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
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
• 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
• 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.