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Junior Umpire

What is the Junior Umpire Program?
Members of the Ballard Little League community (they don’t have to live in Ballard) ages 12 to 17 are invited to be umpires at Ballard Little League. Two person crews typically consisting of a parent and a teenager are also encouraged to join. Teenagers will be paid $38 per game or they can get volunteer credit for high school community service requirements. 
There is so much to learn from Little League; sportsmanship, competition, service.  There's plenty to learn from umpiring as well; responsibility, leadership, tenacity.  Umpiring offers fantastic perspectives for volunteers young and old. 

What's in it for junior umpires?
First and foremost, umpiring at Little League is about community service.  Little League is a leadership program to teach life lessons through baseball and softball.  Volunteers can:

  • Receive community service hours while having a great time giving back to the community OR get paid $38 per game. Pretty good for two hours!
  • Learn great life skills
  • Beef up college applications

How do they sign up?

Step 1: Complete the Volunteer Application process.  

  1. Go to the BLL Volunteer Now page.
  2. Select the program (Baseball or Softball) you want to ump for.  (choose your first choice now, but know you can decide later which games you work).  
  3. Log into your BLL account
  4. Select a division (choose your first choice now, but know you can decide later which games you work). 
  5. Scroll all the way to the right under that division and find the role "Umpire". 
  6. Complete the volunteer information form.  Junior umpires will not go through background check, but please submit a parent's ID or their student ID.

Step 2: Look for emails from Ballard Little League volunteer coordinator and head umpire regarding training opportunities.

Step 3: Your name will be added to the email list where you will find out about upcoming events and training opportunities. Equipment will be provided.

Are they Qualified? 
Yes.  BLL will provide uniforms, equipment, rule books and training.  Every crew will be mentored and start in the lower divisions. Coaches are informed of the nature of the junior umpire program and are expected to treat younger umpires with the same respect Little League requires for all umps.

How do they get trained? 
BLL provides two online sessions for rules and procedures. Volunteers can attend either one. Part of each session is instruction on how to sign up for a game and other procedures, the rest is a rules refresher. BLL also hosts at least one three hour on-field training session. Attendance to one online session and one on-field training are required to be paid as a junior umpire. If you cannot make the on-field clinic you can attend the District 8 on-field training. 
All volunteers will receive a rule book and are expected to read and understand the rules.
Additionally, Little League International provides rules and skills clinics. All umpires are encouraged to participate, but these are not a requirement.
Junior umpires will be partnered with an adult umpire until they are comfortable to umpire on their own.  Or they may continue to choose to sign up with an adult. 

What if they forget a rule during a game? 
Nobody is perfect and it’s okay if you need to pause during a game to get a call right. Sometimes the hardest rules to remember are ones that are applied in the lower divisions such as batting out of turn or dropped third strikes.

How big of a time commitment is this?
You set your own schedule. Umpiring 3 to 5 games per season is a HUGE help to the league. We allow you to schedule the games you want based on your availability and the umpires you want to work with.

Is there ever an issue if only teenagers are on the field?
Rule 9.03(d) says an adult must be in charge of the game however if no adult umpire is available an adult game coordinator will be required for ejections and to call the game for rain or darkness if necessary. The home team usually appoints an adult volunteer to be the game coordinator.

Thank you for considering the Little League umpire program!  If you have any questions please contact the BLL Chief Umpire:

Dave Trop
[email protected]

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