National Umpires Association
Attributes of Great Umpires
The relentless pursuit of perfection can be applied to five
skills areas if an individual is determined to achieve distinction as an
- An intimate knowledge and understanding of the rules
and their accurate and clear implementation.
- You're strong in some areas of the rules, not so strong
in other areas, it's a fact of life with each of us. Pick those rules
where you are weakest and learn them cold. Remember learning the rules and
gaining a thorough understanding takes patience and time.
- Adopt a working knowledge of the rules in terms of
advantage\disadvantage. Understand the intent of a rule not just the
ability to recite it word for word.
- Avoid third world calls, they make you look like an
Timing and Judgment
- Make a conscious effort to slow down, make this a part
of your pre-game check off list.
- Read, pause, react - allow plays to develop and come to a end before making your decision.
- Are all about your behavior and your willingness to put forth a focused,
continuous, effort for the entire game.
- Be crisp in all of your actions.
- Hustle all the time. This always overlooked behavior on the
part of umpires creates respect from all and keeps coaches in the dugout
on close calls.
- Hit your spots on the field (positioning) with accuracy, know where you
are supposed to be and where your partner is supposed to be. Learn to make
immediate adjustments when your partner is out of position. You can talk
about what should have been done when you and your partner do a post-game
- You are the final authority on the field, this means
you have a duty to remain calm and in control at all times.
- Learn to be professional and approachable but not
- Raise the level of awareness in your game. Defuse
potential situations before they have a chance to develop.
Appearance: It is your game to run! Run it!
- Dress impeccably as an umpire, it speaks volumes about
how you accept your professional duties. If you look rumpled you will be
treated with disrespect, you single handedly compromise your own
authority. Fact: The higher the level of play the more profound this
becomes. You earn respect by dressing the part.