Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about umpiring.
I am only available to umpire certain days of the week. Is the umpire scheduling flexible?
Yes. Many of our umpires play on sports teams themselves, or have other commitments on different days of the week. Our Assignor works hard to ensure that all umpires are assigned as many games as they are available for. However, it should be noted that the more games one umpires, the more skilled they will become.
Please be sure to manage your availability on the Officials Portal well in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts. Games could be assigned several weeks ahead of time.
What is the umpire uniform I need to purchase?
The umpire uniform consists of an umpire shirt, grey umpire pants, black shoes, and an umpire’s hat. The NLBA requires all umpires wear the approved umpire shirt, hat gray pants and black shoes. In the event of colder or rainy weather, it is recommended that a navy or black plain pullover be worn. Ideally, there are no logos or other details visible on the clothing unless it is the Baseball Ontario logo. The gray pants can be purchased from almost any clothing store and are fairly inexpensive. A black or navy belt is recommended, as the umpire ball bag needs to be attached this way. Umpires are expected to be wearing this uniform EACH time they step on the field, with no exceptions.
How are umpires ranked in the NLBA?
NLBA umpires are ranked according to Baseball Ontario’s policy regarding umpire certification. Our Association is home to umpires ranging from Level 1 (beginner) to Level 3. The majority of our umpires fall into the level 1 and 2 categories. The higher the level of an umpire, the more advanced games they are eligible to officiate. A complete outline of umpire certification is available if you follow this link https://www.playoba.ca/2023-umpire-certification
What kind of equipment does an umpire wear?
Umpires will need to purchase a set of shin pads, an umpire’s mask, as well as a chest protector. It is recommended that each umpire bring their equipment with them to each game even if not assigned to plate to be prepared for any scenario.
Will I get yelled at?
While baseball is a highly competitive game, there are rules in place in order to keep arguments at a minimum, as well as to protect the umpires. One thing to remember: always remain confident with your call; in baseball there are two teams, and on EACH pitch or play, one of the teams is not going to be happy with the outcome. If there are problems, you are always encouraged to contact the umpire-in-chief and we will ensure that the situation is looked into.
What is the pay rate?
The pay rate for umpires in North London Baseball depends on the certification level. The NLBA uses umpires to officiate all games between 8U and 15U, at the house league, select, and REP levels. The higher your certification the higher the pay rate will be. All beginning umpires should expect to begin by umpiring 8U to 11U house league games until they have gained experience in these groups.