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

Intervening Play

Intervening Play

One of the common criticisms of annual rules testing is “those” plays never happen. Well sometimes they do and the umpires must be ready when that happens. On a particularly nice baseball day in Colorado, an unusual play happened, not once, but twice; different games of course. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules.   In the English language, “intervene” means to come between or to occur in time between other events. Thus, - an intervening play is a play that comes in between two other events. The only situation in which the placement of runners differs if there is an intervening play is if the batter-runner has not touched first at the time of interference. The effect of an intervening play is to change the base to which runners must return from the...
2018 Rules Q's

2018 Rules Q's

During the 2018 season I received many rules related questions. I will cover several in this column and will share others in the future. Unless noted, my answers would apply for all three playing codes-Pro, NCAA and NFHS. Q. There’s a runner on first, catcher’s interference is called and the batter safely makes it to first as a result of the play. If the runner on first (after safely reaching second base), makes an attempt for third base during the play and gets thrown out, does the offensive coach have the option to negate that out because of the initial interference rewarded to the batter? Or does the defense get to keep the out, because the runner on first advanced past second base at his own risk? A. The out would stand. The manager of the offensive team would have no option....
First in all 50!!!

First in all 50!!!

On July 22, 2018 Tim Sabin became the first USA Softball umpire to work a game in each and every one of the fifty states.  Sabin worked the plate in a USA Softball of Hawaii fast pitch competition at the Patsy C. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to achieve this remarkable accomplishment. Sabin worked his first game at Cincinnati’s Rumpke Park back in 1997 on April Fools’ Day!  He started as a Slow Pitch umpire wanting to see how he liked that role in the game.  Soon he purchased equipment and added the Fast Pitch game. In just his third year of umpiring added three states – Kentucky (a college game at Thomas More University), Indiana (an ASA National Championship at Twin Lakes Park in Bloomington), and an invitational tournament in Canton, Michigan. Tim had...


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...