The ABUA is the largest membership association for amateur baseball umpires in the U.S.

The ABUA's purpose is to improve the overall quality of umpiring in youth league, high school and college baseball through innovative teaching and educational programs, and superior educational resources.The ABUA protects its members with the most comprehensive insurance package in the industry
(Liability, Medical & Lost game fees)!

The ABUA provides a national organization and network where individual umpires and local associations can promote professionalism, integrity and a love of the game.

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In The News

Everything Could Be Fake – Even The Rules

Everything Could Be Fake – Even The Rules

It’s not unusual now that we hear reports about fake news and of course each individual must make their own decisions about the validity of what they read and hear.  But, what about a “fake rule?”  Earlier this month, an issue arose where USA Softball was hit with reports of a “fake rule.”  Not surprisingly, this occurred on April Fools’ Day when according to USA Softball’s Managing Director of Communications, Codi Warren, “an individual unknown to us spread false information on their social media account regarding USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) play requirements that made it seem as if it came from USA Softball’s official Twitter account…our Twitter account was not hacked and the tweet did not come from the USA Softball National Office.  It was simply an altered image that the individual...
The Catcher as an Infielder

The Catcher as an Infielder

The catcher is positioned in the infield, but is he an infielder? That’s a question the Rules Books don’t answer clearly and the truth is sometimes he is and sometimes he isn’t. NFHS rules do state the catcher is an infielder (2-13-3), but he is sometimes treated differently than the other infielders. NCAA and pro rules only include as infielders those players who occupy positions between the pitcher’s mound and the outfielders (NCAA 2-49, pro Infielder Definition). In all codes, the rules specifically refer to the catcher as the unique fielder that he is and that makes the infielder question a moot point. Here are the scenarios where it may not be clear as to whether to treat the catcher the same as any other infielder. Position. First of all, the catcher is the only defensive player...
Runner Abandonment

Runner Abandonment

Thanks to Pro rule 5.09 (b) (2), one of the strangest triple plays ever recorded occurred on April 19 at Safeco Field where the Mariners hosted the Astros. The rule covers all playing codes. Here is what happened. In the top of the fourth inning the Astros had Jose Altuve on second and Carlos Correa on first and no outs when Evan Gattis hit a hard grounder to Kyle Seager at third. Seager stepped on the bag and threw to second baseman Robinson Cano for a 5-4 double play. Gattis made it to first base, but he thought the inning was over and walked off the bag toward the middle of the infield. The Mariners started pointing at Gattis, and first baseman Daniel Vogelbach tagged him for the third out. But the tag was irrelevant because first base umpire Brian Gorman had already called Gattis out...
Uncommon Plays for High School Umpires

Uncommon Plays for High School Umpires

Here are recent plays from prep games that don’t happen every day. The umpires didn’t get everything right, but two of three plays were ruled correctly. Passing a Runner. With no one out, R1 is on first. B1 hits a trouble ball to right center and R1 plays it halfway. B1 “knows” it is going to drop and runs hard passing R1. The ball drops and B1 realizes his error and retreats to first. The throw goes to second and beats R1 (he is not tagged); B1 is standing on first when the subsequent throw arrives at that base. The umpires allow the play stand with R1 out at second and B1 remaining at first. The net result was sort of correct in that an out was recorded and a runner was on base, but the wrong runner was left on at the wrong base. In reality, B1 was out when he passed R1. That removed he...
The Molitor-Barrett Double-Switch Flap

The Molitor-Barrett Double-Switch Flap

"What we've got here is failure to communicate.” That was the famous quotation from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, spoken in the movie first by Strother Martin (as the Captain, a prison warden) and later, abridged, by Paul Newman (as Luke, a stubborn prisoner). In the game of baseball, when a manager or coach is making a substitution/s, it’s imperative that he properly verbally communicate the change/s to the plate umpire. Likewise, the plate umpire should do the same with the manager or coach making the substitution/s. Then the plate umpire must properly communicate the change/s to the opposing manager or coach. When any of the parties fail to properly communicate the change/s, this is a recipe for disaster. When it comes to multiple substitutions, the communication between manager/coach...
Softball Stump the Ump

Softball Stump the Ump

The softball season is underway in the southern states, scrimmages have started in the Midwest, and spring is still just a dream in some areas of the country. This means it’s time to look at some plays and rulings – these come from things have happened in the south or been “dreamed up” in umpire training sessions in the northern states! First, let’s look at a couple of similar plays from Alabama. In the first play the batter (a) bunts the ball or (b) swings and misses on a third strike not caught by the catcher with the ball rolling out in front of the plate. As the batter moves to run to first base and the catcher goes after the ball the two collide. What is the call? Ruling – In both cases this is going to be interference on the batter-runner who will be ruled out, the ball will be dead...
Rules Rules Rules

Rules Rules Rules

Let’s face it – making rules is a tough job. Rules Committees and Governing Bodies get little or no credit and all the blame when participants (players, coaches, umpires, fans, etc.) don’t like a rule. But any game and any sport would not fly without rules that are carefully thought out. We also see that many rules vary from association to association – USA Softball has published a forty-seven page analysis of the differences just in the NCAA, NFHS and USA Softball Rules. It’s no wonder that umpires can have difficulties with all of these. We need to remember that each organization is writing rules with the purpose, goals, and objectives of its own group of constituents and dealing with both the level of play involved and needs of that organization. For example, USA Softball is looking at...
Visits to the Mound

Visits to the Mound

Don Mattingly committed his first managerial miscue before he officially became an MLB skipper. He later admitted he knew the rule and took responsibility for his mistake. It’s somewhat surprising that coaches don’t get charged for unwanted conferences more often than they do because the codes have varying rules which involve fine lines. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Entitlement. The basic allowances are three charged defensive conferences for a regulation NFHS or NCAA game and one trip to the mound to visit any one pitcher once per inning in professional play. Once the allowed conferences are used, the pitcher must be removed on any subsequent visits to the mound. In extra innings, the pro rule is unchanged: one visit per pitcher per inning,...