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

NCAA baseball expansion of video replay among rule changes

NCAA baseball expansion of video replay among rule changes

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a rules change in baseball that allows umpires to conference in order to confirm or overturn an original call on whether a fielder caught a ball hit to the outfield. Current NCAA baseball rules allow umpires to conference on certain close plays in order to get calls right. Catches in the outfield  now have been added to that list of plays. Panel members, who met via conference call Tuesday, also approved expanding the experimental video replay rule to include “catch” and “no catch” plays. Starting in 2015, conferences will also be able to request through the rules committee to use the experimental video replay rule in regular season games in addition to conference tournament games. The video replay rule has been in effect at the Men’s College...
LET THEM PLAY Events That Allow Play to Continue - Part III

LET THEM PLAY Events That Allow Play to Continue - Part III

Almost all interference results in an immediate dead ball, but for some acts though, play continues until action ceases – the so-called delayed dead ball. Additionally, there are other events which cause umpires to stop play after action ceases and take action. Umpires must know which acts keep the ball live as well as how to enforce the penalty. There are 14 such acts among the three codes. Acts where the ball is not immediately dead and the umpire must allow play to continue. Here is the third of four installments. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Umpire interferes. If an umpire hinders the catcher’s throw, it is most likely interference. If the hindrance occurs while the catcher is attempting to prevent a stolen base or pick off a runner, the...
Sparrows Fourth Out Appeal

Sparrows Fourth Out Appeal

Did you ever think you would see an inning or a resumption of a game start with three outs? It’s supposed to be the other way around. Strange but true, this baseball anomaly almost occurred because of a bizarre scenario that took place during a Rock River Baseball League game in Wisconsin in late June. And yours truly wound up in the middle of it since the league solicited my opinion. The dispute centered around an inning-ending “Time Play” and the rare “fourth out” appeal rule. Let’s call the two teams the Robins and the Sparrows. In the top of the seventh the Robins had runners on first and third and one out trailing, 3-2. The batter hit a shot to deep left center where the left fielder and center fielder collided. The ball was caught and the runner on first base, who never tagged-up, was...
Keep the Game Moving

Keep the Game Moving

Championship Play for ASA/USA Softball is in full swing during the month of August. This season, umpires had the added opportunity (and responsibility) to deal with a new challenge as Rule 5-10C and Code Section 310-P-03 added a time limit for elimination bracket championship games in nearly all divisions of Junior Olympic (Youth) play. This change imposed a one hour and forty minute time limit on bracket games prior to the Winner’s Bracket final. This limit matched the time frame that had existed many years for pool play games. No inning may start after that time and an inning is deemed to have started at the moment the third out in the bottom half of the previous inning has been made. The big difference for 2014 was the existence of the “clock” in games that really meant the most. Many umpires...
Let Them Play - Events that Allow Play to Continue - Part II

Let Them Play - Events that Allow Play to Continue - Part II

Almost all interference results in an immediate dead ball, but for some acts though, play continues until action ceases – the so-called delayed dead ball. Additionally, there are other events which cause umpires to stop play after action ceases and take action. Umpires must know which acts keep the ball live as well as how to enforce the penalty. There are 14 such acts among the three codes. Acts where the ball is not immediately dead and the umpire must allow play to continue. Here is the second of four installments. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Detached equipment. A fielder may not throw his glove at a ball, nor may he use his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person to touch the ball. The ball remains...
Good Vision Can Prevent Rule Violations

Good Vision Can Prevent Rule Violations

One of the most common causes for two-car accidents is that one driver did not see the other car. There’s a parallel here when it comes to baseball players and rules violations. “I didn’t see it,” is often the popular cry. There are many different types of plays each year that result in rule violations because of poor vision habits. A wise umpire will pick up on this. Let’s start with passing the runner. This normally occurs when a runner is retreating to a previous base while another runner is advancing to his next base. Both runners are usually oblivious to each other and then Bingo! We have a passing the runner mishap. As an umpire you should get a read on this by keying the players’ body language. Anticipation can be an umpire’s enemy but in certain situations it can be an ally. ...
Handling Extra Inning Tie Breakers

Handling Extra Inning Tie Breakers

The Tie Breaker Rule is unique to softball. It is a rule that has never been and probably never will be considered by any rules organization for the game of baseball. The rule’s origin goes back to the 1970s where it was originally adopted by the International Softball Federation as a way of bringing a faster end to the often scoreless pitching duels of that era. Many softball followers still call it the “International Tie Breaker” or for short the “ITB” even though it has been an ASA rule and part of the American game for over 30 years. Very simply, the ASA rule (Rule 5-11) kicks in when the game goes into extra innings or when a time limit is used beyond the regulation time. Starting in the top of the eighth inning, and in every half inning forward, the offense starts its time at bat with...
Refs Sad But Not Shocked After Soccer Homicide

Refs Sad But Not Shocked After Soccer Homicide

Credit: WILX.COM -- Joe Gazda chooses which referees will officiate each game for the Greater Lansing Area Soccer Referee Association. He loves the sport and he loves his job as a referee. So you can imagine how he was feeling after learning John Bieniewicz, the referee who was punched after ejecting a player in a men's rec league game in Livonia, had died from the assault. "It's tragic that something like that has to happen in a game," said Gazda. "We read about it in referee magazines and it just seems like we hear about it more and more. And it needs to stop." Referees are only human, Gazda said, and they do make mistakes. He says unrest can start with unruly fans that like to get on the case of a referee. Coaches and players can get hot under the collar too. "It's easy to be a referee...