travel ball games for him. He will give you all the information.

    Comment by luke | June 26, 2011 | Reply

  20. I live in westminster Maryland and want to start umpiring baseball. I dont know were to get started.

    Comment by jason wagner | August 9, 2011 | Reply

  21. hi if im 13 ears old but paly baseball can i still umpire a younger or higher level than the one im in now if im in babe ruth league baseball in eastren maryland

    Comment by james | August 13, 2011 | Reply

    • contact your league president

      Comment by luke | August 15, 2011 | Reply

  22. I have an interst in becoming a college umpire. I live in Houston, Texas. Can anyone direct me to the appropriate person to contact?


    Comment by Christopher | September 28, 2011 | Reply

  23. I would like to become trained or certified as a high school, middle school, babe ruth, cal ripken league, and/or little league baseball umpire.

    Comment by Paul Brown | January 12, 2012 | Reply

  24. I would like to become certified in louisiana for high school baseball. How do I get started?

    Comment by Jonathan McDaniel | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  25. im 19 years old and played ball my whole life unfortunetly didnt make it to play college ball but i want to try to umpire on the weekends select baseball how do i do it to get my foot in the door? i would prefer umpiring 11u and under to start off with and i live in the houston area

    Comment by Albert | April 26, 2012 | Reply

  26. Okay, quick little league scenario I had umpiring: A batter hits a low line drive towards the pitchers mound. The ball strikes the rubber causing the ball to richochete into the opposing team’s dugout and bounced out. My partner behind the plate called dead-ball and allowed the runner first base, but the catcher had ran to the ball and would have had a play. Was this the right call?

    Comment by Bradley | May 24, 2012 | Reply

    • no. the call is “foul ball” as long as no defensive player touched it in fair territory. this is a dead ball & each runner is awarded 2 bases at the time of pitch. so if there was nobody on base, then the batter is at 2nd base.

      Comment by paul mefford | May 15, 2013 | Reply

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    Comment by | February 6, 2013 | Reply

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    Comment by Cleo | March 2, 2013 | Reply

    • Can you advise me on how to get into Umpiring. I live in Mt. Laurel,N.J. 08054

      Comment by Robert L. Scapicchio | June 18, 2013 | Reply

    • How does One become a Little League Umpire.
      I live in Mt. Laurel,N.J. 08054

      Comment by Robert L. Scapicchio | June 18, 2013 | Reply

  29. Terrific post however , I was wondering if you could write
    a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Kudos!

    Comment by como ganar dinero desde casa viendo anuncios | March 4, 2013 | Reply

  30. Hello. My name is Anthony J. Stout. I am very interested in becoming an umpire in any variety, Little League, Youth/Adult Softball, Middle School/High School. I would like to get some information in regards to starting an Umpiring Career. My father was an umpire for many years doing Little League, and High as the Blue Mountain League in the Northeast Area of PA in the Lehigh Valley. He is know longer umpiring due to health and old age but he still loves the game just like I do. That is why I am very interested in becoming an Umpire but not sure what direction I need to go too start off. Can You Help Me & Point Me In The Right Direction.

    Thank You,

    Anthony J. Stout

    Comment by Anthony J. Stout | May 6, 2013 | Reply

  31. okay im a 16 year old who is in 11th grade and just recenty this summer volunteered to umpire my local little league teams. after the season i found out i looovvvvvvveeee umping and want to take it to the next level but my question is am i old enough to take it to the next level and if so how?

    Comment by caleb belaner | June 18, 2013 | Reply

  32. Can a 13 year old take the test and be an umpire for younger kids?

    Comment by Heyworth Summer league | October 10, 2013 | Reply

  33. I am Travis Calloway and 13 years old and I want to become a umpire for myself to get some money and watch my fav. Sport and be apart of the Association! I live in chandler and want to umpire games!
    Hope you can do this for me!
    From: Travis Calloway

    Comment by Travis Calloway | February 23, 2014 | Reply

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