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

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...
Stop It Now - Part VI

Stop It Now - Part VI

Events that Result in an Immediate Dead Ball This month we’ll wrap up our survey of the events which result in an immediate dead ball by taking a look at the rare scenarios that are covered by the rules. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Runner hit by pitch. If a runner attempts to steal home, it is theoretically possible he could be hit by the pitch. However, there is no record of that ever happening. Nonetheless, the rule exists to discourage a pitcher from intentionally hitting a runner by making it a disadvantage to do. If a legal pitch hits a runner trying to score, it is an immediate dead ball and base runners advance if they were stealing with the pitch. In NCAA only, runners not attempting to advance remain at the base they occupied at...
Stop It Now - Part V

Stop It Now - Part V

Immediate dead ball plays are usually thought of as interference plays. However, in NCAA and pro play an obstruction play can mandate an immediate dead ball. If the obstructed runner is being played on, the ball is immediately dead and the play is stopped (NCAA 2-55 Type I, 6-3d; pro 6.01h1). Under NFHS rules, obstruction is always a delayed dead ball and play is allowed to continue until all action ends (NFHS 5-1-2b; NCAA 2-55 Type II, 6-3c, 6-3d3; pro 6.01h2). Situations where obstruction may occur while the runner is being played on include: rundowns, any play where another fielder is making a direct throw to a base in an attempt to retire that runner and a batter-runner who has not yet reached first base and a ball is hit to an infielder. Play 1: With two outs, B1 pops up to the shortstop....
Time Play

Time Play

The 2017 baseball season wasn’t quite two days old when we had our first “Time Play” confusion. When the third out of an inning is not the result of a force play and it happens about the same time a runner is crossing the plate, the plate umpire must decide “in time,” what occurred first-the third out or the runner crossing the plate. Often times the plate umpire must distinguish between the time of a tag vs. the runner crossing the plate while other times the plate umpire must judge the timing of a double-up third out vs. the runner crossing the plate. The term “Time Play” is not listed in the Official Baseball Rules. Rule 5.08 (a), comes closest. It reads, “A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made (1) by the batter-runner before...
A Runner's Baseline

A Runner's Baseline

Prior to the 2017 season, a runner's baseline (excluding a rundown) was restricted by the fielder's tag attempt with ball in glove or hand and extended toward the runner. This season, however, under Pro rules, there is a rule change. A fielder no longer has to have ball in glove or hand extended toward the runner to restrict his baseline. A fielder's movement toward the runner is sufficient. You should check with your individual association to see if you should be making the baseline rule call under the 2017 revised rule or if you should stay with the old 2016 rule. The rundown rule has not changed. During a rundown, the runner's restricted 3-foot baseline starts the moment the rundown begins. It is a line to the base he is going to and a line to the base he came from-and he has 3-feet...
Intersting & Controversial

Intersting & Controversial

One of the most interesting and controversial plays of the 2017 season occurred in a Southeastern Conference game played on May 1 in Oxford, MS between Mississippi and Alabama. In the top of the third inning the Crimson Tide’s Bailey Hemphill hit the ball over the fence to apparently tie the game at three. However, as she celebrated crossing the plate, she jumped over and missed the plate. The umpire clearly noted that Hemphill had missed the plate and provided a new ball to Ole Miss. As she neared but did not enter her dugout her teammates directed her to return to and touch the plate. When she attempted to do that she was tagged out by the Rebels catcher and promptly ruled out setting off a huge argument and controversy. The following day the NCAA issued a statement addressing this play...
Stop It Now - Part IV

Stop It Now - Part IV

In certain scenarios, umpires have to make quick, almost split-second, decisions about whether to keep the ball live or to kill it. Although the play may ultimately be ruled correctly, hesitation will create the aura of indecision or lack of rules knowledge and that may cause further problems. Here are some situations where the decision of interference or not must be made rapidly. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. The running lane. When a batter becomes a runner, he is relatively unrestricted in how he runs the bases. Unless he hits a fair ball that is fielded in the vicinity of the plate, he may take any path to first and also to any other base unless a play is being made on him. The purpose of the three-foot wide lane along the last half of the...