Umpire FAQ

Umpiring is a challenging and exciting undertaking—getting started is the hardest part! Ask any question about SGVUA or umpiring in our association by contacting us.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much travel is involved?

The ever-expanding reach of SGVUA makes travel for SGVUA easier than ever. Umpires around San Gabriel Valley find that SGVUA game sites are not far from where they live or work. Travel is always left to the preference of the individual umpire. The location of your job and home can influence these preferences. Assignments are made to ensure umpires officiate games close to home when possible. However, some umpires find better variety and quality-of-play as an incentive for additional travel.

Is there an minimum age?

The minimum age is 17. We have had several umpires start umpiring with SGVUA during their high school years we encourage men and women of all ages to umpire.

Must I be physically fit to umpire?

Umpiring can be as strenuous as playing. We require that umpires are able to arrive at plays quickly so the best positioning can be obtained and allow the best judgment be applied to every situation.

Must I have prior playing experience to umpiring?

No. Your dedication to the sport and desire to be a part of it is all that is required.

What kind of time commitment should I expect?

That’s up to you and your schedule. A benefit of the SGVUA is our flexible assigning practices. In a given season, some umpires work as many as 200 games and as few as 25. Prior to the baseball/softball season start, umpires complete their availability so the assignor is aware of umpires’ preferences and availablity. For example, several umpires choose to officiate only weekend or night games to accommodate their work schedules. Time spent studying the rules can add to the time dedicated to umpiring, but this is at the discretion each individual umpire.

What levels of baseball or softball can I umpire?

Experience, skill, dedication and hustle influence games assigned. The opportunities available to SGVUA umpires range from Little League to high school baseball. SGVUA umpires have the chance to make the assignor aware of their preferences for each level of baseball. However, performance evaulations by SGVUA instructors will determine the level of games assigned.

What’s needed to get started?

SGVUA instructors will guide you through the entire process, which starts with you contacting SGVUA. We will instruct you on when the next classes begin or assist with pairing you up with a veteran umpire for a possible mid-season start. This will depend completely on how much experience you have.

Next, a uniform and equipment are required. SGVUA will walk you through this process:

  • A uniform shirt/pants can cost as little as $75 and an equipment starter package will run as low as $150.
  • For the budget conscious, secondhand equipment is available from SGVUA members at a fraction of the cost.
  • Umpires usually find the initial outlay of cash for equipment and apparel negligible compared to the potential income from game fees.
Will I need to take a test? Attend training?

As part of the SGVUA training, we hold training sessions with our new umpires and returning umpires to ensure they understand the rules of baseball. We review the Official Rules of Baseball and how they differ from PONY Baseball rules and Little League Baseball rules. Thereafter, umpires are required to attend our annual rules review meetings and field clinics. Regular, intense training is provided by SGVUA to improve our umpires skills both on and off the field.

Will I receive feedback?

Your performance on the field directly correlates to your satisfaction with umpiring. Providing you with feedback is a priority for our association and we make every effort to make that feedback worthwhile. You may also take advantage of requesting your performance be evaulated by our instructors during the season. You can call and request an eveluation for an upcoming game, the request is then sent to our instuctor staff. They will come out to watch you and discuss your performance with you in person. Your performance evaluation will be passed on to our game assignor for a possible level promotion resulting in higher level games.

Would I be an employee of San Gabriel Valley Umpire Association?

No. We are merely an agent to broker games between umpires and leagues, schools, and other baseball programs.

  • As an umpire, you are considered an independent contractor.
  • Your independent contractor status gives you the bonus of tax deductibility of your expenses.
  • As a not-for-profit organization, SGVUA does not hold liability for worker’s compensation or unemployment insurance. Taxes are not withheld, but 1099 tax forms are issued annually.

Interested in an umpiring career with SGVUA? Let us know! Call Candy Miller at 909-599-9919. We’re always looking for good umpires to fill our ranks!