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Umpire Equipment


Baseball Umpire Equipment

Baseball is a sport that can be potentially hazardous to the umpire’s health, especially the plate umpire. There is some recommended protective equipment that is a must while playing baseball for the safety of all concerned.

Equipment for the Plate umpire

• Mask: A lightweight mask with throat and ear extensions is the best option. Masks that do not have the 2 inch throat extension should be used only with a detachable throat protector. The latest equipment includes masks made with high-performance resins. The general rule with masks is to go light and strong.
• Chest Protector: The fit at the neck and clavicle area is vital when purchasing this piece of equipment. A good pad will extend below the lower ribs to about 2 inches above the belt. If the chest protector uses straps, harnesses or add-on pads, ensure that replacements are easily available. Also, ensure that the pad breathes and allows air to flow through it.
• Collar Bone Protector Pad: Most umpires will overlook this piece of equipment but it is a must to protect against the high inside pitch.
• Leg Guards: Umpire’s leg guards are similar to those of catchers except that the ‘wings’ tend to protect the ankle and side of leg more. They also have smaller knee protectors. You can choose between leg guards with an attached toe protector or not, depending on whether you will wear proper plate shoes or not.
• Plate Shoes: These are an expensive piece of equipment but will last you years. The key is to buy the perfect size because steel-toed shoes will not stretch to fit your feet.
• Plate Hat: Wearing a proper hat under the mask is not only important to your appearance but also your comfort. Wearing a regular hat backwards is simply unacceptable!
• Athletic Supporter & Cup: This piece of equipment is mandatory for all umpires. Most umpires prefer the ‘banana cup’ because of the direction that most balls are traveling in when they bounce up from the dirt. Underwear and compression shorts are available with the cup pocket and most umpires prefer this to the standard athletic support.
• Plate Pants: These are considerably wider in the leg and provide more room for the protective cup.
• Plate Brush & Ball Bag: Only plate umpires carry the ball bag. Using a straw or whisk broom to brush the plate instead of proper equipment is not done.
• Note Pad & Pencil: A must for any umpire worth his or her salt. Accuracy is the name of the game!
• Long Underwear or Compression Tights: If you are thinking this equipment is only for winter, think again. Long underwear absorbs perspiration and also prevents the protective equipment from rubbing uncomfortably against your skin. A must at all times.

Other than equipment for the plate umpire, the base umpire and all other umpires also require some equipment but most of this is in the nature of clothing.





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