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James Fairweather


Umpire Information

Who can be an umpire?

At Little Mountain, we have youth umpires at the Minors, Majors B, and Majors A divisions.  Players can umpire games in divisions below the one they are playing in, so you must be playing above the Minors level to begin.

Adults are welcome to get trained as well.

Note that the team drafts may not have taken place by this time so you may not know whether you made a Majors B team.  If you attend the clinic but wind up being placed in the Minors division, you will need to wait until the following year to start umpiring.

Pay rates

Division Plate Umpire Base Umpire
Minors $25 $20
Majors B $30 $25
Majors A $35 $30


How are umpires paid?

Umpires will be paid in cash by the home team Coach or Manager at the conclusion of the game.  Be sure to collect your payment before you leave the field.

Umpire training

After an umpire training clinic, your name will be added to the umpire assigning system and you will be able to request assignment to work games.  We will also provide new umpires with an umpire shirt, ball bag, plate brush, and hand-held indicator.  Umpires are expected to provide their own black pants when working as an umpire.

We use a system called Assignr to schedule umpires. 

Follow-up training and mentoring

New umpires can expect to receive follow-up mentoring from the UIC or another experienced umpire during their first few games.  This umpire evaluator will observe the umpires from an off-field location for part of the game.  He will approach the umpires at some point during the game and offer some feedback and advice about how they are performing.  The game umpires may ask questions too. 

The first 2-4 times a new umpire is scheduled to work, it will be as a base umpire.   You can let the UIC know when you feel comfortable accepting plate assignments, carry more responsibility (and pay an extra $5).  If you prefer to keep working base umpire assignments, that is completely acceptable.

Can I work a game where my sibling is playing or a parent is coaching?

The short answer is "yes", but it should be avoided.

One of the crucial factors for being an official is neutrality: we should have no interest in the outcome of the game.  If you honestly feel that your judgement is not affected by any possible conflicts of interest, then you can work the game.  But, if I get feedback that an official appears to be favouring one side or the other, and I find it's substantiated by a conflict of interest, it will be grounds for suspension or dismissal as an official.

There are times when we cannot find enough umpires and may have no choice but to use an official with a potential conflict of interest.  In such cases you are asked to do the best you can and try to make your calls as you see them and not favour either side.

Other reminders

  • Both umpires: make sure you know who the Adult Game Coordinator is.  Do not begin the game until this person is identified.
  • Plate Umpire: the indicator should always be held in your left hand.
  • Plate Umpire: when giving the strike-ball count, state the number of balls first, followed by the number of strikes.  Indicate the number of balls by holding up 0, 1, 2 or 3 fingers on the left hand and the number of strikes with the right hand.
  • Plate Umpire: stay down in your crouch and track the pitch with your eyes.  Your head should not move as the pitch is coming in.
  • Plate Umpire: in Majors B and especially Minors, the strike zone should be quite generous.  We want the batters swinging, not walking.
  • Plate Umpire: keep your plate brush in your side pouch.  If you don't have a pouch, keep it on the ground against the backstop.
  • Both umpires: don't forget to signal your umpiring partner so you both know the situation (out count, whether infield fly is in effect, etc).


Umpires should arrive at least 20 minutes before game time to discuss these items with their partner:

  1. Introductions
  2. Fair-Foul Coverage (who has what and where)
  3. Tag ups and base touches
  4. Fly balls to the outfield
  5. Fly balls to the infield
  6. Coverage of third base (in a two-man system)
  7. Live ball (restarting the game after foul/dead balls
  8. Uncaught third strike (Majors A only)
  9. Infield fly rule (Majors A only)
  10. Checked swing
  11. Umpire positioning on the field
  12. Signals