About the Academy

We Are Different and Proud of It! Take a Close Look and See
What Distinguishes Us From Other Training Programs......

In this age of sound bites, sensationalism, hype, and unfulfilled promises, the Academy takes a stand. Following is a list of commitments that we make our students. We pledge to do everything possible to make your training the "Experience of a Lifetime."

The Academy Provides You With......

  • A 28-year Major League veteran with a Degree in Education as your Chief Instructor. Jim Evans is in-the-classroom and on-the-field everyday. He lives at the hotel with his students and makes himself available to help his students with their homework.
  • The former Senior Field Supervisor for the Umpire Development Program (19 years). Dick Nelson will be working with you hands-on in the classroom and on-the-field to help you maximize your potential. Dick has supervised or taught over 70% of the umpires in the Major Leagues today.
  • A motivated staff of professional umpires who have been trained to Academy and PBUC (Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation) standards. These professionals range in experience from Rookie Leagues to Triple A and have been mentored by Jim and Dick personally to teach you exactly what you need to know to earn an entry-level job in professional baseball. The Academy is not a fantasy camp where you will be rubbing elbows with Major League umpires. It is a highly structured training regimen that is designed to maximize your potential. Major League umpires visit our program frequently and share their experiences; but, the daily curriculum is taught by Jim, Dick, and the professionals most familiar with the rigorous demands of minor league umpiring and PBUC standards.
  • One of the most successful professional umpire training program in the U.S.. Over the past 20 years, many of our graduates of this program have been hired into the Minor and Major Leagues.
  • A 7 to 1 student to teacher ratio or less. This guarantees you lots of hands-on instruction and personal attention.
  • 270 contact hours of supervised instruction. In addition, you are expected to spend another 40-50 hours completing homework assignments. We encourage our students to work in small groups to strengthen their interpersonal and communication skills, two attributes essential to success in professional baseball.
  • Training at a Major League facility consisting of five regulation baseball fields, two infield practice areas, five indoor batting cages, a fully-equipped classroom utilizing digital technology, snack bar, and dining facility.
  • A guarantee of at least 20 sessions in the lighted, indoor batting cages working on plate mechanics, the strike zone, and non-routine situations. Each cage session is supervised by an Academy instructor providing immediate feedback and hands-on instruction.
  • Videotaped cage work and a video review room at the hotel. Your day's work in the cages can be reviewed at the hotel each evening. An instructor is available to answer your specific questions.
  • A comprehensive training package consisting of a professional training manual, a personal copy of the Official Baseball Rules, six Academy t-shirts, an embroidered Academy windbreaker, an embroidered Academy combo umpire cap, a plate brush and indicator, a video tape, a name tag, and much more.
  • A noon meal catered to the training facility each training day. The price of your noon meal is included in your tuition. There is no need to leave the facility to eat lunch. Entertaining videos are played on the big screen in the classroom during the lunch hour. You are able to relax and prepare for your afternoon's training activities.
  • Meal plan options. Convenient breakfast and dinner plans are available. SMG Caterers provides meals to our private dining room at the hotel. A healthy breakfast and nutritious dinner are a great way to start and end a busy training day. SMG Caterers also provides meals for the Houston Astros.
  • Informal pool socials. Delicious cookouts and social get-togethers at the pool are great opportunities to get to know your fellow students and staff a little better.
  • Free transportation to and from commercial terminals upon arrival and departure. We make every effort to meet you at the airport in a timely manner upon your arrival and return you for the trip home. This will translate into a substantial financial savings for you.
  • An 8x10 color class photo and handsome graduation certificate upon successful completion of the course.
  • A memorable Graduation Dinner at the Heritage Park Banquet Hall. This is a special night honoring you and your classmates for your accomplishments. This is the one night we ask that you wear your best attire and help us make it a very special night to remember.
  • An Academy Administrative Office and Student Store located at the hotel. Both are open each morning and evening for your convenience. Our Academy staff is available to help with your business needs during the month while the student store can meet many of your personal needs. Whether it is school supplies, training materials, personal items, souvenirs, umpiring equipment, or uniform items, our student store can help. The Academy has an exclusive working agreement with Honig's Whistle Stop, the exclusive provider of umpire uniforms for all Minor and Major league umpires. Student discounts are available.
  • Convenient hotel accommodations five minutes from your training. There is no wasted time commuting between your hotel and training facility. The Quality Inn is also a short drive to some of the world's most famous theme parks and tourist attractions e.g. Walt Disney World, Epcot, MGM, Universal Studios, Sea World, Animal Kingdom, Cape Kennedy, and hundreds of others.
  • A proven 20-year-old program that is sanctioned by Major League Baseball to train umpires for professional baseball. The Jim Evans Academy is also licensed by the Florida Department of Education as a vocational, post-secondary training program.
  • Training authorized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to provide Certificates of Eligibility for foreign students needing Non-Immigrant Student Visas.
  • A picture preview of our training operation on this website. We are very proud of our program and would like for you to see what to expect if you join us in January.
  • Unequaled value for your investment as far as professional baseball umpire training. We believe you will not better training anywhere in the world at any price. When you consider that we are also the most economical professional training available, it should be an easy call.
  • One of today's most successful umpire training program. Since our inception in 1989, the Academy has set new standards for umpire training and become an industry leader. In 1998, the Brinkman Umpire School was acquired by the Academy. Today we have many graduates in the Majors and Minors, Independent Leagues, all levels of College, High School, Little League, and many other levels of amateur baseball.