Bellevue Thunderbird Umpire Program

Bellevue Thunderbird Little League supports a robust umpire program that includes a Junior Umpire program, plus a corps of volunteer adult umpires and umpire consultants. We provide extensive training, close supervision, and a supportive environment. Thunderbird provides umpires for both baseball and softball.

  • Thunderbird provides training as well as access to District 9 training resources. All training is free.
  • Thunderbird provides umpire uniform shirts and hats.
  • Thunderbird provides all necessary umpire equipment.
  • Thunderbird provides a self-scheduling system so that you decide when you wish to help out.

The Junior Umpire Program

Our Junior Umpire program comprises boys and girls aged 12 and older who have experience playing baseball, softball or umpiring, and who have a lot of self-confidence and enjoy the sport. In their first year, junior umpires umpire at the AAA level (9 and 10 year olds), then, as skills and experience grow, they move on to umpire at the Coast and Majors levels. Junior umpires qualify for the Bellevue Thunderbird Youth Scholarship Program.

Adult Umpires and Coordinators

To support our Junior Umpire program, we need parent participation. We need our League parents to help out in a number of ways. We need adults to volunteer as umpires, of course, but we also need parents to help as team-level and division-level umpire coordinators. Having adult umpires is extremely important and we encourage all of our Thunderbird parents to consider being involved.

Note to employees of Microsoft and Alaska Airlines. Both of these corporations offer matching gifts on a dollar-per-hour basis for volunteer hours that employees work for nonprofit organizations. Bellevue Thunderbird Little League is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is eligible to receive contributions from Microsoft and Alaska Airlines for every hour that their employees contribute. Please contact us if you have questions about these programs.

How Do I Get Started as a Thunderbird Umpire?

If interested, or if you have questions about how you can help out with our umpire program, please contact us at uic@bellevuethunderbird.com.

How do I schedule myself as a Junior Umpire to work games?

Once you have registered as a Junior Umpire in our system (Bonzi) and the League runs your background check and confirms you, you have access to self-assign to available games. It's very easy, follow these steps:

1. Log into the member account used to register you as an umpire (typically a parent's account, but sometimes a youth umpire's account). This can be done from our homepage, www.bellevuethunderbird.com, using the "Member Login" link towards the upper right corner.

2. This will take you to a page showing all family accounts associated with the member account. The Junior Umpire, once confirmed by the League, should have a button next to his or her name labeled "Official Management". Click on this, it will take you into the scheduling system.

3. You will arrive on a page called "My Game Assignments". If you have not self-assigned to any games yet, there will not be any information. Click on the tab titled "Self Assign Games". This will show you all games with open umpire slots which you are eligible to sign up for.

4. Click on "Assign me to this game" for a game that has a date, time and location that works for you. A drop-down box will appear showing you available positions, typically "Plate Umpire" and "Field Umpire". Choose one, and then click "Complete My Assignment".

6. That's it! Add other games, or log out. And remember, be careful with your calendar and be responsible with your obligation to show up at games you've scheduled. It is very hard on the League and the teams when an umpire doesn't show up or cancels at the last minute. Thank you!

Contacting Team Managers before a game

We suggest you let team managers know about you being scheduled to umpire their game, so they can let you know if there are any changes to the game schedule.

Find out the names of the teams and other officials assigned to a game

  1. Open the BTLL website.
  2. Click in the "Member Login" link near the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Sign in with your Bonzi account.
  4. Click on the "Official Management" link next to your member profile.
  5. Click on the "Extra Columns" heading to expand that section.
  6. Click on these options: Home, Visitor, Other Officials.

Contacting team managers

  1. Open the BTLL website.
  2. Click on the "Game Schedules" link on the left-side menu.
  3. Click on the "View or Print Game Schedules" link.
  4. Click on the corresponding division to the game you're looking for.
  5. Click on the corresponding date and find the game on the list.
  6. Verify the division, location and teams match your assignment.
  7. Click on each team name to see the name and email address of the team manager.
  8. Send an email to both managers letting them know you're assigned to ump their game, and asking them to let you know if there are any changes to the game schedule.

