National Umpires Association

BASEBALL UMPIRES POLICY GUIDE

INSTRUCTIONS TO UMPIRES

 

Introduction.   As a member of the National Umpires Association (NUA), umpires should be aware of the content of the policy guide and committed to the goal of self-improvement and upgrading the quality of umpiring for the programs and tournaments of the National Umpires Association. 

 

Instructions to Umpires. 

 

Appearance and Conduct:  National Umpires Association are reminded that they are in the public eye.  Each umpire should be reminded that they are an official representative of NUA both on and off the field.  An umpire should dress in a manner becoming his profession.  An umpire’s behavior should always be within the legal limits and in conformity with all the rules of NUA. 

 

Looking the Part:  NUA umpires should take pride in their appearance.  Uniforms should be neatly pressed and ironed.  Base shoes and plate shoes should always be cleaned and polished before every game.  An umpire’s appearance is one of his most important attributes with regard to NUA’s reputation, but your own reputation as well. 

 

Travel:  Members scheduled to work a game at any of our several venues in Atlanta should arrive at the park 20-30 minutes prior to the scheduled game start time.  Any travel conflicts in time to the destination, i.e., traffic, car problems, is to be reported as soon as possible to Jim Stros at (404) 547-6057 only.  Always be prepared for a mechanical breakdown.  Keep the necessary tools in your vehicle. 

 

Illness or Injury:   Each umpire is required to contact Jim Stros to inform of any illness or injury as soon as it occurs.  Any cancellation for any unacceptable reason will be subject to review by the Board of NUA. 

 

Injury to an Umpire:  If an umpire is injured or becomes ill and is unable to continue the game, the following procedure will be followed:

 

1. If another NUA umpire is present at the location of the game and is able to work, then advise that umpire he is to work on the field.  If the plate umpire is injured or becomes ill, the umpire who is working the bases will go behind the plate. 

 

2. If no NUA umpire is present at the location, then that umpire will    work a one-man crew.  Please keep in mind any coach who¬†offers to umpire as a fill in will not be allowed based on our insurance policy incase of injury.

 

3. Any umpire who is injured during the game and requires medical attention, including being transported to the hospital, either by car or ambulance, please contact Jim Stros immediately for insurance information.  In case of an¬†on-the-field injury, each umpire is covered up to $25,000 through Sadler Insurance Company with $100 deductible which is covered by NUA. 

For all scheduled games that result in a no-show, it is the umpire’s responsibility to contact Jim Stros as soon as possible and by doing so, teams will be billed and held responsible for compensating each umpire for the full amount of the scheduled game(s). 

 

If the game is canceled due to rain after one pitch is thrown, the full game fee will be paid to each umpire.  It is the responsibility of the umpire to contact Jim Stros to assure your game pay. 

 

Rain Delays/Inclement Weather Situations:  After the plate umpire has received team lineup cards and ground rules have been discussed, the umpires are in charge of that game at that point.  It is the umpires’ discretion whether or not to delay or cancel a game due to inclement weather.  Use extreme caution when dealing with lightening in the area.  Lightening in the area is immediate cause to delay the game.  Remember, it is the crew’s responsibility to make every effort to complete the game. 

 

At Home Plate Before the Game:   All umpires are to enter the field together and proceed to home plate for the pre-game meeting five minutes to the start of each game.  Do not discuss ground rules at home plate without your partner present.  Stay away from be to friendly with any coach at home plate…you are not there to make friends you there to work a ball game. 

 

Ground Rules:  Be sure that you are very familiar with the ground rules before the start of the game.  Crews working a park for the first time should survey the park in ample time prior to the start of the game for all peculiarities of the park.  Do not hesitate to ask questions at the home plate pre-game meeting if you have any doubts or concerns, or do not understand the ground rules. 

 

Between Innings:  Between innings during the game, base umpires are to go to the shallow outfield area near their base.  The plate umpire is to go to the line of the team that is in the field unless there has been a problem with the other team. 

 

Ejections:  All ejections that occur during any contest must be written up on the NUA ejection form and faxed to Jim Stros within 24 hours with an explanation of the occurrence.  In writing the report, state only the time of the ejection, the players or coaches involved, and the situation.  Give only the facts and not your opinion of what the outcome should be.  All details should be given by the umpire who ejected the player or coach.  Make sure you work as a team during any argument, ejection, or fight.  Keep coaches and players not involved in the argument at a distance.  Do not attempt to physically break up a fight once it has broken out.  You will only run the risk of an injury and the coaches and players will usually assist you to restore order.  This report will help me make the umpires aware of this situation working this teams next game.

 

Scheduling Procedure:  It is the umpire’s responsibility to make every attempt to contact Jim Stros for tournaments or games they want to work.  Games will be scheduled according to experience, availability, and loyalty to NUA.  Once you are scheduled for your game(s), umpires must contact their partner 24 hours ahead of time.  Make sure you exchange cell numbers and make each other aware of the type of car you be in and where you will be meeting once getting to the ball park.

 

Umpire Pre-game Discussions: 

 

1. Fair and foul coverage up to the base will be covered by the plate umpire.   Any batted ball from the front of the base on, will be called by the base umpire when he is on the line.  Only the proper umpire making the call will signal fair or foul. 

 

2. Discuss line drives and trap catches to all infielders including the pitcher.  Know who will call them for each possible position the base umpire may be in. 

        

3. Discuss the infield fly signal, infield fly, and who will call them when they are near the line or not near the line. 

 

4. Discuss check swings.  If working a 3-man crew, know which umpire to check with. 

 

5. Discuss foul tip third strikes that may or may not be caught by the catcher.  Know which mechanics you will use.  Know how to wait for the foul tip signal on this play. 

 

6. Discuss the rotation and coverage responsibilities with runners on base. 

        

7. Discuss appeal plays and who is responsible for watching the touching of bases and tag-ups. 

 

8. After the game, take a few minutes to discuss unusual situations that may have occurred.  Each umpire should take time to discuss situations to   improve

 

Pitching Changes:  If a manager goes to the mound and does not make a pitching change, the home plate umpire should always position himself on the opposite foul line he will cross.  The field umpire should always position himself in shallow right field or left field until the manager returns to the dugout.  When a manager makes a pitching change, it is the field umpire’s responsibility to escort the incoming pitcher from the bullpen. 

 

Hostile/Heckling Fans:  If an umpire is verbally threatened and/or personally attacked by a fan during a game, that umpire is to stop the game and report the fan to the proper manager.  The manager then will inform the fan with a warning.  If the heckling continues, it is that umpire’s discretion whether to eject the fan from the game.  At that time, the manager will inform the fan they have been ejected.  The game does not resume until the fan is out of sight and in the parking lot.  Under no circumstances should an umpire ever confront a fan.  Should you ever eject a hostile/heckling fan, it is extremely important for both umpires to exit the ballpark together.  If you are concerned for your safety, please contact 9-1-1. 

 

Fraternizing/Gifts:   Umpires are not to carry on idle conversations with coaches, fans, or players during the progress of the game.  Umpires are not to fraternize with tournament directors at any time unless the proper officiating responsibility require it.  NUA umpires are not to accept any free souvenir items from teams or other gifts at any time.