The Umpire Gear Checklist

In order to be an effective umpire, you’ll need both protection and the right tools for the job.

April 28, 2017

When baseball players step onto the field, they want to be ready for whatever happens. They also want to look good doing it. Umpires should have that same focus as well. By having the right look and equipment when you step onto the diamond, you will be ready for whatever the game throws at you.


Safety is key, especially for the home plate umpire. The pitcher could be sending throws in from 80 to 100 MPH, which means a misguided pitch can really smart. Broken bats and foul tips can also be hazardous. Protection of the head is a must. There are two styles of facemasks umpires can choose between – the traditional mask and the hockey style helmet. Each offer their own distinct features.


You will also need to have a chest protector, which are created to protect many important parts of the body that can get hit with a foul ball. When choosing a chest protector, make sure coverage starts at the neck and covers at the ribs


Leg guards are another crucial part of protection. They are created to offer protection for the shin, ankle, upper knee, lower thigh and foot.


There are even specialty-made shoes for umpires. You’ll want to dress the part with a collared umpire shirt and umpire’s cap as well. Navy blue or black are normally the most common colors to sport behind home plate. If you’re umping a night game, don’t forget a jacket or long sleeve layer.


Also, make sure to have a count indicator to keep track of the number of outs and the pitch count.


A ball bag is important to have as a home plate umpire to hold extra balls in case one is lost on a foul and will also provide a place to hold your count indicator, plate brush and lineup card.


With all the equipment umpires have to bring with them to games, it is never a bad idea to invest in an equipment bag. There are double-compartment bags so you can avoid placing clothes with your gear. These bags also feature wheels with larger models for more mobility.


Now that have your outfit and protection set, get out there behind the plate and be ready to make the call at home.


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