Umpire EquipmentIn a baseball game, one of the most important roles is in charge of not only officiating the game, including beginning and ending the game, enforcing the rules of the game, is also in charge of making judgement calls on plays and handling disciplinary actions. In the beginning days of baseball, there was only one umpire but now there are several who make up the umpire crew. Properly fitting umpire equipment is key to the protective benefits of the equipment. The three basic pieces of equipment an umpire will need are a mask, leg guards, and a chest protector. As well as many accessories including ball bags, umpire indicators and an umpire brush.
The proper fitting mask will be not too tight and not too loose. Being to loose, the mask will move and obstruct your vision or shift and expose your face and will interfere with your ability to call a game. A mask that is too tight can cause a concussion if the ball hits the mask, the hit will be absorbed into the mask and transferred to head instead of the mask. Your mask is too tight if it does not move when hit. It should be easy to put on and take off with one hand. Ideally, your mask should move or spin when hit to distribute the energy of the blow.
Leg guards are sized in inches. To get the proper fit in leg guards, measure the center of knee to the top of your foot where the foot meets the shin. Since leg guards don’t break in, make sure you have a proper fit from the start.
A good chest protector will provide good collar bone protection. To get a proper fitting chest protector, measure from the center of the sternum to the belly button. Chest protectors are sized in inches, usually from 11” to 20”, and have adjustable straps, to tighten for the proper fit and comfort.
For more information on how to properly fit and choose the right umpire gear, check out the umpire buying guide.