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An umpire's main duty is to make sure that players follow the rules of the game. Umpires also keep official records and resolve any arguments that come up during the game.

Umpires must be able to concentrate. There is “no time for daydreaming in this position—looking away for even one second can mean missing important action” writes Shelly Field in Career Opportunities in the Sports Industry. An umpire also needs to remain calm and professional at all times.

During the season, umpires travel a great deal. Professional umpires in the major and minor leagues have all their travel expenses and meals paid for. Major league umpires get to fly first class.

Umpires have to deal with many of the same things as players do. Games are often scheduled on weekends and evenings and sometimes holidays. Many games are held outside—even if it is very hot, very cold, or very rainy. Umpires are on their feet for the whole game, which usually lasts around three hours. But, like players, umpires have many months off during the winter.

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