Do you know that an umpire plays an important role in baseball? At the same time, they also ensure that there is a fair game. In baseball, an umpire refers to the individual making the calls on the field.

They are in charge of the ruling of the game and ensure that these rules are being enforced. Umpires in baseball have several responsibilities and their decisions can greatly affect the outcome of a game. That is why it is essential to know what an umpire is and what the things that they do are.

Important Facts About Umpires

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Umpires are responsible for maintaining peace in games and eliminating any bias. Additionally, when making decisions and calls, it should only be based on the rules of the game.

Umpires are the experts on the rules of a baseball game. Typically, there are four umpires in an MLB game. The four kinds of umpires in a baseball game are the third base, the second base, the first base, and the home plate umpire.

You should never argue with an umpire, since there is a greater risk that you might be ejected from the game.

The umpire controls everything in the game. When it comes to basketball, there are referees and when it comes to baseball, there are umpires. These people are the experts on the rules, and they make calls on every game.

Technology is used in reviewing plays and correcting bad calls, however, not all calls can be reviewed.

With the latest developments, the MLB wants to move away from umpires and instead use automated umpires. But in the meantime, real human umpires are being used to make calls on the game.

What is an Umpire?

In a baseball game, umpires are the experts on the rules of the game. Generally, there are four umpires in any MLB game. It is the duty of the umpire to make the calls for each play of the game. However, this is not the case with a field umpire.

Nevertheless, it will be the responsibility of the home-plate umpire to make calls on every pitch. Without the presence of umpires, there won’t be any baseball, and everything will turn into chaos. Umpires are necessary since they keep the peace in every game.

What is the Meaning of the Word “Umpire”?

Originally, in French, the word umpire means an odd number. During the early days, an odd number refers to the third person who is responsible for settling the dispute between two people.

In case there are only two people, then there will be two diverse sides and it is impossible for them to agree on one side only. That is why when it comes to baseball, the umpire acts as the third person. They will get rid of any bias as well as make decisions and calls according to the rules.

What Are the Different Types of Umpires?

There are four kinds of umpires used in a baseball game. Also known as the main umpire, the home plate umpire is located behind the catcher. He will implement the rules for every pitch, regardless of if it’s a ball or a strike.

The other three umpires are the third base, the second base, and the first base umpire. Each of these umpires have their own specific responsibilities. For instance, since the third base and the first base are positioned directly on the foul line, then they are responsible for making the calls on foul or fair balls.

While the second base concentrates on the calls specifically for the second base. Consequently, it will be the responsibility of the first base and third base umpires to make calls on plays that occurred at their respective bases.

What Are the Duties of an Umpire?

Basically, the duty of the home-plate umpire is to call strikes and balls. In case the player throws the ball in the strike zone, then he will be responsible for calling it a strike. If this is not the case, then the umpire will call it a ball.

While the umpires that are positioned on the foul lines will rule whether balls are foul or fair. It’s also their responsibility to rule whether a player had a full swing, also known as a check swing. This call will either be decided by the third base or first base umpire. Furthermore, the second base umpire typically concentrates on plays that occurred at the second base as well as in the middle of the field.

What Are Some of the Umpire Signals?

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Umpires are being taught about the different signals that they must make for every call. To call for a strike, the home-plate umpire will point his hand toward the dugout. On the contrary, if it’s a ball, then he does not make any motion, instead, he will say “ball.”

If you will see the umpire waving his hands above his head while shouting “foul ball”, then it means that it is a foul ball. On the other hand, if it is a fair ball, then the umpire will simply point his hand toward the playing field to indicate that the ball is fair.

There are two types of signals to call safe or out. The umpire will clench his fist and put this in front of him for an out. Otherwise, for a safe call, the umpire will make place his hands in front of him and make them straight then gradually puts them on his side. Finally, to call a dead ball, the umpire will wave his hands above his head.

What Are the Consequences of Arguing with an Umpire?

If you want to avoid the risk of being ejected from the game, then you should not argue with an umpire. Although the coach is given the chance to discuss, however, once he becomes aggressive or vulgar, then the umpire can expel him.

Once you are ejected, it is required that you should leave the field. It is also possible that a suspension will be imposed, depending on the extremity of the argument. Therefore, arguing with an umpire might not be the smartest thing to do.

Can Technology Hurt or Help an Umpire

Technology has a huge impact on baseball. Lately, there were plans of eliminating umpires and replacing them with an automated system. This could be beneficial in today’s games since umpires are committing more and more mistakes.

It is a fact that human errors will always be an issue and it seems that it is something impossible to get rid of. Technology has been used for reviewing plays and correcting bad calls. Unfortunately, it is not capable of reviewing every play.

What is the Future That Awaits Umpires?

Sad to say, we could be expecting the downfall of umpires. Apparently, the Minor Leagues have started experimenting with automated strike zones, and efforts are being made to get rid of umpires. Perhaps, in the next 5 to 10 years, there won’t be any umpires anymore. If this latest development is a hint of what will happen in the future, then umpires will likely be gone before we know it.

Other Important Things You Need to Know About Umpires

Currently, there are about 70 umpires across Major League Baseball, according to

An MLB umpire who is just starting will receive $150,000. While a more experienced umpire will be paid more than $200,000. These salaries are great, and these guys deserved it since they are making the most important calls on every game.

There is an umpire school that offers training essential for this type of job. They will provide credentials once you are done with the course and most often it will last for 30 days.

Ump Junk offers uniforms for umpires. If you want to become an umpire or you are already an umpire, then you may call us at 210-364-1110 or send us a message at