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.

Introducing the Force3 Defender Face Mask! CLICK HERE

2014 MLB Rule Books NOW AVAILABLE!!! CLICK HERE

2014 PBUC MANUALS NOW AVAILABLE!!! CLICK HERE


In The News

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...
Let Them Play - Events that Allow Play to Continue - Part I

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

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 are the first three. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Batter interferes with catcher. When a runner is attempting to steal a base, the batter is guilty of interference if his bat hits the catcher on the follow-through, unless the catcher jumps up and moves into the swing....
Play Follows Balk

Play Follows Balk

Although a balk creates a dead ball immediately playing under NFHS rules (5-1-1-K), such is not true playing under Pro rules. Since many who read this column will probably be involved in summer leagues that play under Pro rules, I decided to share the following question I recently received with you.  Q.  There are runners on first and second and no outs. The runner on second breaks early to third base. The lefty pitcher attempts a pickoff to first base and is called for a balk. His throw is in the dirt to the first baseman who blocks the ball but the ball gets by the first baseman and travels several feet behind the base. Meanwhile the runner from second continues around third to home plate safely.  The runner on first base stayed there. Does the offense get a choice to take the play and the...
NFHS Questions

NFHS Questions

Before many umpires around the country close the book on the 2014 high school season let’s take a look at some questions that have come up during tournament games around the nation. While the high school season is over for many of us there are several states that play high school softball either during the summer or fall months. For those who have wrapped up the season these are good topics to study when we open up the books and attend meetings for the 2015 season. 1. Question - With bases loaded and one out we had a dropped third strike. The batter is out because first base is occupied. She was told to run by her coach and the catcher threw the ball down to first. After she threw the ball to first the runner on third took off for home. I know what it says in rule 8-6-16c but could this be...
21 Rulings - Part II

21 Rulings - Part II

If we had 21 different plays each involving a separate rule, we’d have 21 separate rulings. But we can get 21 separate rulings with only seven plays because each level of play has a separate rule. There are many instances where the three have separate and distinct rules, but for these seven rules there are three different rulings for a particular play. Last month we looked at three such scenarios. Here are the remaining four. Charging an opponent. Play 1: F1’s fastball sails and hits B1 in the elbow. B1 flings his bat toward the mound and approaches it yelling obscenities. F2 tackles B1 and a melee ensues. Ruling 1 The umpires will determine all the guilty parties. In NFHS, the umpires as a minimum will eject B1 and F2. Others may be restricted or ejected as the umpires deem appropriate....
Running Violations

Running Violations

Running violations come in various forms. In this edition I chose some running miscues from the 2013 season that caught my eye. Batter-Runner Attempts to go to Second When the batter-runner runs hard through first base to leg out a hit, it is common for him to make an intent step or move toward second on an overthrow. When the batter-runner realizes that he does not have a chance to reach second, he immediately returns to the base. Because he has made an intent step or move toward second, he has by rule “attempted” to reach the next base and is no longer immune from being tagged out. Under NFHS rules a batter-runner places himself in jeopardy if he feints or attempts to go to second (8-2-7).  The word “feint” is not in the Pro (7.08-j) or NCAA (8-5 i) rules. In the July 25 Pittsburgh Pirates-...
Umpires Have To Decide Score

Umpires Have To Decide Score

In every game umpires are called on to make many important decisions and often those decisions can impact the outcome of the game.  In a high school game played in Indiana last month the umpires were literally asked to determine the score and the winner of the game. Let’s first set the situation that caused the problem.  In the home half of second inning there were two outs and a runner on third base.  The last batter of the inning grounds out for the third out leaving the runner on base.  The game continues with a score of 4-4.  Now all that seems innocent enough but the problem came later. There was no more scoring by either team.  In the bottom of the seventh inning the leadoff batter strikes out and there is a 2-2 count on the second batter of the inning.  The home school’s scorekeeper...
21 Rulings - Part I

21 Rulings - Part I

If we had 21 different plays each involving a separate rule, we’d have 21 separate rulings. But we can get 21 separate rulings with only seven plays because each level of play has a separate rule. There are many instances where the three have separate and distinct rules, but for these seven rules there are three different rulings for a particular play. Here are three such scenarios. Designated hitter. Play 1: In the starting lineup, Tom is the DH for the pitcher Dick and is batting fourth. In the fifth inning, Harry bats for Tom. Ruling 1: In NFHS, Tom is out of the game and may re-enter the game either as the DH or as a defensive player. If he returns as the DH, Harry is out of the game. If he returns as a defensive player, both Harry and Dick are out of the game and the DH is terminated....