How to Become a Babe Ruth Umpire

Babe Ruth Leagues are baseball and softball leagues for kids ages 13-18. There are over 9,000 leagues and 56,000 team in 6 countries and in all 50 US states. Babe Ruth leagues are great baseball leagues to umpire because, for this age group, the games are a little more intense than other youth leagues and the rules start to resemble that of high school and college – leading off is allowed and the bases are further apart.

If you’re not an experienced umpire, and even if you are, we suggest you visit your local youth league ball fields to go see what Babe Ruth baseball looks like. If you’re not familiar, it’s a more advanced youth league with older players. If you accustomed to local youth recreational leagues, you need to be sure you’re ready for the Babe Ruth level of play. In addition, you can introduce yourself to the umpires at the field and get to know them.

Join the National Umpires Association (or NUA), it is one of the largest umpire associations nationwide and was inaugurated by Babe Ruth League, Inc. The association exists to assist local league officials who are affiliated with the program by providing education and training. They teach league rules as well as umpire mechanics with the stated goal of improving the quality of umpiring in their league games.

After applying, you will be sent a baseball rule book and exam (they also offer a softball version) that must be completed prior to umpiring. In order to pass you need to score 80% or better. There is a small fee associated with the exam.

Once you’re a National Umpires Association member, they can help you by suggesting umpire clinics that you may wish to attend. Getting hands on training is highly recommended.

Here are some more benefits of joining the National Umpires Association member:

  • Get help with rule interpretations on professional and/or Babe Ruth rules by emailing, phone, or submitting a support ticket.

  • Become eligible to be selected as a member of the World Series umpiring staff. Nine World Series are held annually.

  • Umpire’s manual built with the help of American League former Supervisor of Umpires, Marty Springstead. It shows positioning for both regulation and “Cal Ripken Baseball” fields, rule compendium, tips on working plate and bases.

  • Receive Babe Ruth Baseball rule book which includes official playing rules of baseball and Cal Ripken Baseball rules .

  • ID Card

  • Membership Certificate

  • Babe Ruth Baseball National Umpires Association patch.

  • Online BULLPEN magazine access.

  • Batter Up e-newsletter

  • Regional, State or District Umpire Clinics.

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