Little league is a big deal in this country and to become an umpire for these little ones takes time and years of experience. You need to understand and possess the necessary skills to direct and guide the game to achieve the best outcome. On top of having all the knowledge of baseball and the skills, you must wear the official umpire uniform too.
This distinguishes you from every other person on the field making it easy for your players to identify you in the rush of the game. When you have the right equipment and uniform on as you step onto the field as an umpire, you are ready for what the day has to offer. When you wear the correct uniform and make sure it’s very clean and neat, you eject authority and everyone on the field respects what you have to say.
The little league players know you are there as a person of authority and obey all the commands and directions you send their way. You must be aware as an umpire of the correct uniform to wear for the league you’re in. The essentials of the uniform are the same but the colors and logos might vary. You need a good quality umpire shirt and pants together paired together with the right shoes.
You need to wear a chest protector as safety is very important while on the field. Since you stand at the home plate, wearing protective gear is very important too. Being a person of authority means you have to lead in what needs to be done on the field. You’re there to enforce the rules and regulations’ making sure everyone stays in line. A helmet is required to cover and protect your head from bats and fastballs. Leg guards protect your shins, upper knee, ankle, and foot.
The Proper Umpire Uniform
The Umpire Shirt
There are various leagues all across the country and each has a distinct color of uniforms even though the base of it remains the same. The umpire shirts for the little league have collars and must be the colors decided by the umpire-in-chief of your specified area. The standard color for an umpire is a navy blue shirt. It must have red and white trim.
The rule for all umpires is that the shirt must be tucked in at all times, no exception. Failure to do this is a violation of the rules. The shirt needs to fit the exact measurements as per the rules of the league. The shirt needs to bear the official patch of the league. For example in little league, the patch is placed on the left side. The exact positioning is below the left shoulders. Make sure it’s 4 inches and must be on a set-in sleeve.
Official Umpire Pants
The official umpire pants are a standard grey. This can be heather grey or also charcoal grey that is much darker. They can have pleats or be without. The length of the pants must adhere to set rules. This means the pants must go beneath the umpire’s ankles covering them completely. Depending on the level of umpire you are, you can have two sets of pants that you wear.
For example, the upper-level umpires are required to have two sets of pants. One set is worn when on the plate area of the field. The other set of pants is worn when at the base plate of the field.
You would not miss an umpire on a field without a hat on. This is part of the official uniform which you need to have from head to toes. The official umpire hat/cap must be won on the field even after the game is over. Ensure you clean it regularly to match the rest of your uniform and to maintain the cleanliness standards of an umpire.
You should never wear your official hat backward as this is against the rules. The standard cap is blue with a logo of the official league on its front.
Official Umpire Shoes
The official umpire shoes need to be sneakers that are low tops and must have soles made using rubber. The other choice is to wear turf shoes that also have rubber soles. The official colors allowed for an umpire’s shoes are a combination of black and white, or a plain black shoe. No other colors and designs are permitted during an official game.
If you’re an umpire at the plate, you must buy official plate shoes. These shoes have cleats that have rubber and toes made of steel. The shoes must be clean and polished at all times matching the other uniform.
Since the pants you wear have belt loops on them and the umpire shirt is always tucked in, you must wear a belt as well. The belt permitted for umpires must be black and made using quality leather. The belt must meet official measurements of 1.24 thicknesses. No other colors and materials are accepted. Make sure the belt is not old and dull. It must be shiny and match the neat uniform you have on as an umpire.
A T-shirt is won underneath the official umpire shirt. No umpire is to step on a field without a t-shirt beneath their shirt. The t-shirt has to be red and tucked in as well. It must not be longer than the shirt that it sticks out of the sleeves. This is not neat at all and makes the whole uniform seem unprofessional. Remember to clean it regularly with the rest of the uniform.
Being an umpire is serious business and there are strict rules to follow once you qualify as one. Remember you’re on a field to officiate a game and must exude authority. If you’re not neat and put together, no one will take you seriously. This is why it’s important to follow the rules of the uniform you must wear in the field. Cleanliness must be maintained at all times. Your uniform has to be clean, ironed, and in good quality at all times.