So, you have finally decided that you want to become an umpire. Now the next thing to do is to find the proper umpire gear along with the most attractive uniform to make you look and feel good. Here, we are going to give you some tips that can help you with your journey.
Looking like a professional umpire can go a long way. It can make you feel great knowing that you are accepted by players, coaches, and fans. If you try to appear professional, then it can lessen the heat, especially during close calls or confrontations.
What Equipment Is Needed by The Umpire?
As an umpire, your gear is an important investment! If you are not yet sure if your passion for umpiring will last, then most likely it would be practical to choose the most economical way of acquiring your umpire equipment. Here, we are going to give you some tips on how you can get what you need, especially when you are on a budget.
As a new umpire, you can use loaner umpire uniforms or equipment that is usually provided by most umpire programs. Be sure to inquire about this so that you will know what is available. In case the loaner equipment does not meet your requirements, then you may have to purchase the equipment. Sometimes uniforms are harder to find for new umpires on a loaner basis due to the variety of sizes.
Another option would be to get a starter pack which includes most of the things that you need to get started. Although some leagues will require an official uniform, there are others that don’t as long as you use the color scheme.
The common color scheme is a dark blue shirt with heather grey pants or a powder blue shirt with navy blue pants. Take note that if you participate in a tournament, then you will have to acquire an official uniform. The following are the umpire’s gear and uniform from top to bottom.
Umpires usually wear a dark navy-blue cap. Be sure that it fits tightly into your head, so it does not easily get blown away by the wind. Umpire caps should be fitted and measured based on head circumference.
Caps can also be stretch-to-fit or adjustable using the strap at the back. Fitted caps can provide you with the sharpest look. To give you the most comfort, you can choose a stretch-to-fit cap. This is perfect if you are not sure about your size.
The length of the cap will depend on the number of stitches found on the bill. For instance, for the plate, you can use the 6-stitch, but the 4-stitch can offer you ease of use and the best look.
On the other hand, for the bases, you can either use 6-stitch or 8-stitch. As a new umpire, you can probably get a hat for plate games. Keep in mind that you should get your hats cleaned. This is because sweat stains on hats can be visible.
An umpire usually wears a short-sleeved, collared shirt. Most often, we can see shirts that include a small “V” along with three buttons. The top button is usually left unbuttoned. You would likely prefer a shirt that is large enough so that you can easily tuck them into your pants.
Additionally, some umpires would wear a short-sleeved undershirt to prevent chaffing and keep the sweat away. This can make you feel more comfortable, which is essential during those long hours under the heat of the sun. Any form-fitting shirt will work just fine as long as it can help in wicking away the sweat rather than trapping it inside.
If there is another umpire working with you, then you can match the color of both your undershirt and uniform shirt. The common colors are light blue, navy blue, red, and white. It would be great if your undershirt matches one of the colors on your uniform.
Remember that it is not about if you will be hit by the ball but it’s when. Regardless of what chest protector you choose it can provide you with adequate protection. Some can provide you with better protection while others can make you feel more comfortable.
This means that the more investment you make, the more protection you will get. Being a new umpire, it is not essential that you should have some additional protection, for instance, in the biceps or stomach area. Additional protection is not really a requirement unless you advance to a higher level.
Generally, umpire chest protectors must be able to cover the lower portion of your neck down to the belly button, or perhaps just the upper portion of your belly button. If you have chosen the appropriate size and you have adjusted the harness properly, then you can be assured that both your ribs and your collarbone are protected.
Once it is properly crouched, anything below your belly button will not be exposed. In case your protector is extremely long, you should cut this out and get it stitched to prevent your protector from extending past your belt. Take note that the chest protector will not be able to protect your throat.
Shin guards should be worn under your pants, hence, be sure that the pants will be able to accommodate this. Your pants must include belt loops for your ball bag and belt. Shorts should not be worn when umpiring a fastball.
Sometimes, if you purchase the official pants, you will find that they are un-hemmed. That is why it is important that you should get them properly hemmed to an appropriate height.
If the hem of your pants is too short, then you will look unprofessional. On the other hand, if the hem is too long, then your pants might drag you to the ground and might get caught under your shoes. Additionally, it could cause your pants to get dirty and the hem could get ripped and frayed. As a result, the longevity of your umpire pants will likely decrease.
The rule of thumb for umpire base pants and dress pants is just the same. It is important that the back of the pants should not touch the ground. Hence, be sure to measure the hem of your pants accurately while you are having your shin guards on.
Belts could be navy or black. Sometimes belts have “ratchet” and adjust. If you choose to keep on umpiring, then most likely there will be some changes to your waist size throughout the season.
Almost all kinds of leg guards can offer you sufficient protection. They should fit comfortably under your pants. Some umpires would choose to wear some clothing under their shin guards such as tights. This is similar to the ones they wear under their chest protector for preventing chaffing and wick away sweat.
Some of these leg guards also provide ankle and toe protection. Nevertheless, if you are wearing a steel toed shoe, then toe protection will not be needed anymore. Be sure that your shin guards will not keep on moving around as you are umpiring. Additionally, it is also essential that they are properly tight and can fit properly. If you encounter any issues in moving upwards or downwards, then you can cross the top two straps behind the knee.
Ump Junk offers a variety of umpire uniforms and gear. We also offer gear for various sports. For inquiries about our products, you can call us at 210-364-1110 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.