Official Rules: 9.00 The Umpire
(a) The league president shall appoint one or more umpires to officiate
at each league championship game. The umpires shall be
responsible for the conduct of the game in accordance with these
official rules and for maintaining discipline and order on the playing
field during the game.
(b) Each umpire is the representative of the league and of professional
baseball, and is authorized and required to enforce all of
these rules. Each umpire has authority to order a player, coach,
manager or club officer or employee to do or refrain from doing
anything which affects the administering of these rules, and to
enforce the prescribed penalties.
(c) Each umpire has authority to rule on any point not specifically
covered in these rules.
(d) Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager
or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike
conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person
from the playing field. If an umpire disqualifies a player while a
play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take effect until
no further action is possible in that play.
(e) Each umpire has authority at his discretion to eject from the playing
field (1) any person whose duties permit his presence on the
field, such as ground crew members, ushers, photographers,
newsmen, broadcasting crew members, etc., and (2) any spectator
or other person not authorized to be on the playing field.
(a) Any umpires decision which involves judgment, such as, but not
limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is
a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final. No
player, manager, coach or substitute shall object to any such judgment
Rule 9.02(a) Comment: Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or
managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue on BALLS AND
STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate
to protest the call. If they continue, they will be ejected from the game.
(b) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpires decision may be in
conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and
ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only
to the umpire who made the protested decision.
(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask
another umpire for information before making a final decision. No
umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another
umpires decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.
Rule 9.02(c) Comment: The manager or the catcher may request the plate
umpire to ask his partner for help on a half swing when the plate umpire calls the
pitch a ball, but not when the pitch is called a strike. The manager may not complain
that the umpire made an improper call, but only that he did not ask his partner
for help. Field umpires must be alerted to the request from the plate umpire
and quickly respond. Managers may not protest the call of a ball or strike on the
pretense they are asking for information about a half swing.
Appeals on a half swing may be made only on the call of ball and when asked to
appeal, the home plate umpire must refer to a base umpire for his judgment on the
half swing. Should the base umpire call the pitch a strike, the strike call shall prevail.
Baserunners must be alert to the possibility that the base umpire on appeal from
the plate umpire may reverse the call of a ball to the call of a strike, in which event
the runner is in jeopardy of being out by the catchers throw. Also, a catcher must
be alert in a base stealing situation if a ball call is reversed to a strike by the base
umpire upon appeal from the plate umpire.
The ball is in play on appeal on a half swing.
On a half swing, if the manager comes out to argue with first or third base
umpire and if after being warned he persists in arguing, he can be ejected as he is
now arguing over a called ball or strike.
(d) No umpire may be replaced during a game unless he is injured or
(a) If there is only one umpire, he shall have complete jurisdiction in
administering the rules. He may take any position on the playing
field which will enable him to discharge his duties (usually)
behind the catcher, but sometimes behind the pitcher if there are
(b) If there are two or more umpires, one shall be designated umpirein-
chief and the others field umpires.
(a) The umpire-in-chief shall stand behind the catcher. (He usually is
called the plate umpire.) His duties shall be to:
(1) Take full charge of, and be responsible for, the proper conduct
of the game;
(2) Call and count balls and strike;
(3) Call and declare fair balls and fouls except those commonly
called by field umpires;
(4) Make all decisions on the batter;
(5) Make all decisions except those commonly reserved for the
(6) Decide when a game shall be forfeited;
(7) If a time limit has been set, announce the fact and the time
set before the game starts;
(8) Inform the official scorer of the official batting order, and
any changes in the lineups and batting order, on request;
(9) Announce any special ground rules, at his discretion.
(b) A field umpire may take any position on the playing field he thinks
best suited to make impending decisions on the bases. His duties
shall be to:
(1) Make all decisions on the bases except those specifically
reserved to the umpire-in-chief;
(2) Take concurrent jurisdiction with the umpire-in-chief in
calling Time, balks, illegal pitches, or defacement or discoloration
of the ball by any player.
(3) Aid the umpire-in-chief in every manner in enforcing the
rules, and excepting the power to forfeit the game, shall
have equal authority with the umpire-in-chief in administering
and enforcing the rules and maintaining discipline.
(c) If different decisions should be made on one play by different
umpires, the umpire-in-chief shall call all the umpires into consultation,
with no manager or player present. After consultation,
the umpire-in-chief (unless another umpire may have been designated
by the league president) shall determine which decision
shall prevail, based on which umpire was in best position and
which decision was most likely correct. Play shall proceed as if
only the final decision had been made.
(a) The umpire shall report to the league president within 12 hours
after the end of a game all violations of rules and other incidents
worthy of comment, including the disqualification of any trainer,
manager, coach or player, and the reasons therefor.
(b) When any trainer, manager, coach or player is disqualified for a
flagrant offense such as the use of obscene or indecent language,
or an assault upon an umpire, trainer, manager, coach or player,
the umpire shall forward full particulars to the league president
within four hours after the end of the game.
(c) After receiving the umpires report that a trainer, manager, coach
or player has been disqualified, the league president shall impose
such penalty as he deems justified, and shall notify the person
penalized and the manager of the club of which the penalized person
is a member. If the penalty includes a fine, the penalized person
shall pay the amount of the fine to the league within five days
after receiving notice of the fine. Failure to pay such fine within
five days shall result in the offender being debarred from participation
in any game and from sitting on the players bench during
any game, until the fine is paid.
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS TO UMPIRES
Umpires, on the field, should not indulge in conversation with players. Keep out
of the coaching box and do not talk to the coach on duty.
Keep your uniform in good condition. Be active and alert on the field.
Be courteous, always, to club officials; avoid visiting in club offices and thoughtless
familiarity with officers or employees of contesting clubs. When you enter a ball
park your sole duty is to umpire a ball game as the representative of baseball.
Do not allow criticism to keep you from studying out bad situations that may
lead to protested games. Carry your rule book. It is better to consult the rules and
hold up the game 10 minutes to decide a knotty problem than to have a game
thrown out on protest and replayed.
Keep the game moving. A ball game is often helped by energetic and earnest
work of the umpires.
You are the only official representative of baseball on the ball field. It is often a
trying position which requires the exercise of much patience and good judgment,
but do not forget that the first essential in working out of a bad situation is to keep
your own temper and self-control.
You no doubt are going to make mistakes, but never attempt to even up after
having made one. Make all decisions as you see them and forget which is the home
or visiting club.
Keep your eye everlastingly on the ball while it is in play. It is more vital to know
just where a fly ball fell, or a thrown ball finished up, than whether or not a runner
missed a base. Do not call the plays too quickly, or turn away too fast when a
fielder is throwing to complete a double play. Watch out for dropped balls after you
have called a man out.
Do not come running with your arm up or down, denoting out or safe. Wait
until the play is completed before making any arm motion.
Each umpire team should work out a simple set of signals, so the proper umpire
can always right a manifestly wrong decision when convinced he has made an
error. If sure you got the play correctly, do not be stampeded by players appeals to
ask the other man. If not sure, ask one of your associates. Do not carry this to
extremes, be alert and get your own plays. But remember! The first requisite is to
get decisions correctly. If in doubt dont hesitate to consult your associate. Umpire
dignity is important but never as important as being right.
A most important rule for umpires is always BE IN POSITION TO SEE
EVERY PLAY. Even though your decision may be 100 percent right, players still
question it if they feel you were not in a spot to see the play clearly and definitely.
Finally, be courteous, impartial and firm, and so compel respect from all.