Website Manager

Little League Canada

Umpire Newsletter 7th edition


SeventhEdition, September 2019

Message from the National Umpire Coordinator

As the summer draws to close we take time to reflect on the 2019 season. Our learnings and successes will both becomegreat stories for future clinics and social events.

Before putting the 2019 season in the books,I encourage you to take time with the umpires in your area to look back on the season, by gettingtogether one last time before going your separate ways for the winter.

I would also liketo take this opportunity to welcome our new Executivesponsor JohnLeonard, Vice President, Little League Canada. I welcome John and look forward to working with him over the next few years. I'd also like tothank outgoing LL Canada VP Kevin Kvame for his support over the years and wish him the best as he takes on his new rolewithin the LL system.

We will continue to be in touch with you this off season with reminders for the 2020 season and umpire news from across Canada region.

Congratulations and thank you to all of you ona great season. Enjoy a well deserved rest!

As always your feedback on suggested content or questions are always welcome, via email at [email protected]. We also hope that you to forward this newsletter to those in your Little League Umpire network and encourage them to subscribe!

Yours in Officiating!

Brad Johnston
National Umpire Coordinator






The batter who batted out of order is the person declared out.

The Little League Canada Umpire Committee would like to take the time to welcome our new executive sponsor John Leonard, Vice President Little League Canda.

John residesin Regina Beach, Saskatchewan and started with North Regina Little League in 1989 coaching his sons. Since 1995 hehas served Little League in Canada in several Director andDistrict Administrator Positions. He was elected Western Vice President in 2013, re-elected in 2016 and then Little LeagueCanadaVice President this year.



Congratulations toCanadian Umpires
2019 Little League®World Series Assignments

  • Little League SoftballJames Gibson, British Columbia
  • Junior League Softball David Walmsley, British Columbia
  • Senior League SoftballGeoff Larsen,Alberta
  • LittleLeague Baseball Mathieu Lacombe, Quebec
  • LL Intermediate BaseballHugo St Amant,Quebec
  • LL Junior League BaseballKevin Alenius,Alberta
  • LL Senior League BaseballMarcel Bruce, Alberta




Recently, wesat down with Tom Rawlings, Director of Umpire Development, Little League International.We talked about everything includingofficiating, education improvement, development and the challenges facing umpires and helping support good leadership in your local districts.

The Article below is a Q & A from this interview:

What advice would you have for umpires that are maybe feeling "stuck" at a level and looking to move up exampleDistrict to Division?

Do some honest self-evaluation. What are you doing well what areas do you need to improve on? Whatclinics can I go to? Take some time and talk with your district UIC and District Administrators for assistance. They may beable to assist you in getting towards advancement or advance placement. The best umpire may be the one that nevergets noticed sometimes that works against us and individuals need to market themselves so they can have better opportunities in the future.

What are some good habits that umpires should work on developing to take theirgame to a higher level?

Control of the Strike Zone…The game does not change; the moments change. The first pitch is just important as the last. Constantly work on your focus. Timing and game management skills are very important. Working on interpersonal skills, learn how to listen, be prepared to deal with explanations. Game flow and awareness of game management around you. Keep doing what got you here, you have to learn how to deal with players, managers and fans. The game remains the same but the investment in it is much higher!

What do you see as thechallenges facing local league umpire programs?

The importance of finding volunteers as umpires trying to get some great umpires and getting young players involved in officiating. In the US, you have recently seen the news of parents out of control. As umpires, we cannot control fans outside of the fence. As umpires we can continue to advocate for good behaviour with our local leagues.

If you can get someone through the door and get them through the first few games. From there the sky is the limit. I recall I felt like I was the worst umpire in the world andmymentorskept mefrom not leaving.

What strategies can you usefor umpire retention?

The best strategy for retainment, UICs need to be approachable and assist in advocating for the umpire and the best possible diamond conditions. Remember the social aspect of officiating, umpires in so many cases,love to see anything,on any field,at any level. Open yourself up to other people’s knowledge and expand on their experiences. The social aspect cannot be sold short at all!

