How to Become a High School Umpire

Becoming a high school umpire is a very common goal for aspiring umpires because the games are fast paced and fun because the players in high school baseball are pretty talented athletes. Another big plus is that there is always a need for quality umpires in high school ball because there are a lot of high school baseball programs and teams across the US. Your chances of becoming a successful high school umpire are pretty high.

To get started, you should join your local umpire association. The majority of high school districts will have a specific umpire association you’ll need to join and attend meetings for. You’ll also need to learn the rules established by their governing board. Next, you’ll want to sign up for umpire clinics and training events to help you learn umpire mechanics and best practices. While your local association will host their own training events, and attending their events is recommended, don’t limit yourself to only their events. The more you educate yourself the better you’ll be.

Once you’re a member of your local umpire association, you’ll need to follow any additional steps they have in place to prepare you to umpire live high school games. Because these requirements vary from district to district and state to state, we recommend that you find a seasoned high school umpire who is a member at your association and ask them to be your mentor. Having a mentor who has done this before is the best way to reach your goal. Networking will also help you land umpiring gigs once you are prepared to umpire.

Many leagues will require you to take an umpire test to become certified and pay a registration fee before you get your first umpire job. Your association can provide you with the information you need to study and pass any exam and registration fees are typically in the $50 range.

Lastly, you need to buy the necessary umpire gear.

How to Become an Umpire

What is your goal?

Starting your career as an umpire isn’t difficult and it can be a lot of fun. Below you’ll find information on what to expect and how you can achieve your goal of becoming an umpire.

Expect the work to be physically demanding. You will need to jog often to ensure you position yourself properly to make an accurate call. Basically, you need to be agile enough to keep up with the pace of the game. It’s also important to consider the weather in your area – depending on your location, hot and/or colder temperatures can be a burden on your body. As the player’s get older and the game competition increases the demands on your body will also increase. If you’re new to umpiring you might be best served by umpiring younger age groups first.

Step 1: Attend a Baseball  Association Meeting or Clinic – The easiest way to learn the umpiring landscape in your area is to meet people who are involved in the community. An easy way to find one is to attend a local game and ask the officiating crew which association they belong to. You can also call the athletic departments at local organizations or visit their websites. Many will post information for umpires.

Step  2:  Learn the Rules of the Leagues You Will Umpire In — Once you’ve identified some of the leagues you may want to officiate you need to develop a sound understanding of the rules. Don’t rely on your years as a ball player. Many of the “rules” that circulate in youth leagues are incorrect. Go to the source and do some reading.

Step  3: Join an Organization or Association — After attending a few association meetings you may be ready to join an organization. This will give you a leg up by keeping you plugged into what’s going on in your area and will push you to keep on the umpiring path.

Step  4:  Get in Shape — Before you attend your first clinic you may want to start to get into shape. Start a jogging routine, play some basketball, or better yet join a men’s baseball or softball league. Or, just hit the gym. You don’t want to be ready for first job and it’s good to get into a routine early.

Step 5: Get Trained –  Attend clinics, camps and classes recommended by your association so that you know proper form and mechanics. Being formally trained is what separates amateur umpires to professional officiants. If your goal is to become a college, MiLB or MLB umpire you will need to attend professional umpire school. Click here to learn more about the cost of professional umpire school.

Step 6:Pass Your Tests — Take the tests administered by your sanctioning body (umpire association). The most common affiliations are; Pony, NSA, BPA, and ASA.

Step  7:  Get Your Protective Equipment and UniformPurchase your uniform and the necessary umpire equipment.

  1. Black Umpire Shoes
  2. Black Athletic Socks
  3. Black Umpire Belt
  4. Baseball Umpire Pants and Shorts
  5. Umpire Uniform Shirt (over 10 different colors) - color requirements vary
  6. Umpire Masks / Umpire Helmets
  7. Umpire Shin / Leg Guards
  8. Umpire Chest Protector
  9. Ball Bag
  10. Plate Brush
  11. Balls, Strikes, Out Counter
  12. Referee Watch and Game Timer
  13. Lineup Cards & Pencil
  14. Performance Base Under Gear
  15. 2-Inch Bill Combination Cap