General Instructions to Umpires
Umpires, on the field, should not indulge in conversation with players. Keep out of the coaching box and do not talk to the coach on duty.
Keep your uniform in good condition. Be active and alert on the field.
Be courteous, always, to Club officials; avoid visiting in Club offices and thoughtless familiarity with officers or employees of contesting Clubs.
When you enter a ball park your sole duty is to umpire a ball game as the representative of baseball.
Do not allow criticism to keep you from studying out bad situations that may lead to protested games. Carry your rule book. It is better to consult the rules and hold up the game ten minutes to decide a knotty problem than to have a game thrown out on protest and replayed.
Keep the game moving. A ball game is often helped by energetic and earnest work of the umpires.
You are the only official representative of baseball on the ball field. It is often a trying position which requires the exercise of much patience and good judgment, but do not forget that the first essential in working out of a bad situation is to keep your own temper and self-control.
You no doubt are going to make mistakes, but never attempt to “even up” after having made one. Make all decisions as you see them and forget which is the home or visiting Club.
Keep your eye everlastingly on the ball while it is in play. It is more vital to know just where a fly ball fell, or a thrown ball finished up, than whether or not a runner missed a base. Do not call the plays too quickly, or turn away too fast when a fielder is throwing to complete a double play. Watch out for dropped balls after you have called a man out.
Do not come running with your arm up or down, denoting “out” or “safe.” Wait until the play is completed before making any arm motion.
Each umpire team should work out a simple set of signals, so the proper umpire can always right a manifestly wrong decision when convinced he has made an error. If sure you got the play correctly, do not be stampeded by players’ appeals to “ask the other man.” If not sure, ask one of your associates. Do not carry this to extremes, be alert and get your own plays. But remember! The first requisite is to get decisions correctly. If in doubt don’t hesitate to consult your associate. Umpire dignity is important but never as important as “being right.”
Most important rule for umpires is always “BE IN POSITION TO SEE EVERY PLAY.” Even though your decision may be 100% right, players still question it if they feel you were not in a spot to see the play clearly and definitely.
Finally, be courteous, impartial and firm, and so compel respect from all.