Introduction to Umpiring

Little League Baseball & Softball Games

The Umpire's Role

Little League Divisions

Bellevue Thunderbird Little League Divisions

Official Playing Rules

2019 Changes

"Game Stoppers"

Managers and Coaches

Batters

Pitchers

Catchers

Balls

Bats

Forfeited games

Objections, Appeals and Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Differences between Baseball and Softball

Plate Umpire's Gear

Appendix

The Umpire's Role

The main objective of a volunteer umpire is to support the children's efforts to have fun and learn to play baseball and softball within the context of Little League rules.

Little League Divisions

Baseball

Softball

Tee Ball (ages 4-7)

Tee Ball (ages 4-7)

Minor League (ages 5-11)

Minor League (ages 5-11)

Major Division (ages 9-12)

Major Division (ages 9-12)

Intermediate (50/70) (ages 12-13)

n/a

Junior League (ages 12-14)

Junior Division (ages 12-14)

Senior League (ages 13-16)

Senior Division (ages 13-16)

Bellevue Thunderbird Little League Divisions

Baseball

Softball

T-Ball (ages 4-6)

T-Ball (ages 4-6)

A (age 7)

A (age 7)

AA (age 8)

AA (age 8)

AAA (age 9)

AAA (age 9)

Coast (ages 10-11)

Coast (ages 10-11)

Majors (ages 11-12)

Majors (ages 11-12)

Intermediate (age 13)

-

Juniors (age 14)

Juniors (ages 13-14)

Seniors (ages 15-16)

Seniors (ages 15-16)

Official Playing Rules

2019 Changes

"Game Stoppers"

The following are extracts from selected 2019 Baseball and Softball Playing Rules. Any violation of these rules must be corrected before a game can start or resume. This list is not all-inclusive, as there might be other situations that might lead to a game being stopped.

Managers and Coaches

Rule 1.01: Each team shall have a manager and not more than two rostered coaches present during the game.


Rule 2.00: The MANAGER is an adult appointed by the president to be responsible for the team's actions on the field, and to represent the team in communications with the umpire and the opposing team. (a) The manager shall always be responsible for the team's conduct, observance of the official rules, and deference to the umpires.

Rule 2.00: The COACH is an adult appointed to perform such duties as the manager may designate. NOTE: If two coaches are appointed, the second coach may be age 16 or older.

Rule 2.00: A BASE COACH is a team member in uniform or an adult manager and/or coach.

Rule 3.09: Managers or coaches must not warm up a pitcher at home plate or in the bull pen or elsewhere at any time. They may, however, stand by to observe a pitcher during warm-up in the bullpen.

Rule 4.05: The coaches shall not leave their respective dugouts until the pitcher has completed his/her preparatory pitches to the catcher.

Rule 4.05: Base coaches shall be eligible players in the uniform of their team; a manager and/or coach.

Rule 4.05: Base coaches shall be a manager or coach only if there is at least one other adult manager or coach in the dugout.

Appendix B: Only players, managers, coaches, and umpires are permitted on the playing field during play and practice sessions.

Players

Rule 1.11: Players must not wear jewelry such as, but not limited to, rings, watches, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, not any hard cosmetic/decorative items. EXCEPTION: Jewelry that alerts medical personnel to a specific condition is permissible.

Rule 1.17: All male players must wear athletic supporters.

Batters

Rule 1.08 Note 1: The on-deck position is not permitted in Little League (Major) Division and below. Fenced-in areas MAY NOT be used for an on-deck batter.

Rule 1.08 Note 2: Only the first batter of each half-inning will be permitted outside the dugout between half-innings in Little League (Major) Division and below. The next batter should be ready with a helmet on but may not pick up a bat until it is his/her turn at bat.

Rule 1.16: All helmets which must meet NOCSAE specifications and standards. Use of the helmet by the batter, all base runners and base coaches is mandatory. Use of a helmet by an adult base coach or any defensive player is optional. Helmets must have a non-glare surface and cannot be mirror-like in nature. Each helmet must bear the NOCSAE stamp and shall have an exterior warning label.

