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

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...
Four Umpire System

Four Umpire System

As we approach the end of the summer many umpires are assigned to work various championship tournaments at all levels – state, regional, national, etc. These tournaments may use more than the standard two umpires per game on some or all of the championship assignments. Umpires need to be prepared and study the three umpire system mechanics which are included in both the USA Softball and National Federation manuals. At times, for various reasons, some tournaments and their directors decide to use four umpires per game. This may be great in some ways but there are no published mechanics covering the four umpire system in the high school or USA Softball manuals. What are umpires to do? I recall my first four umpire assignment back in 1972 where our crew chief told us that everyone should...
Questions

Questions

Below are nine questions that I received during my spring training tour in Florida and Arizona. The answers provided are from Pro rules. I have noted, when necessary, where there is a difference between the Pro rule and theNFHS and NCAA rule. 1.  Infield Fly Rule situation. The bases are loaded and one out when the batter hits a pop fly near first base in fair territory. The umpires invoke the IFR. The runner on first base, who is several feet off the bag, is tracking the fly ball instead of locating the first baseman who is about to make the catch. The runner unintentionally runs into the first baseman who makes the catch in fair territory. Should a double play be called? A. Yes. The batter is called out under the Infield Fly Rule and the runner is called out for interference because he...
How Rules Are Made

How Rules Are Made

Last month we talked about a “fake rule”. This happened on April Fools’ Day when in the words of USA Softball’s Managing Director of Communications, Codi Warren, “an individual unknown to us spread false information on their social media account regarding USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) play requirements that made it seem as if it came from USA Softball’s official Twitter account…our Twitter account was not hacked and the tweet did not come from the USA Softball National Office.  It was simply an altered image that the individual inserted into a post for the purpose of impersonating the USA Softball Twitter account.” The tweet stated that both USA Softball and USSSA had adopted a rules change, to be effective almost immediately, that would require certain defensive players to wear face masks.  This...
Gloves

Gloves

Gloves were not part of the original game of baseball and they did come in vogue until around 1920. It then took another 30 years for size restrictions to appear in the rules. NCAA and pro rules address four types of gloves: pitcher, catcher, fielder and first baseman while the NFHS code omits the latter category. In addition to size, the color of gloves (pitcher only) is addressed. There are no weight restrictions on any of the gloves; however gloves can only be used in the intended manner – as an extension of and for the protection of the hand.   Catcher.The pro catcher’s glove is limited to a 38” circumference, but there are no limits on NFHS or NCAA catchers. Under pro rules, catchers cannot use a fielder’s or first baseman’s glove at any time (NFHS 1-3-6; NCAA 1-13a; pro 3.04, PBUC 3.13).   Before...
Everything Could Be Fake – Even The Rules

Everything Could Be Fake – Even The Rules

It’s not unusual now that we hear reports about fake news and of course each individual must make their own decisions about the validity of what they read and hear.  But, what about a “fake rule?”  Earlier this month, an issue arose where USA Softball was hit with reports of a “fake rule.”  Not surprisingly, this occurred on April Fools’ Day when according to USA Softball’s Managing Director of Communications, Codi Warren, “an individual unknown to us spread false information on their social media account regarding USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) play requirements that made it seem as if it came from USA Softball’s official Twitter account…our Twitter account was not hacked and the tweet did not come from the USA Softball National Office.  It was simply an altered image that the individual...
The Catcher as an Infielder

The Catcher as an Infielder

The catcher is positioned in the infield, but is he an infielder? That’s a question the Rules Books don’t answer clearly and the truth is sometimes he is and sometimes he isn’t. NFHS rules do state the catcher is an infielder (2-13-3), but he is sometimes treated differently than the other infielders. NCAA and pro rules only include as infielders those players who occupy positions between the pitcher’s mound and the outfielders (NCAA 2-49, pro Infielder Definition). In all codes, the rules specifically refer to the catcher as the unique fielder that he is and that makes the infielder question a moot point. Here are the scenarios where it may not be clear as to whether to treat the catcher the same as any other infielder. Position. First of all, the catcher is the only defensive player...