The Umpire's Corner
"The decision to umpire is a testament to your character. Your willingness to work outside of your comfort zone sets a solid example for the league’s children, whose development as players and people depends on their ability to expand their comfort zones."
Welcome to our Umpire's Page! Here you will find everything you'll need as an umpire for NSLL including a basic reference guide, training videos, and the season schedule.
For any additional questions, you can reach out to our Umpire In Chief directly.
You can find the season schedule here.
- Meet with you umpire partner at least 15 minutes before the game.
- Review coverage (Fair / Foul, Fly Ball, Touches, etc)
- Equipment Check
- Bats - USA or Wood
- Helmets - check for cracks and padding / C flaps (brand matching, no drilled holes)
- Catcher Masks - check for cracks and padding, no missing screws, and must have dangling throat guard
- Plate Meeting (5-10 minutes before game time)
- Introductions of umpires and managers
- Ask the managers if their players are properly equipped for Little League Baseball
- Get a verbal "Yes"
- Receive and exchange lineups (home team first, then away team)
- Continuous batting order (all levels); confirm number of players at the game
- Ask if the teams have any ineligible pitchers (home team first, then away team)
- Ask the Managers to report any pitcher or catcher changes to the umpire and scorekeepers
- Remind the managers they must Request Time and then wait for an umpire to Grant Time
- Ask the teams to hustle between innings (1 min); get a player with mask to warm up pitcher if needed
- Review any Ground Rules for the day (time limits, field conditions, etc.)
- Pledge and take the field
- Introduce yourself to the Official Scorekeeper
- Scorekeepers are part of the officiating team
- If they notice batting out of order, they should not notify anyone else or say anything, they are game officials like the umpires
Plate Positioning (Plate Umpire)
- Get into the slot position (see below)
- See outside of the plate
- Follow the ball with your eyes, keep your head still
- Find more information about plate mechanics from Little League University
- See the pitch, pause, make the call LOUDLY
- Strike zone
- Space over home plate
- Batter's armpits to the top of the batter's knees, assuming a usual batter's stance
- BE Consistent (Strike zone, calls, rules, etc)
- Enforce all rules
- Backup the base umpire as needed
Base Positioning (Base Umpire)
- A, B, and C Positions for a 2-man crew (see below)
- Nobody on base: A-Position
- Runners on 1st: B-Position
- Runners on 1st & 3rd: B-Position
- Everything else: C-Position
- Responsible for ALL calls on the bases at ALL times
- Stealing - watch for that the baserunners do not leave until the pitch reaches the plate
- Ball stays in the infield - Umpire stays out
- In A-Position, play at 1st, step into the field, get 90degrees to the throw, watch the ball, check the base, and make the call
- Ball goes to the outfield - Umpire comes in
- Watch runners tag the bases and pivot to stay ahead of the runner
- Keep chest to the ball as much as possible
- Be Stationary
- See the play, pause, make the call LOUDLY
- Reference the diagram below for hand signals for the most common mechanics.
- When making a call, use the appropriate hand signal.
Game Management Tips
- Keep the game moving.
- Remember, your role is to be a calming influence on the game and in tough situations.
- Do not argue.
- Do not ignore OR overreact to inappropriate behavior.
- Do not be afraid to calmly eject someone for persistent inappropriate behavior.
- How to call a strike
- How to call a ball
- How to signal an out
- How to signal safe
- How to signal fair
- How to signal foul (on the bases)
- How to signal foul (at home plate)
- How to signal fair
- How to call time out
Q: What if the batters box and/or baselines are not line correctly?
A: Insist to the board member on duty that the field be re-lined and marked correctly.
Q: What should an umpire do if a board member on duty is not present to handle disruptive spectators or other situations off the field?
A: Use Rule 9.01g and send both teams to their dugouts and announce the game will not continue until the spectator is dealt with. If the spectator continues to be an issue, suspend the game and contact the board of directors.
Q: Can an umpire eject a disruptive spectator/fan?
A: No, the spectator should be handled by a board member on duty.
Q: What is the difference between the responsibility of the Board of Directors representative and the umpires at the field during a game?
A: The BOD representative handles issues off of the field while the umpire handles issues on the field.
The Umpire Bible
Little League Umpire Training
10 Commonly Misinterpreted Little League Rules
Little League Rules Clarification Videos
1. Rule 6.05(j) - The Runner's Lane
2. Rule 7.09(j) - Understanding Base Runner Interference
3. Rule 7.06(b) - Understanding Obstruction