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Minor League Baseball Umpire Development

Minor League Baseball Umpire Development is the entity which is responsible for the training, evaluation, and recommendation for promotion, retention, or release of all umpires in the Minor League Baseball system throughout the United States and Canada. Minor League Baseball Umpire Development is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL).

At mid-season and end of each year, an evaluation is written by the staff on every Minor League umpire. The umpire's evaluations are based on performance during the year and are used by the Minor League presidents to determine whether or not the umpire will advance in classification the following season.

Each year in February, Minor League Baseball Umpire Development holds its annual Advanced Course, where prospective rookie umpires are invited for instruction and evaluation of their umpiring abilities. The students who rank the highest at the Advanced Course are recommended for the first openings in the Rookie and Short-A leagues each year, thereby beginning their careers in professional baseball.

The job of a professional baseball umpire requires quick thinking, common sense, and confidence. When the ball is in play, the umpire sees the action, assesses the situation and makes the call -- all in a matter of seconds. The successful umpire has a thorough knowledge of the rulebook, is even-tempered, and is mentally strong enough to handle situations under stressful conditions. A professional umpire is expected to hustle, be alert, be in excellent physical condition, and have a neat appearance.

Each year Minor League Baseball Umpire Development recommends new candidates to serve as umpires for Minor League Baseball. These candidates have good training, strong ability as umpires, and a keen desire to succeed.

Umpires seeking a job in professional baseball must meet some basic requirements. Each applicant must have:
 

  • High School diploma or G.E.D.
  • Reasonable body weight
  • 20/20 vision (with or without glasses or contact lenses)
  • Good communication skills
  • Quick reflexes and good coordination
  • Some athletic ability
  • Required preliminary training for the job (i.e., professional umpire school)
  • A driving record that makes him or her insurable and able to drive employer-provided transportation


The first step to pursuing a career as a professional umpire is to attend a professional umpire training school. These schools traditionally run for a period of four-five weeks during January and February each year. At the end of the training, the schools recommend their top graduates to the Minor League Baseball Umpire Development staff. Minor League Baseball Umpire Development then extends a formal invitation to participate and compete at the Minor League Baseball Advanced Course to those graduates who meet the requirements and criteria. Graduation from one of these schools does not guarantee an invitation to the Advanced Course or a job in Minor League Baseball.

During the Minor League Baseball Advanced Course, each umpire's performance and abilities are evaluated by the Minor League Baseball Umpire Development staff. At the conclusion of the course the students are ranked, based on performance, and recommendations are then made to the Minor League Presidents regarding additions to their umpire staffs.

Those selected from the Advanced Course will start their careers in either a Rookie or Short-A Minor League. While progressing from Class A to Class Double-A to Class Triple-A leagues, the umpire receives valuable training and experience which may provide an opportunity to become a Major League umpire. It usually takes seven to eight years of umpiring professional baseball at the Minor League level before the umpire is considered for a position at the Major League level.

In order to be considered for a professional umpiring position, the umpire must first attend a professional umpire training school. 

The Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy operates for approximately four weeks from the first part of January through the first part of February each year. The instructors at the Academy consist of Minor League Baseball Umpire Development Field Evaluators/Instructors. 

The Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires operates for approximately five weeks from the first part of January through the first part of February each year. 

Please visit the website, call, or write to either of the two schools for further information, including cost, exact dates of operation and other details. 

Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy 
9550 16th Street N.
St. Petersburg, FL  33716
877-799-UMPS
info@MiLBUmpireAcademy.com
www.MiLBUmpireAcademy.com

Campus Location
Historic Dodgertown
3901 26th Street 
Vero Beach, FL  32960 

Wendelstedt Umpire School
88 S. St. Andrews Drive
Ormond Beach, FL  32174
1-800-818-1690
admin@umpireschool.com
www.umpireschool.com 

Note: Attendance at one of these schools for one or more times does not guarantee that an umpire candidate will be recommended either by the school to the Umpire Development Advanced Course or by Umpire Development to the Rookie or Short-Season A league presidents for hire.

Professional Umpires regular-season salary ranges and benefits for each classification are as follows:
 

Umpire Benefits
Professional Umpire Employment Benefits Short Season Leagues Full Season Leagues
Salary (per month) $2,000 - $2,300 $2,100 - $3,900
Daily Meals and Incidentals (see below) x x
Health Insurance (100% Employer Paid)   x
Dental Insurance (100% Employer Paid)   x
Life Insurance (100% Employer Paid)   x
Uniforms (Jacket, Shirts, Pants, and Hats) x x
MiLB.TV Annual Subscription x x
Language Learning Software Benefit x x
Union Approved Tuition Reimbursement x x
League Provided Leased Vehicle x x
League Provided Lodging x x
Courtesy Pass to all Minor League Ballparks x x
Employee Assistance Program x x
Major League Baseball Security x x

 

Meals and Incidentals

Triple-A: $58-66 daily
Double-A: $50-58 daily
Class A: $44.50-52.50 daily

Salaries may vary from the above ranges due to service time. Per diem amounts vary from the above ranges due to annual $2 increase starting in 2017.

Major League Baseball hosts free one-day umpire clinics to promote professional umpiring throughout the United States. The camps offer training for umpires of all levels, from beginners to seasoned veteran umpires. Candidates from these clinic may be invited (at no cost) to the MLB Professional Mini-Camp which is held annually in December in Florida.

MLB Umpire Camps have trained more than 700 military members and 4,000 aspiring umpires overall. Additionally, over 100 attendees of MLB Umpire Camps have gone on to work in professional baseball since 2006. For more information, please visit: https://www.mlbumpirecamps.com or MLBUC on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mlb.camps for clinic times and registration information.

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