Scheduling major league baseball umpires and the traveling umpire problem

Michael A. Trick, Hakan Yildiz, Tallys Yunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The scheduling needs of umpires and referees differ from the needs of sports teams. In some sports leagues, such as Major League Baseball in the United States, umpires travel throughout the league's territory; they do not have a "home base." For such leagues, balancing the need to minimize umpire travel and the objective that an umpire should not handle the games of a particular team too frequently is important. We have used our approach, which is based on network optimization and simulated annealing, to successfully schedule Major League Baseball umpires. To develop this approach, we created the traveling umpire problem, which includes the major umpire scheduling issues and also provides a test bed for alternative techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-244
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Baseball
  • Constraint programming
  • Greedy matching
  • Heuristics
  • Integer programming
  • Simulated annealing
  • Sports
  • Umpire scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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