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

The Argument That Wasn’t

The Argument That Wasn’t

An internet search of “that wasn’t” reveals many titles with that phrase. The word itself which obviously is a shortening of “was not” goes back to 1653. The earliest use of the word in a catchy title apparently goes back the 1946 children's book by Frank Tashlin, The Bear That Wasn't. That story is about a bear that comes out of hibernation and is mistaken for a man. No one has said that I’ve been mistaken for an umpire, but here are some actually scenarios where the argument or the resulting confusion wasn’t really necessary. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Force play. The bases were loaded and no one was out. The batter took a mighty swing and topped the ball which rolled out in front of the plate. The catcher pounced on the ball and fired to...
Early Season Play Situations

Early Season Play Situations

It has been a rough winter for much of the country but as the warm weather arrives more and more areas of the country are “playing ball”. As a result we are now receiving many questions on rules and mechanics. Let’s look at some of the questions received in the past couple of weeks. 1) In our area we are seeing more and more gloves which include optic yellow markings. Our local umpires seem to be inconsistent in allowing these and the coaches seem to feel that there are only restrictions on the pitcher’s glove. How should this be handled? Ruling – Under NFHS rule 1-4-1 all gloves have the same restrictions without regard to the defender’s position. This rule was changed/clarified in 2013 and the committee may have done this to eithernsimplify the rule or protect players in a rundown....
Deflections - Part II

Deflections - Part II

Let’s continue on the subject of deflections… What if the ball deflects off a fielder on a bobble, muff or whatever reason, and the runner makes contact with the fielder? Who has the right of way since the fielder has already had a chance to field the ball? What if an outfielder deflects the ball into dead ball territory or how about a catcher pushing or deflecting a ball into the dugout? Is intent a factor when it comes to deflections? As an umpire, are you prepared to handle these deflection questions? St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa had a deflection question for second base umpire Charlie Reliford when the Florida Marlins hosted the Cardinals on June 9, 2009. The Redbirds had runners on first and second with one out in the top of the second inning when Tyler Greene hit...
Rockdale High baseball player performs CPR on umpire

Rockdale High baseball player performs CPR on umpire

CONYERS – It is usually the umpire’s job to determine a player’s move as “safe,” but a junior varsity baseball game at Newton High on Friday evening had a player calling the safety shots on an umpire. The Rockdale High Bulldogs were playing against the Newton High Rams at Newton’s baseball field on Friday night when the umpire suffered a massive heart attack during the second inning. Alex Norwood, a Rockdale junior, was in the right place at the right time to implement his newly learned CPR skills. Two weeks after learning the technique for lifeguard certification, Norwood performed CPR on the umpire until two off-duty EMTs who were spectators stepped in and took over. “I had just learned CPR at the Marist School pool,” said Norwood. According to Bulldogs coach Jerrid Harris, Newton County...
A Great Friend...

A Great Friend...

Ronald Earl GRAHAM of Clarkston, passed away March 7, 2014 at 68 years of age.  Loving husband of Carolyn for 45 years; dearest father of Lance, Scott and Rachel Graham; one grandson Joshua Graham; brother of Pat Lowe, Brenda (Ernest) Davis, Kay Moody and the late Lynn Graham; Aunt Mildred Jo Grindstaff; sister-in-law Dodie Gumm and brother-in-law Charles Ray Logan. Preceded in death by his father Earl Graham and step-mother Pauline Graham; his grandparents L.J. and Dora Elliott; mother –in-law Minnie Logan. Also survived by lifetime friends Charles McDonald, Harold Cox, Glen Wood, Ernie Willis, Dale Williams, Kenny Murphy, Major Minor, Bernard Edwards, Dick Runchey, Jim “Grand Dad” Holland, Booker Herner, Bob Kinkade, Tim Oliver, Howard Pettinaro, Ron Phillips, David Shoemaker, Jim Lawson...
Game Time!

Game Time!

The months of February and March are “game time” for some of the southern states but for most of us this is the time for clinics and schools to prepare for the coming season. As I travel to various events it is great to see many old friends and meet new ones, especially ABUA members, who are working to improve their skills. This is one of the great opportunities to discuss (and sometimes argue) some of the more challenging and difficult plays that confront softball umpires. During the past several weeks we have been discussing some of the difficulties that arise when working outside the diamond and quite often the problems that come up when working on the left side of the infield behind the shortstop and covering plays at first base. For the baseball umpires just getting familiar with umpiring...
Deflections - Part I

Deflections - Part I

I received the following question from a fan recently: Q. The batter hits a hard grounder up the middle that deflects off the pitcher’s foot and goes towards the first base foul line. The pitcher chases the ball. The batter-runner correctly runs in his lane to first and both collide prior to getting to first base and both fall to the ground. The pitcher picks up the ball and throws the batter-runner out before he gets there. There was no intent on either player to instigate the contact. The base umpire calls the batter-runner out. Was he correct? A :  I say no. If a deflected ball is within the fielder’s immediate reach, the runner must avoid the fielder or he risks getting called for runner interference. However, when a fielder chases a deflected ball and collides with a runner, obstruction...
A Catch is a Catch is not a Catch

A Catch is a Catch is not a Catch

How’s that for a catchy title? Under baseball rules, the word “catch” can have three different meanings. It depends on whether the ball is batted, pitched, thrown or tipped. All catches require secure possession of the ball. The differences are in the path the ball traveled before it was controlled. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Thrown ball. The catch of a thrown ball fits the common usage of a “catch.” It simply means a player has controlled the ball and has secure possession of it. A good example occurs on a throw from an infielder to the first baseman after a batted ground ball. There is no requirement for the first baseman to catch the thrown ball in flight for the batter-runner to be out. The out is only dependent on the first baseman getting...