Amateur Baseball:  Amateur Baseball will start league play on May 31st.  Some have already played non-league games.  Here is a list of safety measures adopted by the SDABA:

  • Players may stand outside the dugout during the game.
  • Umpires may call balls and strikes from behind the plate or behind the mound, whichever they choose.
  • Batters are highly encouraged to wear batting gloves.
  • Players should refrain from sharing equipment.
  • Social distancing is to be enforced – coaches and players must stay six feet apart during mound visits.
  • Masks shall be used when practical, including by fans.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in dugouts.
  • No shaking hands after games – cap tips only. No physical contact.
  • Public address announcers shall read the guidelines before each game.

These guidelines have been communicated to each team.  Umpires are not required to enforce these guidelines, but we would suggest you provide reminders to the team(s) if needed.


American Legion:
There will be no 2020 Legion-sponsored season (Sr. Legion, Jr. Legion).  Many of the would-be Legion teams have investigated playing independent ball, Class A Baseball, or VFW 19U.  Season start dates are slated for June.  There will be no Legion post season, but there may be post season for these other leagues.  For the larger city teams (A Legion), they will use 2 Umpires for both Sr. Legion and Jr. Legion age teams. 


The VFW season is tentatively scheduled to start in June.  They have posted Safety Guidelines on their website.  Click the link here https://cdn2.sportngin.com/attachments/document/665f-2163888/2020-05_BASEBALL_COVID_GUIDELINES_v2.pdf#_ga=2.168019810.2121081725.1590522195-706670681.1586881054.


Class A:
Class A season is tentatively scheduled to start in June.  Regarding umpiring, they have issued the following information:

  • 16U: 1 Umpire or 2 Umpire depending on which city.  State Tournament will use 2 Umpires.
  • 14U and lower: 1 Umpire behind the pitcher.
  • These are subject to change.


Please note that each league’s guidelines are subject to local jurisdiction.  For example, some cities, towns, and local associations are requiring the plate umpire to work behind the pitcher, regardless of what the league suggests.  Be sure to contact the home team or home city before the game to determine the local requirements (working behind the pitcher, social distancing, face covering, gloves, etc. etc.).

Many of you are concerned about your safety on the field.  For those of you who are, we suggest you not umpire until you feel safe.  While you are a member, you are in no way required to umpire, especially if you don’t feel safe.  If you do feel safe umpiring, please respect those umpires who choose not to work as well as those on the field that may not share the same level of security as you.  Everyone is processing this pandemic differently.  Also, please follow all state and local guidelines, even if you don’t agree with them.  Our insurance policy will cover you on the field regarding liability, but you will not be covered if you choose not to adhere to government guidelines regarding COVID-19 and you have a claim related to you not doing so.  Just a reminder, our insurance does not cover you regarding your health, so if you were to contract COVID-19 while umpiring, you would not have coverage with our insurance policy.  As independent contractors, we umpire at our own risk.


  • For those who will be calling pitches behind the mound with 2 Umpires, please work with your partner to determine mechanics. This arrangement will be very partner specific, so we will not try to confuse everyone with a temporary set of mechanics.  Your Pre-game will be very important.
  • The MLB rulebooks have not been printed yet. We will send them as soon as they arrive.
  • The NFHS announced that they will not be printing a 2021 NFHS Baseball rulebook. The 2021 season will use the 2020 rules.  So, if you have a 2020 rulebook, please keep it for next year.  To keep our costs down, please do not take a new one next year.  For those who would still like a 2020 rulebook, please let us know.
  • Annual Dues must be paid at your earliest convenience.  We have extended the April 15th deadline.  Pay your dues by clicking HERE.  
  • If you are interested in umpiring the South Dakota Amateur State Tournament, please apply at your earliest convenience.  We have extended the April 1st deadline. 
  • The SDUA provides Liability Insurance to each member as part of your annual dues for 2020.
  • If you would like a 2020 NFHS (High School) Rulebook, please contact your District Umpire or the SDUA Secretary.
  • If you need a new SDUA cap, we have a page to make it easier to buy.
  • We have a “Buy, Sell, or Trade” page.  If you would have equipment or apparel that you would like to buy, sell, or trade, let us know and we will post it.
  • If you have any suggestions on how to make the SDUA better for you and our members please let us know. Send any and all thoughts (good, bad, or otherwise) to an SDUA officer or your District Umpire.  We want to hear from you.


South Dakota Umpires Association
48465 250th Street
Garretson, SD 57030
(605) 660-1493