Uniforms & Equipment

Though many umpire organizations have different requirements for uniforms, several key standards should be recognized universally.  Slacks and shirts should never be jeans or heavy duty work clothes, but rather, the professionally tailored style MADE FOR UMPIRES.

AIU will order and supply for its members directly from the manufacturer the same high quality slacks and shirts worn by college and professional umpires at a discounted cost.  We make no profit on uniforms or equipment which we order, and our members are welcome to secure their gear wherever they choose.

In most cases, dark gray slacks are preferred, but many experienced umpires have good quality heather gray as well.  It is important that all members of an umpire crew ON THE SAME FIELD be dressed the same.  Different color shirts and slacks with a different tone of gray may be worn on different fields, but partners on the same field shall be dressed alike.

Plate umpires must be able to wear protective gear inside their uniform without restricting their ease of movement or looking too tight to present a professional appearance.  Shirts should have a number of one or two digits on the right sleeve, four inches in height and a consistent match with the color of the shirt.  The various color combinations will be shown and discussed during umpire training sessions.

An AIU patch or embroidered logo is available to be worn on the left breast pocket area of uniform shirts and jackets.  No further decorations (except perhaps an American flag on the middle of the rear shoulder of a shirt) should be worn.  Because we work ball for many different associations (NFHS, Dizzy Dean, Ripken/Babe Ruth, Little League, MSBL, etc,) there may be occasions to designate an organization patch, especially for state or national tournaments.  Often these groups provide individual shirts (such as Cooperstown Dreams Park).  Each umpire will determine how many shirts and slacks are appropriate for the amount, type, and level of ball s/he will work.

Socks should NEVER be white or any bright colors.  Black and dark Navy Blue are preferred.  Shoes may not be player style, with metal cleats.  Appropriate solid black coaching shoes may have rubber turf-gripping bottoms, and any white logo on them should be discreet and not the dominant color of the shoe. Plate shoes which are made with metal reinforced toe areas are highly recommended for use with older boys and mens games. All shoes must be polished and shined.  Care of your shoes is a major indication to everyone how you respect your role in the game, and how you honor the sport as well.

Caps are NEVER worn with the bill facing the back of the head.  Shorter billed caps for ease of using a face mask are available, and longer bill caps for base umpires work well.  Umpires who choose to use the hockey style facemask need not wear a cap underneath.

Belts are plain black with modest, simple buckles.  No large, western, or decorative buckles which attract attention are permitted.  Ball Bags are black, and often two are used, one worn on each side.  The umpire’s plate brush and ball/strike indicator are placed in the ball bag when not in use along with game balls.

There are many undergarments made for umpires which provide comfort as well as style.  Long periods of sweating on a ball field may require special clothing to wick the moisture away from the body.

Protective gear is available in a wide variety of cost and quality.  Regardless of age of players, umpires should not work behind the plate without a full set of gear.  Chest protector, face mask, leg guards and a protective cup are a must for every age and talent level.   Sunglasses should  be worn when appropriate, as the eyes are far too important not to be protected by UV filtering glasses. Styles which are plain black and NOT mirror-type reflector glasses are acceptable.  Conditions must be bright enough to justify using them, or you will give an appearance of an improper attitude.