5 Great Tips for How to Become an Umpire
If you're thinking about becoming an umpire you may not know where to start. If you're looking for advice, you're in the right place. Here are 5 great tips on how to become an umpire.
Have you ever yelled profanities at an umpire? Have you ever thought you could and would do a much, much better job? Well, you're in luck, because we're here to guide you through how to become an umpire.
Like the Major League players, umpires must work their way up the ranks to ensure they've got the experience and training needed to make the big calls in the big games. If you're serious about making it you should expect to spend seven to ten years in the minor leagues before getting your shot in the Majors.
That's about twice the amount of time it takes a ballplayer so you need to be committed from the get-go.
Let's take a look at the process.
1. Enroll in School
If you want to be a professional umpire, you have to attend a professional umpire training school. There's no way to avoid this necessity.
Currently, there are two schools that have been approved by the minor leagues: Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School and Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy. The two schools combined typically enroll 300 students a year.
2. Get Noticed
It takes much more than a concrete knowledge of baseball rules to get noticed as an umpire. A strong on-field presence, understanding of the mechanics-where to go when the ball is hit, confident calls, a commanding use of voice, hustle and the ability to handle whatever situations arise on the field are essential.
Added to these, it's essential that you display good character and judgment as you're being entrusted with the integrity of the game while you're on the field.
3. Finish at Top of Class
Getting umpiring jobs is an incredibly competitive challenge. Typically fifty students a year are selected to advance to the higher course. That's about 16% of all attendees, so bring your A game.
4. Begin Assignment in Lower League
At the advanced course, students are closely monitored and the instructors make recommendations about the best possible candidates to become baseball referees. From then on you must work your way through the minor leagues until you reach Class-AAA and you're deemed ready for majors.
Some basic requirements must be met:
- High school diploma or G.E.D.
- Reasonable body weight
- 20/20 vision (with or without corrective lenses)
- Good communication skills
- Quick reflexes, good coordination
- Some athletic ability
- Required preliminary training for the job (i.e., professional umpire school).
If you're wondering what sort of equipment you need we've already got you covered.
5. Wait for 'The Call'
In total, there are 68 umpires in the majors and 225 in the minor leagues. The small number of openings and the low turnover makes it incredibly difficult to make it to the top.
If you're serious about making it, umpire as many local games as you can. Reach out to any minor league umpires in your area to find out what the life is like.
Then read and reread the rulebook and watch every game you can. Take care of all you can and then wait patiently.
How to Become an Umpire
There you have it, five easy, longwinded steps to act as your guide on how to become an umpire. If you're serious about it, then go for it! Stay patient and be ready to take your chances when they come.
Head over to the shop to get the gear that'll help you command the respect you deserve.