Can you share your thoughts on continuing education for adult umpires?

It is vitally important. As Gerry Davis says even at the MLB level, rules change mechanics evolve and people change, therefore you must develop and participate in continuing education in regional sites. Canada and the US are now making these opportunities available locally. So as a Canadian district reach out to headquarters and between Little League Canada and Little League International, we can assist with clinics and provide some instructors and support. Keep up to date on learning opportunities and what is available here in Williamsport. Constant training and education allows everyone to learn including myself as an instructor.

[Excerpts from Question and Answer with Tom Rawlings, Director of Umpire Development, Little League International]



Recently,an online article that discussedconcussions and the best position for umpires at home plate. TheChathere is a great reminder of where to be as ahome plate umpire.Click here for a video discussing the slot position.

[TheInformation in this youtube video isfor shared information only, and is not endorsed by Little League in anyway, and is used as a reference only. Little League Canada and The Little League Canada UmpireNewsletter has not copied, adjusted, or endorsed this resource, but provides it as knowledge to officials about working in the slot.]





Approved Ruling:

According to Rule 6.07, the batter that is supposed to bat (the proper batter) is

the one that is declared out, when the defensive properly appeals the infraction.






Copyright © 2019 Little League Canada Umpire Newsletter, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Little League Canada Umpire Newsletter, #500-2210 Prince of Wales Drive,Ottawa, Ontario K2E6Z9

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Umpire Newsletter 6th Edition


Sixth Edition, July/August2019

Message from the National Umpire Coordinator

Welcome to the summer edition of the Little League Canada Umpire Newsletter. It has been a busy tournament season so far, there are already two World Series Baseball tournaments that have come to an end. The softball is in full swing and the Junior and Little League World Series are all set to get underway shortly.

I’d like to congratulate all of the umpires that have officiated from district tournaments right up through the World Series. It goes without saying that your contributions go a long way to not only providing a high quality product on the field for our players but also for the umpires you work with and look up to you. Thank you for all that you do!

As always your feedback on suggested content or questions are always welcome. We also hope that you to forward this newsletter to those in your Little League Umpire network and encourage them to subscribe!

Yours in Officiating!

Brad Johnston
National Umpire Coordinator








Special Thanks to Brice Lapointe for this Blast form the Past from 1982. Always fun to share memories of officiating and thecolleagues that have come before many of us! Thanks gentleman for your services to the program! Maybe the hats and shirts will make a return! If you can share a BLAST FROM A PASTclick here!





Based on our own experience we know that becominga new umpire in Little League can be a very intimidating experience.Here are some proven strategies we have usedwhich have helped us get new umpires off to a successful start. If done well these will improve the chances of retention and growth ofthis umpire for years to come.

Create A New Umpire Orientation Session


Good two-way communication between you as UIC, the parent and new umpire is a critical factor that will lead to success. It is important that at the outset everyone starts and stays on the same page in terms of their understanding of the process.In the orientation sessionoutline how the umpiring program is administered in your league including such things as your planned training, how assignments are handled, expectations regarding uniforms and equipment, availability to umpire etc. This is the meeting where you spell out the expectation you will have of your new umpires and also what the new recruits can expect from you as their UIC and the league.Be sure to includeat least oneparent, and make this60 to 90 minute meeting which willeliminate the eventual questions that will normally come up later.

Training Sessions

Your training sessions need to be gearedspecifically to these new umpires. To assist utilize senior umpires from your league or within your district. For new umpires there should be two types of training sessions. On Field Training and Rules Session Training.

Rules Session:Cover sections 2 through 9, from the rulebook with emphasis on those rules and interpretations that the new umpire will apply most often during their first season.Examples includesafe/out, fair/foul, catch/no catch, obstruction/interference, strike/ball, etc.


