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Hey all - sorry if this was already on here but I could not find anything on it.


Just wondering how your association goes about picking umpires for playoff games (and the championship games), and who works the plate.


Thanks in advance!

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Right out of our Policies and Procedures Manual:


In order to be placed on the playoff list, you must fulfill all categories of requirements listed under ADDITIONAL SCHEDULE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS. You must also attend any playoff meeting(s). In addition, any unexcused no-show will disqualify you. You must have umpired nine OCBOA-assigned varsity games that year, and act in a professional and ethical manner at all times.

You must not have any outstanding debts with OCBOA or the assignor.

We try to place all officials rated 300 or higher on the playoff list. We reserve the right to invite officials rated 350 to 600 in exceptional circumstances, depending on how many games OCBOA is assigned by CIF.

Placement on the eligible playoff list does not guarantee any game assignments.


Category One: Annual Classification Test. You must pass this test to work high school baseball games. If you don’t take the test and pass it on the 2/2/15 testing date, the first two weeks of your schedule will be pulled. If you don’t take and pass it by the 2/23/15 make-up test date, the balance of your schedule will be pulled. Note: True Rookies and True Second-Year officials are exempt from this category.

Category Two: Classroom Instruction. There are a General Meeting and FIVE Classroom Meetings (SIX for rookies and second-years). Attendance for each entire meeting is mandatory.

Category Three: Other Requirements.

You must attend Field Clinics between July, 2014 and February, 2015

  • 600-350 ratings must attend the free OCBOA clinic or any other CBUA unit’s.
  • 200-300 ratings may attend any clinic pre-approved by the Instructional Chair.
  • 100-175 ratings are excused from mandatory clinic participation for 2015.

You must pass the open-book study guide [on OCBOA’s schedule, not another unit’s schedule] with a score of at least 80%, keeping in mind there is a 10% penalty for late submissions.


The Board will determine playoff assignments for all eligible members, upon recommendation by the Playoff Review Committee (see “definitions”). The board’s goal is to assign as many umpires as possible, and it tries not to assign anyone twice in the first round/wild card games. The number of games varies in each round from year to year, and CIF/CBUA mandates that our highest-rated available umpires are assigned to every playoff game. Subsequently, fewer umpires are needed for each round, and an umpire’s rating will be the primary determining factor for later-round assignments.

The Playoff Review Committee/Board assigns three-man crews for the first three rounds. The Board nominates very highly rated officials for the four-man semifinal and final crews. CIF chooses the officials and assigns those final two rounds. OCBOA officials chosen to work a Final game aren’t eligible to work another Final for two years.


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Ours is pretty casual and entirely subjective.  Currently, the guys who do them are all senior guys.  When they get game assignments with you, they'll then talk about you with the other senior guys.  If they think you'll work out doing those games, you'll get them after three to five years of putting your time in at the JV level.  We don't have a formal evaluation process... as much as we'd all like one.

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Ours is pretty casual and entirely subjective.  Currently, the guys who do them are all senior guys.  When they get game assignments with you, they'll then talk about you with the other senior guys.  If they think you'll work out doing those games, you'll get them after three to five years of putting your time in at the JV level.  We don't have a formal evaluation process... as much as we'd all like one.

I think some of the guys in the 'old boys club' who can't get from A to C on a triple and still get the best games are pretty happy there's no formal evaluation process.

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Who gives out the ratings? Coaches or Evaluators?

Just the thought of coaches having control over ratings absolutely turns my stomach.  We have a Ratings Committee which takes data provided by the Evaluation Committee that was collected during "In the stands" evaluations.  The Evaluation Committee is a group of about 25 experienced umpires who have attended a training on how to evaluate, using a "Glossary" (an evaluation form) which is provided to all members.  The Glossary shows each element that is to be considered during the evaluation for both plate and base umpires, as well as solo umpires.  Evaluations are done, and then a thorough post-game is supposed to be done with the official being evaluated.  The evaluation form and the ratings recommendation is then provided to the umpire once it has been reviewed by the Evaluation Committee Chairman or the Instructional Chairman.

Not every member gets evaluated every year, but I can tell you that if you WANT to be evaluated and make that known, then you are likely to be seen at least once.  I have been evaluated at least once each of the last 5 years.

