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

Pinch Runners

Pinch Runners

One of the most embarrassing acts a player can commit is to get picked off as a pinch runner. A pinch runner is a substitute who comes in for another player who is already on base. This substitution can be made for an injured player or one that is simply slow. Exceptionally fast runners are sometimes used to attempt a steal. In other cases, the change is made in advance of a defensive substitution. As with other substitution rules, the substitute must stay in the game and the player they replace may not come back in unless the re-entry rule applies in NFHS play. . A pinch runner may be substituted by another pinch runner before the inning ends. If the runner stays in the game, he would have to both hit and play the field, although there is no requirement to play the same position as the...
NFHS and USA Softball Rules Changes for 2018

NFHS and USA Softball Rules Changes for 2018

It seems that each season goes by faster than the previous one.  As we approach the holiday season it’s a fact that the 2018 is almost upon us and it’s time to look at the rules changes adopted by both the National Federation and ASA/USA Softball.  While there are only a few rules changes this year some of the new items are definitely will impact the game but most are still not in the “extremely significant” category.  All indications are that the rules makers of both organizations believe that their games are in good shape. Let’s first look at the five NFHS changes.  In Rule 2-65-2 intentional walks will now be permitted without pitches being thrown.  The new rule states that a request for an intentional base on balls can now be made prior to or during an at-bat by the defensive coach, pitcher...
Backswing Interference

Backswing Interference

I think coaches are often intimidated to challenge or protest an umpire’s rule interpretation. I’m aware that conferences throughout the country handle protests differently, but if the machinery exists  to handle a rule misinterpretation, the coach owes it to his your players to exercise that right. Of course, it’s imperative that the coach has a keen understanding of the rule he is protesting. And needless to say, if the umpire has a solid understanding of the rule, a protest would not be upheld. Let’s take the topic of backswing interference and the controversy that surrounded it in the deciding Game Five of the 2017 NLDS played between the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, a game won by the Cubs, 9-8. Backswing interference occurs when the batter’s follow-through swing hits...
2017 Play Situations and the Rules Supplement

2017 Play Situations and the Rules Supplement

It’s time again to take look at some of the play situations that have come in during the past few months.  As I’ve said in the past when we look at some of the unusual things that can occur in a softball game we must look first to the rule book, then to the case book, and we must at times even study the intent of the rule to determine how an interpretation can solve a play.   However, one of the most overlooked assets we have in the USA Softball book is the Rules Supplement which contains roughly thirty pages of interpretation and commentary.  Much of it’s been around for decades and it was written to help cover situations that aren’t always as clear as they should be in the rules.  Originally this section was called “Points of Emphasis” but since it was the same each year it was more accurately...
Relievers: Legal and Illegal

Relievers: Legal and Illegal

At the end of the 19th century, 84% of professional games were completed by the starting pitcher. As relief pitchers became more in vogue, the complete-game starter has virtually disappeared and the number of complete games is now down to about 4%. The idea that all good pitchers should be starting pitchers is still in the minds of some, but don’t tell Marino Rivera that a pitcher who doesn’t make a good starter cannot thrive in relief. The original concept of relief pitching was to use another starter when the original starter didn't have his best stuff or simply ran out of gas. Once teams realized that a pitcher could be a dedicated reliever and still be an asset to his team, specialists were developed to the point where some pitchers are used almost exclusively against either right-handed...
Protest Denied

Protest Denied

MLB rejected the Red Sox protest of the July 15 game against the Yankees. To briefly review the situation: In the top of the 11th inning the Yankees had Matt Holliday at first base and no outs when Jacoby Ellsbury chopped a ball to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to shortstop Xander Bogaerts for a force at second base. Holliday, thinking Moreland had stepped on the base and removed the force, stopped between first and second and broke back toward first base, sliding feet-first into the bag as Boston attempted to complete a double play. Bogaerts' throw clipped Ellsbury in the left leg as he crossed the base. Because of Holliday’s location, Moreland appeared to be screened from catching the ball. Ellsbury was ruled safe by first base umpire Gabe Morales which prompted Red Sox manager...
Plays Worth a Look

Plays Worth a Look

Two batter interference plays that occurred six days apart are worth a look. Play No. 1 On Aug. 31 the Astros hosted the Rangers at Tropicana Field in Florida because of Hurricane Harvey. In the bottom of the first, the Astros had George Springer on first base and no outs when Alex Bregman swung through a Nick Martinez 3-2 pitch. On Bregman’s swing, his momentum took him into the throwing lane of Rangers’ catcher Brett Nicholas who attempted to throw out Springer at second base. Because it was strike three, the runner being played on (Springer) was also called out. Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch disagreed with the call. He pleaded his case to plate umpire Chris Segal. Hinch argued that because there was no contact, interference should not have been called. Bregman echoed Hinch’s argument. "It...
Infield Fly

Infield Fly

The Infield Fly Rule is one of those rules that seem to be the same in every rulebook whether it be baseball or softball. No doubt the reason for this is that the rule has a simple and singular purpose – to prevent the defense from turning an easy double play (or perhaps even a relatively easy triple play). Despite the fact that it’s a rather simple rule it’s important that umpires understand all aspects of the rule in order to use proper mechanics and to make proper judgments when a batted ball is an infield fly. As with any rule we need to start with the definitions and that is where we find the circumstances under which an infield fly shall be called: A fair fly ball (not a line drive or an attempted bunt) Can be caught by an infielder (including pitcher and catcher) with ordinary effort Runners...