On-FieldTraining:With focus on three specific areas:

  1. Voice & Basics:One of the most important keys to being a successful umpire islooking and sounding like an umpire. To emphasize and point, utilize a group drill which focus on the mechanics of making the “basic six” calls: Ball, Strike, Safe, Out, Time, Foul. Focus on the use of their voice and the proper positioning and signal for these calls. To make the repetitions fun, have the group try and remember and execute the Basic Six in the same order you taught them. If unsuccessful have them repeat it “From the Top”. Use the basic six drills between rotations with base and plate mechanics to reinforce their importance.
  2. Base Mechanics:Practice drills to teach the proper A, B and C positions of the base umpire utilizing the mechanics learned in the “basic six” session.
  3. Plate Mechanics:Utilizing a pitching machine or soft toss, teach the fundamentals of plate mechanics, again utilizing the mechanics practiced in the “basic six” Sessions. Include the basics, play, time,ball, strike, foul ball.

Other Activities

Attend the coachespre-season meeting:Request feedback from coaches throughout the year emphasizing the importance of identifying umpires who may need further guidance or assistance.Also, emphasize to the coaches thatthere will benew umpires in their division and remind themto be just as supportive tonew umpires, especially new youth umpires,as they are to their players.Whether it is a player uniform or an umpire uniform, it is still a youth inside.

Zero Tolerance of Abuse:As UIC ensure that the league has expressed and is committed to zero tolerance of abuse of officials and has a disciplinary committee to deal with any form of abuse of umpires. Any situations arising need to be dealt with immediately.


Mentor & Support:Enlist senior experienced umpires as mentors that go out to watch and mentor the new umpires throughout the season.Mentors should emphasize the positive attributes they observe and then suggest ways the new umpires can becomeeven better umpires.It will helpthe new umpire gain the confidence they need to be successful.

Assignments:Ideally assign new umpires to games where they will have the opportunity to get lots of practice, i.e. where there are lots of balls in play. Typically, this will be in coach pitch and T-Ball. This also provides an excellent opportunity for mentors to see and evaluate new umpires in action.

First Assignment:Ideally this would be in exhibition games. Regardless of the training sessions, many new umpires seem to forget the basics once they are actually on the field. Having a senior umpire or UIC there to assist them on-field (shadow them)will will bring back what they learned at the clinics and build their confidence after an inning or two.

Season AssignmentFeedback:Establish a process whereby you receive feedback from coaches or convenors who attend games. A good easy to use tool would be a mobile web based form product such as Jotform ( These forms can be customized and be completed in a few minutes post-game from a mobile phone. The focus of the feedback needs to mirror expectations articulated to umpires during the orientation and training sessions. Examples include,beingproperly dressed, starting game on time and good game management, proper positioning, loud voice, consistency, clear signals.

[Article Written & Submittedby: Stephen Meyer &Peter Hundeck, District 1, Ontario, Canada]




Approved Ruling: The batter is not awarded first base. A strike is defined in Rule 2.00(e). Since thebatter swung, a strike is recorded, and, if it was the third strike, the batter is out. No uncaughtstrike situation occurred since the ball is dead once it contacts the batter.






Copyright © 2019 Little League Canada Umpire Newsletter, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Little League Canada Umpire Newsletter, #500-2210 Prince of Wales Drive,Ottawa, Ontario K2E6Z9

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You canupdate your preferencesorunsubscribe from this list.

Little League Canada Umpires

Umpires are held in the highest regard by Little League Canada. If you are an Umpire or thinking of becoming an Umpire some helpful insight, tools and resources can be found on the Little League International Umpire website and at the Little League University website.

Join the Umpire Registry with Little League International
Little League® International’s Umpire Registry offers Little League umpires an informative way to stay on top of their game. By joining the Umpire Registry, umpires immediately become part of a unique information network charged with enhancing umpire services for Little League players everywhere.

Umpires should keep an eye on all League Rules, Regulations, and Policy for the most current rule changes and rule books.
Please order all books and supplies from Little League Canada as we have some changes from International (USA). 

 If you would like to become an umpire please contact our national Umpire Coordinator Brad Johnston  for more information.  


Little League Canada

#500 - 2210 Prince of Wales Drive 
Ottawa Canada K2E 6Z9   

Phone: 613-731-3301
Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2019 Little League Canada  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In