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.


Jim Evans

California Classic

San Diego October 22-27, 2018

Interested in taking your umpiring to the next level? Then this clinic is for you!

Join us October 22-27, 2018 in San Diego for an umpiring experience that will change your life. Jim Evans umpired 28 years in Major League Baseball and served as a crew chief for 19 years. He has worked numerous World Series, Championship Playoffs, and All-Star games and has trained many umpires working in the Major Leagues today. He has trained umpires from every state in the union and 23 foreign countries. Jim has a degree in Education from the University of Texas and served his country as a Captain in the US Army Reserves. He operated a professional umpire school for 24 years and currently serves as a special adviser on umpiring to the President of Minor League Baseball. Jim’s staff consists of umpires who have worked in professional baseball and have exceptional communication skills. Jim is a hands-on owner and will be working with you each day in-the-classroom and on-the-field. Regardless of your umpiring experience, you will learn knowledge and skills that will accelerate your progress and advancement as you maximize your true potential.

Training activities commence Monday evening October 22. Daily training consists of classroom and field work each day through Saturday October 27. A graduation banquet will be held Saturday evening. This weeklong clinic is the most comprehensive amateur training conducted in the world.

Classroom Sessions: Conducted at the Days Inn Hotel Circle South.
Field Instruction: Conducted at Tony Gwynn Stadium on the San Diego State University campus. Curriculum Includes

  • Angle-Distance Theory
  • Timing Techniques
  • Signaling
  • Reading Plays
  • Positioning Theory Communication ProceduresProper Decorum and Dress
  • Handling Non-Routine Situations
  • Plate Stances / Mechanics Developing a Strike Zone
  • Pitching Regulations / Balks Checked Swings
  • Responsibilities in 2-Umpire System
  • Proper Footwork Survey of Official Rules
  • Plays at the Plate
Tuition $495...Students who enroll prior to September 22 will be offered a $95 discount.

Housing arrangements will be available at the Days Inn Hotel Circle South for our out-of-town students. More details will be forthcoming in future emails.

Join Us for Fun-Filled Week...We Can Teach You the Tools That Help You Realize Your Potential!

San Diego Contact...Joe Butler ( JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING ) For Questions: Jim Evans (303) 290-7411 Extension #2

Click Here
to Print or Download Details and Enrollment!

In The News



The following scenario would be perfect for discussion at an umpire’s meeting. The Rays hosted the White Sox on Aug. 3. Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, the Rays had Joey Wendle on third with one out when Mallex Smithlaid down a suicide squeeze against Juan Minaya, scoring Wendle. Leaping to the plate, Wendle made contact with White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez who fired wildly past first base with nobody covering allowing Smith to advance to second base. You can view the play by going to the link below: or go to, Aug. 3, CWS@TB, “Smith ties game with suicide squeeze” If you watch the play carefully, you will notice that Smith made contact with Narvaez as the White Sox catcher was pursuing...
Plays From Across The Country

Plays From Across The Country

It’s been several months since we looked at some of the play situations that have been sent in from across the country. Let’s take a look at some of the latest! 1. A question came up in regards to the age of people in the media area. When a student is doing a feed for the schools web page or something like that, do they need to wear a helmet if they are under 18? Ruling - The umpires don't have any jurisdiction over this, nor do the playing rules.   So the answer is that it is up to game management or the school program.  That said, I strongly discourage media areas – and look for a 2019 rules change to keep them off the field. 2. Question from a Coach – I have a question about rule 3-2-7c dealing with wristbands for pitchers. We wore wristbands last year for my pitcher and catcher and they...
In The Neighborhood

In The Neighborhood

The timeworn expression, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades" is sometimes intoned in baseball. The analogy to hand grenades is obvious and in horseshoes – a game where a horseshoe is tossed at a metal stake 40 yards away, a point is scored if the horseshoe does not surround the stake (a “ringer”), but lands within 6” of the target. In baseball, there are several situations where close enough is good enough. The greatest opportunities for violent collisions are at the plate with a runner trying to get through the catcher and at second base on a force play. The force play slide rule, used with separate slightly different versions in NFHS and NCAA play, has greatly reduced but not totally eliminated the potential for injury when the runner is trying to break up a double play....
What is a strike?

What is a strike?

What is a strike? That seems like such a simple question and I think that if we asked most players, coaches and even umpires we would get this answer: A pitch that is in the strike zone or is swung at. While that answer would not be incorrect it is not the whole answer. So let’s look at this topic in the words of Paul Harvey – “the rest of the story”. It’s always best to start looking at the definitions and in NFHS Rule 2-56-1 a strike is defined much as in the paragraph above – any pitch that enters any portion of the strike zone without first touching the ground or a pitch swung at by the batter and missed. However this rule goes on to list several other ways in which a strike may be called, all for specific actions by the batter or the offense. While the definitions of the strike zone...
Courtesy Runners

Courtesy Runners

Courtesy runners are a staple of high school baseball and they were actually allowed in professional baseball up through 1950. The primary purpose of courtesy runners is to speed up the game, but the original intent was an entitlement for prima donna pitchers. The runner had to take a position in front of home plate and could not run until the ball was batted. That seems inconceivable in the modern game. Courtesy runners are also prohibited in official NCAA contests so the material that follows is strictly for NFHS rules provided the rule has been adopted by the state association (NFHS 2-33, NCAA 5.8f, pro 3.04 Cmt). A courtesy runner is a player who runs for another player without officially entering the game. Such a player cannot have previously been in the game as a player. Each pitcher...
Catcher’s Interference Twice

Catcher’s Interference Twice

The Kansas City Royals and Houston Astros played at Minute Maid on June 24. In the bottom of the second, Tony Kemp was batting with the bases loaded and one out when Kemp’s swing made contact with the mitt of Royals’ catcher Drew Butera. Plate ump Lance Barrett ruled the ball dead because it was a foul ball. He sent Kemp to first and awarded all runners one base because they were all forced to advance. Kemp’s presence on first base created the force for all three runners. You can view this play by going to the link below: or go to, June 24, KC@HOU: “Gurriel comes home on catcher’s interference” Catcher’s Interference: 5.05 (b) (3); 8-1-1-e; 8-2e The catcher can interfere with the batter in...
To Play or Not to Play?

To Play or Not to Play?

In a recent season, a heavy, wet spring snowfall wiped out baseball for several days with about 10 days remaining in the season. Schools were pressed to get all their games played. A “no game” would severely hurt their chances to qualify for the post season. A particular game between district rivals had grave implications for both teams, but had been rescheduled for a fine, sunny day. The problem was the field wasn’t as dry as the air and there wasn’t another suitable make up day.   The posturing started the day of the game with a call to the state office from a former umpire turned assistant coach for the visiting team. He wanted to know that if the umpires determined the field was unplayable, could they direct the game be played at the visiting team’s field, which was in pristine condition....
Rule 5.09 (b) (9)

Rule 5.09 (b) (9)

A rather obscure rule that is universal in all playing codes came alive in the Yankees-Orioles game at Yankee Stadium on April 6.  In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Yankees had Giancarlo Stanton on third base and Gary Sanchez on first with one out when Neil Walker tapped a grounder back to O’s pitcher Richard Bleier. Bleier ran at Stanton to create a rundown.  During the rundown, Sanchez reached third base. With Sanchez parked on third, Stanton ran through the base several feet down the left field line. O’s catcher Caleb Joseph tagged Sanchez then headed for Stanton who ran beyond third base and to his left.  Stanton was tagged by Joseph a good distance from the base.  When that occurred, third base ump Ron Kulpa pointed to Stanton and made the out call. O’s manager Buck Showalter...