Do You Have What It Takes

To Umpire the BEST?

Taking Advantage of Training

A big shout out to all the Blues who have taken advantage of opportunities to improve their skills through camps and clinics this spring. These events have included but are not exclusive to the Jack Reynolds 3 man evaluation weekend, Slow Pitch Advanced Camp and the SMSUA 3 umpire training sessions.

Slow pitch advanced camp was a great success with the following SMSUA umpires in attendance. Graig Bolton, Russ Cantonwine, Tim Coffey, Kayleen Dunson, Max Escalante, Bill Foreman (won his registration fee at last year’s Banquet!), Josh Francis, Kris Mack, Lou McCaffery, Rich Schultz, Kerry Steichen, CJ Webb, and Sean Wells. Any umpires with questions on slow pitch umpiring I’m sure that any of these umpires will be happy to answer them.

Did you know that we have all kinds of training information on the website as well? You can log in then go to the training and mechanics page to view great presentations on two umpire mechanics, three umpire mechanics, angles/distances, line up  management and much more. Plus! If there is something you want access to that is not on there please let us know and we will do our best to get the information to you.

2014 slow pitch camp


Take 3 Steps!

take 3 steps

It’s a simple challenge: TAKE THREE STEPS into the infield when you are working behind the plate. PERIOD.  Umpires – this isn’t hard, but too many of us aren’t doing it – and our customers are noticing.
The number one gripe I hear from every league is:
“The umpires NEVER move out from behind home plate.”
Umpires: We need to change this. So here is your challenge: TAKE THREE STEPS. Take at least three steps INTO THE INFIELD to make calls at first, second and third base.
SLOW PITCH and JV HIGH SCHOOL UMPIRES  – you are working 1-umpire mechanics. You have to make calls at ALL THE BASES. The absolute WORST place to make a call at 1st, 2nd, or 3rd base is behind home plate. It’s BAD, NO GOOD, DON’T EVER STAND THERE (unless there is a runner at third coming home).
This is serious business. Getting out from behind home plate should be standard procedure for all umpires so I’ve developed a plan to help us all remember how to do this.

Umpires, Your UIC is full of warm fuzzy “thank yous” to give out. She’s happiest when she’s bragging about how absolutely wonderful you are and how she had absolutely NOTHING to do with it.

But she also cares enough about the leagues we serve and the quality of umpires we put out there to make a serious commitment to quality when it’s needed. It’s needed now. Please.TAKE THREE STEPS into the infield to make your calls.

Kayleen Dunson
Seattle ASA Umpire In Chief

Are You Checking Bats?

We all should be checking to make sure bats are legal before each game we do.

All bats should have the ASA approved certification mark for 2000 or 2004 and be free of burrs, dents, cracks and rattles.

Check out this handy “Quick Guide” on how to inspect bats. The ASA website is the best place to go for more resources. Here’s a link to the one-page color list of bats that HAVE the 2000 or 2004 stamp but have become “Non-Approved.” This is a handy reference guide you should print out and keep with you when you do your games.

Hope this helps to refresh your “bat check skills” and make it easier for all of us to check bats every game.


Get Regional Clinic Presentations

ASA Region 15 Clinicians – Wild Bill Silves, Kevin Ryan, Malcolm Boyles, Bob Stanton, Brian Van Os, Lori Bish

What an amazing learning experience!

Thank you to all of the fantastic clinicians who gave so much of their time and expertise to help make all of us in Region 15 better umpires.

Nearly 250 umpires gathered for a great weekend of learning, building relationships and having some great fun. The head umpires from ASA in the United States, Softball Canada, and the International Softball Federation engaged everyone with their expert knowledge and creativity.

The Canadian’s sing for the Clinic – Thanks for being here!

We are especially thankful to the great contingent of umpires from up north who treated us to a rousing rendition of their National Anthem as well as sharing their thoughtful expertise and fun!

We’re working on a complete Clinic update, but until then here is access to some of the presentations:

Playing Rule Changes
Balance in Umpiring
Name That Game
Train the Trainers
ASA Evaluations
Batting Out of Order

Thank you to all Clinicians, all staff who helped make this so successful and especially to ALL THE WOMEN AND MEN IN BLUE who attended.


School Ball Rules Changes Here

All high school and middle school games are governed by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Rules. Although there aren’t many significant changes to the rules or mechanics this year, Gerald St.Clair went through some of the more significant changes for the members at the February 6 meeting.

If you missed that meeting, or want to refresh what you learned there, check out this slideshow that includes all of Gerald’s slides.

If we can help you with more or better training tools, please let us know.


Free training programs for all members

Whether you’ve been umpiring for 30 years or 30 minutes, SMSUA offers top-notch training. We promise to work with all of our umpires to prepare them to reach the highest level they want to work.

We have lots of umpires who are happy working the recreational and young ages. And we have some umpires who have worked the highest levels (college world series, Olympics, and International).

Whatever your umpiring goals, our training program will help you meet them.

If you are just joining the umpire family, click here to learn about our free training for new umpires.

We look forward to seeing you on the field soon!

Answers to Uniform Questions

The standard uniform for most of the games we umpire is pretty easy to remember: a powder-blue shirt, black belt, gray pants and black shoes. When you’re doing a plate game you’ll also need a blue or gray ball bag. If it’s cold, you can wear the navy blue jacket.

Here are some common questions about uniforms:

Do I have to wear a t-shirt under my uniform? What color should it be?
You do not have to wear a t-shirt under your uniform. If you do wear a t-shirt, wear white under the powder blue shirt and navy under the navy shirt.

Can I wear the long-sleeve uniform even if my partner is wearing short sleeves?

If my partner is wearing a jacket do I have to wear a jacket?

If my partner is wearing a navy blue shirt can I wear my powder blue shirt?
No. You must be dressed in the same color uniform. Powder blue is the default uniform, so if you can’t decide, go with powder.

Can I wear a white t-shirt under my navy blue shirt?
No. You must wear a navy blue t-shirt under the navy blue uniform.

Can I wear my shin guards over my pants?
No. That just looks silly.

Can I umpire in shorts?
Yes you can umpire in shorts – for SLOW PITCH only. Shorts must be navy or heather gray.

Does it matter what color ball bag I wear?
No. You can wear a navy or gray ball bag.

Will I have to buy navy pants?
The standard uniform for SMSUA is gray pants so we will not require you to buy navy. Some umpire organizations use navy pants as the standard uniform and if you travel to those organizations you may need to purchase navy pants.