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

Parents, coach kicked out of baseball game after heated argument

Parents, coach kicked out of baseball game after heated argument

Credit: wkyt.com LEXINGTON, Ky. - (WKYT) - What police say started as an argument between parents got a little out of hand at a little league game in Lexington. Police showed up and stepped in to stop it and after things calmed down, the young players decided to have some fun with one of the officers. It didn't take three strikes for some parents to get kicked out of a little league game at Kenawood Park where the usual cheers and applause was replaced with screaming and yelling on Sunday. We’re told the disagreement started because of the calls the umpire made during the baseball game. “The parents were harassing the umpires,” said Officer John Steele with Lexington Police. “They were refusing the leave…the parents were standing in the park and they were still yelling across the parking...
Coach banned after reportedly punching umpire

Coach banned after reportedly punching umpire

Credit: nwaonline.com   Witnesses told police the coach punched the 16-year-old umpire in the face. SILOAM SPRINGS -- A youth baseball coach was banned from the league and issued a misdemeanor citation Tuesday after reportedly striking a 16-year-old umpire in the face. Siloam Springs police were called to James Butts Baseball Complex on Tuesday evening when the incident happened. Brandon Duncan, 34, of Colcord, Okla., was cited in connection with abuse of athletic contest official, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. "There's two sides to every story," Duncan said Friday. "Just like this deal, I've got kids too, and it's a bad deal. I'm sorry that it is what it is now. There's more to the story. "I had no idea this kid was a kid to start...
Reader’s Questions No. 2

Reader’s Questions No. 2

This is my second installment covering questions I have received from readers. Here we go from the sublime to the ridiculous. Q. Please help us interpret a pitching rule. This is Adult league, Pro rules. There’s nobody on base when the pitcher begins his windup and stops. The umpire calls it a balk. We know it’s not a balk because there are no runners on base. But is it an illegal pitch? A. It is not an illegal pitch by rule but when a pitcher does something with the bases empty that would normally be considered a balk with a runner/runners on base, the umpire should call a “Ball.” Playing under Pro and NCAA rules the infraction should be ignored if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise if the pitch is delivered. Under NFHS rules...
2015 Questions

2015 Questions

With the high school softball season in full swing across the country we are starting to receive questions on plays. Here are ten of the most common and/or interesting situations that we have heard so far. Question - I had a game this week where one school had only eight players. The two schools had been in contact and agreed that each team would play with eight girls. Ruling – Under Rule 4-3-1f each team must have nine players to start the game. A team may continue a game with as few as eight players. It’s important to note that under ASA rules a team may not reduce to eight players if the reduction is due to an ejection. This provision does not apply to NFHS rules. More and more equipment questions! Question – Rule 1-5-1d requires that bats have a smooth contour. Does this mean the barrel...
Pitches

Pitches

To casual observers of the game, pitches and throws are the same because both involve releasing the ball with the hand. However, the rules treat them differently. In order to make the appropriate distinctions, we must first understand what each act is. Except as noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher and can be legal or illegal. A throw is defined in the dictionary as propelling or casting with the hand. For baseball purposes, a throw is any propelling of the ball with the hand that is not a pitch. Pitches out of play. When a pitch leaves the playing field, any runners on base advance once base. If the pitch was also “ball four,” the batter-runner receives the base on balls, but is not given any additional...
Equipment Issues

Equipment Issues

While most of us have not started the 2015 high school softball season, some of the southern states are well into the season. Some questions have come up already and it seems like 2015 might be the year of the equipment issues and questions. One of the most innovative ideas I’ve seen is not legal and clearly designed to give the pitcher an unfair advantage as she delivers the ball to the plate. As we all know leaping is violation of Rule 6-1-2 and is defined in Rule 2-33 as having both feet airborne prior to the delivery of the pitch. It’s a basic requirement that pitchers must “push and drag” off the pitcher’s plate. This means that the toe(s) must be on the ground. The device we saw early this year has been called the SOFTBALL SHOE DEVICE and has an inner sole shaped device that is attached...
Five “Worst” Calls

Five “Worst” Calls

Complex Sports has published a feature entitled “Blind Fury: The 5 Worst Umpire Calls in MLB Playoff History.” One of their alleged bad calls was actually a correct call, but there is value in their chosen plays by examining the related rules and mechanics. It is also noteworthy that only one involved a routine call that occurs in every game. The others are uncommon situations that umpires must be prepared for. We’ll begin with a play that involves a high degree of judgment. Complicating the matter is the fact that the play in hand isn’t directly addressed in the rules and interpretations are scarce. Tags. We go to Game 1 of the 1991 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Minnesota Twins. After a single, Braves’ Ron Gant rounds toward second but heads back. The ball was returned...
Reader’s Questions No. 1

Reader’s Questions No. 1

During the course of a season, I handle many questions from readers. I thought I would share some with you in the next couple of issues. Q - On an appeal play, if a batter hits a triple but the defensive team thinks he missed second base, can a member of the defensive team while making a dead ball appeal walk over and tag the runner who is standing on third base instead of throwing the ball to second base? A. Under Pro and NCAA rules, the defensive team must wait for the umpire to put the ball in play if “time” is out and the ball is dead. Once the ball is put in play, the pitcher can either step back off the rubber or throw from the rubber to the base being appealed. The pitcher can run over to touch the base or tag the runner or he can throw to a fielder to do the same. Playing under...