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LABUA Presents:

The Plate Meeting

Presence and Appearance

1.  Body Language

  • Walk to the plate area as a crew
  • Portray confidence (not cockiness)
  • You want to be here

2.  Uniform

  • Clean, neat, creased slacks
  • Shoes shined
  • Worn properly

3.  Equipment

  • Make a Great First Impression
  • Plate Umpire – mask under the arm during the meeting
  • Not hanging from the strap off your hand / finger
  • Not attached your belt with some sort of hook
  • Sunglasses
  • Should not be worn – let the coaches see your eyes
  • Place them in your pant or shirt pocket, not on hat



Where to Stand

Plate Umpire

Stand at point of plate between the batter’s boxes facing the pitchers mound

Base Umpire

Stand in front of home plate, between the batter’s boxes facing the grandstands

The Meeting

  • Conduct meeting approximately 5 to 10 minutes before scheduled time of 1st pitch
  • Be Professional
  • Introduce yourself
  • Ok to shake hands with coaches
  • Call Coaches by their First Name
  • Learn their names before the game if possible
  • Let Coaches dictate conversation
  • Take Home Team Line Card first
  • Even if visiting coach arrives first
  • Check Line Cards for:

9/10 players listed

Must have 9 to start the game!

Substitutes are listed

Duplicate positions listed (example: 2 short stops)

Position of the DH

Duplicate jersey numbers

  • Now is time to clear up any confusion
  • Ask if all players are properly equipped and jewelry has been removed
  • Give Copy to each Coach, if provided
  • Ask Home Coach to go over ground rules
  • Clarify any ground rule that conflicts with a playing rule or that is unique to the field
  • If playing on a neutral field, generally the plate umpire will give ground rules
  • If weather will be an issue, discuss:
  • Location of radar detector
  • Timing /severity of weather
  • Two main areas of concern – mound and batters box
  • Getting the tarp out (don’t want to lose the field!) – how much water can field take?
  • Remember – you are an umpire, not a meteorologist – err on the side of caution!
  • Ask if there are any questions
  • Meeting ends – umpires are now in charge of the game


  • Review Rules
  • Tell jokes
  • Talk about attractive fans
  • Talk about a call from previous game
  • Talk about your strike zone
  • Talk about judgment type calls