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Umpire Information - Rules and Tools

Little League Umpire Registry

The Little League Umpire Registry is a place where you, and your fellow volunteers, have access to an assortment of training materials, including live webinars. You are also able to purchase a specially-discounted “umpire bundle” of materials from the Little League store, which features printed or electronic rule books and other items.

Infield Fly Rule

Explanation of the Infield Fly Rule - Little League


the slot

Key Factors determining your Strike Zone

Factor

Description
Batter's natural and usual stance

Some batters crouch when they swing. Others stand more upright.

 

You should observe the first swings of a batter to determine their stance and adjust your strike zone accordingly. For example, you should tighten your strike zone on a batter who crouches during his/her swing.

Age of the

players

The younger they are, the bigger (height and width) your strike zone should be. A generous strike zone for younger players (< 11 years old) will have them swinging often, keep the defense alert and speed up the game for everyone.

Time of season

At any age, your strike zone should be bigger at the beginning of the season and become smaller as pitchers become more proficient.

Just because ...

Whether it's a game with inexperienced pitchers, nasty weather, kids that won't swing, a bad stomach ache, or all of the above - you will find times when your strike zone is just not big enough!

(Little League Umpiring 101)

Adjust your strike zone for each game

-  Little League Rule Book states: "The strike zone is that space over home plate which is between the batter's armpits and the top of the knees when the batter assumes a natural stance. The umpire shall determine the strike zone according to the batter's usual stance when that batter swings at a pitch."

-  During the game, the consistency of your strike zone is key, especially during a batter's at-bat sequence. I've heard many a coach and parent mutter complaints about a strike zone but then finish with "... but it was consistent". Translated = great job Blue!

The pre-game conference is essential to a well-officiated game

Here is a list of general areas and topics that the plate umpire, crew chief, or league UIC is to cover with the crew before approaching the playing field.

  • Introductions
  • Fair-Foul Coverage (who has what and where)
  • Tag ups and base touches
  • Fly balls to the outfield
  • Fly balls to the infield
  • Coverage of third base (in a two-man system)
  • Live ball (restarting the game after foul/dead balls)
  • Uncaught third strike (used in Major, Intermediate (50-70), Junior, and Senior Division baseball)
  • Batted ball hits batter while in batter’s box
  • Half swing (check swing)
  • Umpire positioning on the field
  • Signals

you make the call

Little League has come up with different situations that you might encounter during a game. See how your understanding and interpretation of the rules are by testing yourself - You Make the Call

The Junior Umpire Program

Our Junior Umpire program comprises boys and girls aged 12 and older who have experience playing baseball, softball or umpiring, and who have a lot of self-confidence and enjoy the sport. Junior umpires, start out umpiring at the Coach Pitch  level (9 and 10 year olds), then, as skills and experience grow, they move on to umpire at the Minors and Majors levels. Junior umpires will be paired with adult umpires during games (Minors and up). If you would like more information or would like to volunteer for become an Umpire, please contact your UIC.