Pitchers

Rule 1.11 (a) (3): Any part of the pitcher's undershirt or T-shirt exposed to view shall be of a solid color.

Rule 1.11 (a) (3): Baseball: The pitcher's undershirt sleeves, if exposed, shall not be white or gray. Neoprene sleeves, if worn by a pitcher, must be covered by an undershirt.

Rule 1.15 (a): Baseball: The pitcher's glove may not, exclusive of the piping, be white or light gray, nor, in the judgement of an umpire, distracting in any matter,

Rule 1.15 (a): Softball: The pitcher's glove shall be of one solid color or multi colored as long as the color(s) are not the color of the ball being used in the game.

Rule 1.15 (b): Baseball: The pitcher may wear a batting glove under the pitcher's glove provided the batting glove is not white, gray, or optic yellow.

Rule 1.15: Softball: (c) Pitchers shall not wear any item on the pitching hand, wrist or arm. A pitcher may war items on the glove hand, wrist or arm (not pitching arm) of a solid single color: black, white, gray, or a uniform color. EXCEPTION: A pitcher may wear a compression sleeve on the pitching arm of a solid, single color: black, white, gray, or a uniform color.

Rule 1.15: Softball: (d) A pitcher may not wear a catcher's mitt or first baseman's mitt.

Catchers

Rule 1.12: Baseball: The catcher must wear a catcher's mitt.

Rule 1.12: Softball: The catcher must wear a mitt. This might be a first baseman's mitt or a fielder's glove.

Rule 1.17: Male catchers must wear the metal, fiber, or plastic type cup.

Rule 1.17: All catchers must wear chest protectors with neck collar, throat guards, shin guards, and catcher's helmet, all of which must meet Little League specifications and standards.

Rule 1.17: All catchers must wear a mask, "dangling" type throat protector, and catcher's helmet during infield/outfield practice, pitcher warm-up and games. The "Hockey Style" helmet is authorized for use at all levels of play. The "dangling" throat guard must still be attached properly.


Balls

Rule 1.09 Note: Baseballs licensed by Little League will be printed with one of two designations: "RS" (for regular season play) or "RS-T" (for regular season and tournament play).

Bats

Rule 1.10: Baseball: The bat must be a baseball bat which meets the USA Baseball standard (USABat) as adopted by Little League. [Bat Rules]

Forfeited games

Rule 4.16: A game may not be started with less than nine (9) players on each team, nor without at least one adult as manager or substitute manager.

Objections, Appeals and Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Rule 9.01(d): Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager, or substitute for objecting decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person from the playing field.

Rule 9.02(a): Any umpire's decision which involves judgement, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final. No player, manager, coach, or substitute shall object to any such judgement decisions.

Rule 9.02(b): If there's reasonable doubt that any umpire's decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal should be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

Rule 9.02(c): If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse, or interfere with another umpire's decision unless asked.

Differences between Baseball and Softball

Baseball

Softball

Showing bunt without withdrawing the bat

Call the pitch

Call it a strike

Runners can leave their bases when:

7.13 Minor/Major Divisions:

Ball reaches the batter

7.08(a)(5)(a) Major/Junior/Senior Divisions:

Pitch leaves the pitcher's hand

Penalty for leaving early

Runners return to base, unless forced to advance

Runner is out

Catcher's glove?

Only a catcher's mitt

Catcher's mitt/First baseman's mitt/Fielder's glove

Circle rule

n/a

See below

Softball's "Circle Rule" - 7.08(a)(5)(Note 2) If the pitcher has possession of the ball within the pitcher's circle, and is not making a play (a fake throw is considered a play), runners not in contact with their bases must immediately attempt to advance or return to base. Failure to do so is an out unless a play is being made on the runner.

Plate Umpire's Gear

Item

Baseball

Softball

Mask/Helmet

Mandatory

Mandatory

Chest protector

Mandatory

Mandatory

Shin guards

Mandatory

Highly recommended

Dangling throat protector

Highly recommended

Highly recommended

Protective cup

Mandatory for male umpires

Mandatory for male umpires

Appendix

Little League Resources for Umpires