Umpire Coordinator, Taylor Sheeks

Hello my name is Taylor Sheeks and I am the Umpire Coordinator for Ankeny Little League. I will be responsible for the training and scheduling of all umpires for Ankeny Little League. I am in my 9th season as an umpire where I started in this league. Prior to that I played in the league for 8 years. I have attended numerous umpire clinics over the years including, the Minor League Baseball Umpire Academy in Florida in 2016. I also currently umpire college baseball games in NAIA, JUCO and NCAA divisions II and III. I'm looking forward to sharing what I have learned in my years of experience and helping new and existing umpires learn the craft and improve their skills. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me, Taylor Sheeks.

Information for Umpires for the 2018 Season

If you haven't already registered as an umpire this year, please contact Taylor as soon as possible to confirm your interest. 

Anyone age 14, by April 9th 2018, or older can umpire in our league. To encourage participation in umpiring, clinics are offered to provide instruction and is open to youth and adults. Clinic sessions are for those that reside in the City of Ankeny or attend Ankeny Community Schools. All first, second and third year umpires are asked to attend as many clinic sessions as possible.

Below are the dates for the umpire clinics and tests. You do not have to attend all of the scheduled clinics. However, it is beneficial for everyone to attend as many clinics as they can, especially for the first and second year umpires. The requirement to attend three (3) sessions of clinics is ONLY if you want to receive a uniform shirt for free.

After the clinics there is a closed book multiple choice and true-false test that each umpire must score 75% or greater in order to umpire this season. This test should not take more than 30 minutes to take. It is required for everyone that is a high school senior and below to take the Little League administered test. Those umpires that want to do Intermediate and above leagues (traditionally 3rd year and above) must take and pass the Iowa High School Athletic Association umpire test. A copy of the certificate is required.

First and Second Year Umpires

There is no need to register prior to any of the clinics. Attend as many clinics as possible to ensure your success as an umpire. During the clinics there will be time to create an umpire profile. This profile is needed in order to be scheduled for games. There is also a section in each umpires profile dedicated to availability. Keep this updated as much as possible to ensure from being scheduled for a game when you are not available. Schedules are done typically two weeks in advance. First year umpires only are scheduled for Single A through AAA games. Second year umpires are scheduled for Single A through AAA games with some more advanced 2nd year umpires doing Major and Intermediate games as bases only. The first few weeks of the season when possible all first year and most second year umpires will be paired with an experienced umpire to help in the learning experience.

Parents of 1st and 2nd year umpires

Please come to the end of one of the clinics offered so you can receive some general information about scheduling and game assignments. Your assistance in understanding this process will help your umpire have a more enjoyable season from a scheduling perspective. This will also help Ankeny Little League have games that start on time and little to no need to find last minute umpire replacements.


Third Year Umpires and Above

Third year umpires are looked at as leaders for the more inexperienced umpires. Though you have at least two years of experience please attend as many clinics as your schedule allows. The clinics are split into two groups; first and second year, and third and above. This will allow the more experienced umpires the time to discuss the rule differences in the older leagues. Since each umpire will already have a profile ensure the availability section is updated throughout the season. Schedules are done typically two weeks in advance.

Third year umpires are usually scheduled for Majors and Intermediate games but can and will be scheduled for Single A through AAA as needed. The first several weeks of the season the experienced umpires will be paired with a first or second year in Single A through AAA games to help with the learning experience. You must be 17 years old to umpire at the Junior level and 19 at the Senior level.


Umpire Uniform

The uniform for all umpires will be a navy blue umpire shirt, gray pants (no sweatpants, jeans, khakis, baseball pants, etc), black shoes, black belt and a navy blue or black hat. The league will provide home plate umpires with shin guards, chest protector and a mask. The shin guards and chest protector must be worn underneath the clothing. All league equipment must be returned to the quad center and put away neatly.

  • Shirts - A navy umpire shirt can be earned for free by 1st and 2nd year umpires attending 1 classroom and 2 field sessions or for 3rd year and up must attend 3 field sessions. If you do not meet the number of clinic dates to earn your free shirt from the league, you will need to purchase your own. Only navy shirts are to be worn when umpiring Ankeny Little League games.
  • Hat - The hat is required to be worn when assigned to bases and even under the umpire mask when umpiring behind the plate. These types of hats are called combo hats, they allow you to wear them as both plate and base umpire. The hats are to be solid navy blue or black with NO logos. Wearing a hat backwards on the field not acceptable at any time.
  • Pants - The pants are to be heather or charcoal gray and can be an actual baseball umpire pant or a dress pant. Just remember that the shin guards are required to be worn underneath the pant legs and not over. If you purchase dress pants allow plenty of room for the shin guards. If you opt to get baseball umpire pants select combo pants as they can be worn when working behind the plate or bases. These type of pants come without a hem so you will need to have them hemmed so they almost touch the floor when wearing shoes while standing.
  • Shoes - All black is preferred or as much black as possible
  • Belt - A black belt is required for plate and base positions
  • Home plate umpires - The following items are REQUIRED; protective cup, shin guard, chest protector and mask. This is for YOUR safety and the leagues protection. As mentioned previously shin guards, chest protector and mask is provided by the league. Umpires must provide their own protective cup. An indicator, also called a clicker, is required that has at least balls, strikes and outs. A ball bag and brush is a great investment and is highly recommended but is not required.

    These items can be found in the local area.
    McSports (Ankeny) They carry bag/brush/indicator kits
    Van Ginkels (on Ingersoll in Des Moines) They carry various umpire items
    Hopkins Sporting Goods (on Beaver Dr in Johnston) They carry various umpire items. Please note: most umpire pants come without a hem. For online purchases it's suggested to look at www.ump-attire.com, www.honigs.com or even www.amazon.com.
    If you have any questions please contact Taylor Sheeks.

Clinic and Test Dates (Please bring a baseball glove to field sessions)

Classroom Sessions (1st and 2nd year umpires must attend one of these sessions)
First or second year umpire must attend a classroom session on either Monday, March 19th 7-9pm, or Tuesday, March 20th 7-9pm. These sessions will be held at the Quad center, which is the brick building in the center of fields 5-8.

NOTE:  Monday, March 19th is postponed until Thursday the 22nd, 7 pm to 9 pm.

Field Sessions
Most field clinics will be held at various indoor school gyms and a few on the Ankeny Little League fields starting after spring break and finishing up the first week of April.

Friday, March 23rd 7pm-9pm Prairie Ridge Middle School
Saturday, March 24th 10am-12noon Prairie Ridge Middle School
Monday, March 26th 7pm-9pm Prairie Ridge Middle School
Friday, March 30th 7pm-9pm Prairie Ridge Middle School

Field sessions
April 4th, 7pm - 9pm
April 5th 7pm - 8pm

Testing Sessions (must attend one)
Umpires can come anytime during the testing sessions. Plan on 30 minutes to take the test. BRING A PENCIL!
April 5th, 8:15pm - 9:15pm: Quad center
April 6th, 6:00 pm - 8 pm: Quad center

75% or higher to pass the test, must pass test in order to umpire

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