Become an Umpire
Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have umpiring experience in order to join the chapter?

No. You only need a desire to work and learn. The chapter conducts a New Umpire Training Course for all new members. That course is designed to provide you with a working knowledge of the rules and umpire mechanics so that you can begin your development as a baseball umpire.

How do I join the Austin Chapter?

If you are a new member, send a message to the Recruiter and he will contact you.

If you are a TASO member transferring from another chapter, click here for information.

If you are an umpire transferring from out-of-state, and were a member of an organization calling high school and/or college baseball, click here for information.

You will need to complete an application form and submit dues for the local and/or state associations. The application forms are available on the Forms and Documents page.

How much does it cost to join?

Chapter dues are based upon a percentage (5%) of the game fees you are paid throughout the year, with a $30 minimum fee that is paid at the time you join and then annually each January.

After the games fees exceed this $30, the chapter assesses a 5% fee for all additional games. (e.g.: for high school games, that works out to about $2.00 per game). This is billed in June and is generally taken out of the first paycheck you get for "summer ball".

For games during the "summer" season, this 5% is deducted from the checks you receive.

The state association (TASO) dues are set each year by the TASO Board. First year members pay a $25 application fee. Then in June, a $50 member fee, which covers the following school year. (TASO's "year" is from July through June). Only the $25 application fee is needed when you first join the chapter.

The chapter has a plan in place to spread the initial cost of dues for new members over a several month period. We will explain this during the New Umpire Training Course.

What about equipment and uniforms?

Each umpire supplies his/her own equipment and uniforms. At the minimum, this should include a mask, chest protector, shinguards, shoes, heather gray pants that can fit over the shinguards, navy blue uniform shirt, fitted cap, ball bag, indicator, and a plate brush. Uniform and equipment packages are available from various vendors (See our LINKS page). The cost of a complete package can run from about $250 to over $1,000 depending on the type and amount of equipment and uniforms you purchase.

How long does the "season" last?

Pretty much all year. Meetings will start in early January with High School scrimmages starting in February. "Summer" ball starts in April and lasts through August. "Fall ball" starts in September and goes as late as November. There is plenty of baseball to be called in the Austin area.

Do I need to attend the Chapter meetings?

Yes. There are a lot of issues that only get discussed at the meetings. In addition, the chapter provides updates and training at most meetings. Members are required to attend 70% of meetings to remain in good standing.

Does the chapter provide training?

The chapter provides training clinics for new members twice each year. The Winter Clinic is held at the beginning of the year, just prior to the start of the high school season. The Spring Clinic is held in late April or early May for those joing for our summer season. The training covers a range of topics including rules, mechanics for working the plate or bases, handling coaches/players, and includes work on the field and batting cages with some of our most experienced umpires as tutors. In addition, the chapter provides at least one training clinic each year for current umpires and training is provided during most meetings.

Do I need to attend the training?

The short answer is yes. However, it depends on what level (Little League, Youth Leagues, Minor Leagues, etc.) that you have been working. Our experience has been that due to variations in rules and mechanics, that even seasoned umpires can benefit from the training. In addition, an experienced umpire can help his fellow "rookies" who don't have that experience get more comfortable with the prospect becoming an umpire.

I have several years experience working as an umpire. Will that experience count?

The Austin Chapter assigns games based upon performance and not years of service (seniority). New umpires generally start out calling Freshman/JV games and advance to higher levels based upon their performance. If you have prior experience at higher levels (college, etc.) or are transferring from another TASO chapter or from another state's organization, the board may approve a schedule of higher level games based upon that experience. The bottom line is that your experience may have some bearing on your assignments, but it really depends on your performance as a umpire.

I want to call college baseball. How long will it take before I can get assigned to those games?

That depends entirely on your skills as an umpire. The Austin Chapter assigns games based upon performance and not years of service. There is no "magic formula" to determine if, or when, you may get assigned college level games. The general track for getting to the college level is starting out calling Freshman/JV games, then moving up to 1A-3A varsity games, then getting some 4A-5A JV, then 4A-5A varsity, then getting assigned consistently to the very good 4A-5A games. Then, if the Board thinks you are ready, you might get some college assignments. It is a long process, but some move through it fairly quickly, and some never make it past a certain level. It is all dependent upon your dedication and performance.