As far as coaches are concerned, I suspect that if the assigner or Instructional Chairman gets consistent negative feedback from multiple coaches, then that will likely trigger an evaluation to see if additional training is necessary.  Other than that, coaches have no say in ratings, or who works their games.

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In Kansas for high schools (since this is where this is posted, I'm making that assumption), coaches nominate and the state association takes those nominations and magically assigns. We have enough playoffs and few enough umpires that most umpires can get at least a first-level playoff game if you're available.

Unfortunately, one of the conferences I have to attend for my "real" job is usually smack in the middle of playoff season.

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Our board uses a rating system. The system includes attendance at meetings/mechanic sessions, FED test score, seniority, evaluations (peer, seems to work OK) and a few other things.

Members rated in the top % (and show the ability to do the games) get the playoff games. We go to a 3 or 4-man system for playoffs. Generally the crew chief will be a senior member with a high rating. We have some senior members that don't get rated high enough for crew chief or even playoffs.

To get a regional final or 1 of the State games, those same ratings are sent to the State, then a list is created and sent to the AD's for votes. They can vote FOR x amount of umpires they would like to see, and can vote for x umpires they would not like to see.  How they are assigned from there, I am not sure. There are six boards that cover all of the HS games in the state. The region and state games are a mix of all of these boards for coverage. In my regional game this year, we had 2 of us from our board, and 2 from a neighboring board. 

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Here only 4 umpires are first time umpires at state each year. Statewide. Once selected, it's a 2-year gig. State has 12 umpires. 4 first timers, 4 second timers, 4 returning crew chiefs. I just completed my 2-year stretch, which means it will be 5-7 years before I will even be eligible to return as a crew chief. How did I get on the list? I really don't know. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Here in Nebraska it is really tough to get the state tournament. You have to put in five years of work at the JV/Senior level to even be considered. There are opportunities to work district/area games more than any other sport here, but to get the state tournament is harder. 

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There's a minimum number of Varsity game's worked requirement in Missouri.

From what I have heard, the district host school requests umpires. Sectional and beyond I have no idea.

The district host school hires their district umpires. They take input from the coaches in the district tournament, including letting them scratch umpires they don't want to see. 

In the sectional and quarterfinal round, the home school picks two of the umpires, and the visitor picks the third. 

The state selects the umpires for the state championships (Final Four). They go off of recommendations from local assigners and probably use coaches ratings too. 

Football and basketball is totally different. The state hires all officials past the district round. Missouri doesn't give a damn about baseball and softball. 

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In my area the conference playoff assignments are voted on by the coaches, which is a pretty lazy way to do it IMO since most of the coaches don't even know the names of umpires from outside their city.  Ends up being pretty much the same guys year after year with little new blood coming in.  Even have had cases where umpires who had quit umpiring and hadn't worked a game in over a year have been voted in.  I cracked in at 30 but it took an AD to put in good words for me and I know a few good umpires who have never gotten post season because the coaches put the same guys in every year.  No real evaluation or ranking process at the conference or state level here as far as I know.  

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In jersey you have to attend state rules interptation meeting, have taken a 3 man crew class once every 3 years, work I think 8 varsity games, and list is passed on to State assignors( who belong to umpire association in the state) by your assignors then they are chosen. Funny twist this year umpires for finals before the season even began the reason given was that way they could block out 2 days after on arbieter so they have no conflict (weak I Know).


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Pennsylvania has districts and states.  District assignments are decided by the district chairman (or whatever the official title is) with input from coaches, athletic directors, assignors and politics.  This past year politics seemed to have more input than previous years.  I am not entirely sure how state playoff assignments are handed out.  I know you have to attend the summer conference in Harrisburg at least once every five years.  There are some outstanding umpires in my area that will never work a state playoff game because they either can't go to the Harrisburg conference or choose not to go because it will cost you more to attend in lodging and gas than you will ever get back from state playoff assignments.   Maybe someone else from PA can chime in on how the state playoff assignments are handed out.        

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In my above discussion of Kansas, I will say there are minimum requirements.

- 90% (I think) on the FED test
- Worked a minimum number of varsity games (I think it's only 4 games, though, so 2 doubleheaders)
- Attendance at an "area supervisor" meeting at the beginning of the season

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