Understand the Meaning of these 18 Cricket Umpire Signals

Cricket umpire signals are one of the most interesting things to watch out for in cricket. In the rich history of cricket, many things have changed, like grounds, rules, and jerseys, but umpire signals for different events like 6s, 4s, and outs are the only constant.

Even scoremen, who prepare those lovely scoreboards for us, always look for umpire signals before assigning score to the scorecard.

As the dynamics of cricket change, many umpire signals have been removed, changed, or added. Since there are too many signals, it is a little bit difficult to understand and remember all the signals.

So, if you are a folk who always asks, “What is the meaning of different cricket umpire signals?” or “How many umpire signals are there in cricket?” then I will explain it to you in the most simple and precise way with quality Images.

Types Of Cricket Umpire Signals

Even today, there are more than 15 Umpire signals that are legalized by the ICC (International Cricket Council) and are currently in use in most matches. It is almost impossible for us to observe all signals in a single match so we are familiar with only some signals like 4s, 6s, outs, etc.

Let’s learn about all umpire signals in detail.

1. Wide

A cricket umpire in white tshirt and black pants indicates wide ball by stretching his both arm horizontally, parallel to ground in a test match of cricket
WIDE BALL signal by cricket umpire

This is one of the most common cricket umpire signals. Whenever the ball is delivered outside the reach of the batters when they are standing in their normal position, then the ball is considered a wide ball.

Also, when a bowler delivers a bouncer that passes over the head of the batter, then it is also considered as a wide ball. Due to a wide ball, the batting team gets one extra run, and the ball remains uncounted.

What umpire do? – For this ball, the umpire stretched his both arms horizontally, parallel to the ground.

2. No-ball

A cricket umpire wearing white tshirt, white hat & black pant signals no ball in test match by extending his one arm horizontally.
NO BALL signal in cricket

No-ball can come into play only in two ways. Firstly, when any part of the bowler’s shoe is not behind the white line of the non-striker end. Secondly, when the bowler’s full toss reaches above the waist of the batter, provided the batter remains in the crease.

No ball is a golden delivery for any batter, as the batter can’t get out in this delivery except run out.

What do umpires signal? – The Umpire extends his one arm horizontally, parallel to the ground.

Between only true cricket fans can comment above umpire name or nationality. Are you?

3. Free hit

A cricket umpire indicates free hit by helding his one hand above & making a circular motion in an ipl match. He is wearing blue t-shirt, black pant and a dark blue cap.
FREE HIT signal by cricket umpire

For me, this is the coolest cricket umpire signal (you know that cool siren, I love that).

In white ball cricket, when a bowler delivers any type of no-ball, then the next ball is termed as free-hit, for which the batter has full freedom to hit the ball anywhere in the ground as he won’t be considered out in this ball except runout.

What umpire do? – One hand held above their head and making a circular motion.

4. Four

A cricket umpire indicates four runs by sweeping his right hand across body. He is wearing blue shirt, black pant & black hat.
4 RUNS signal by umpire

It’s almost impossible not to see this cricket umpire signal in any cricket match. When the batter smashed the ball in such a way that it reached the boundary rope by at least one bounce, then the batter got four runs. It is also possible that four runs can be added to the team score due to an uneven wide ball or bouncer.

What do umpires signal? – The Umpire swept his right hand across the body three or four times.

5. Six

A cricket umpire indicates six runs in test match by holding his both arm above the head. He is wearing white t-shirt, black pant & white hat.
Cricket Umpire signals SIX!

If you remember the uneven action of Umpire Billy Bowden (yes, that skinny umpire) on six, then not me, you are awesome.

Anyway, when the batter hits the ball over the boundary rope, the batter and his or her team are rewarded with six runs.

What Umpire Signals? – The Umpire held both arms above the head.

6. Not-Out

A cricket umpire in white t-shirt, black pant & white hat indicates not out by waving arms by sweeping motion in front of his chest in test match.
NOY OUT signal by cricket umpire

This cricket umpire signal is only observed when one of the team takes DRS (or review). With this signal, the umpire indicates that the batter is not-out. It can happen in two ways. Firstly, when the batting team takes a successful DRS to overturn the umpire’s original decision of out.

Secondly, when the bowling team takes an unsuccessful DRS to overturn the umpire’s original decision of not-out.

What Does the Umpire Signal? – The umpire signals by waving the arms in a sweeping motion out in front of the chest.

7. DRS/Third Umpire

Two cricket umpire in white t-shirt, black pant & white hat are standing where one umpire indicates third umpire by forming a square in air in a test match.
THIRD UMPIRE signal by umpire

This signal comes into play either when the umpire redirects a run-out (or catch) decision to the third umpire or when a player takes DRS with the intent of reversing the umpire’s decision.


What Umpire Signals? – The Umpire forms a TV-type square with both hands.

8. Revoke the decision

A cricket umpire showing revoke decision by crossing his hand over the shoulders in test match. He is wearing white t-shirt & white hat.
This is how cricket umpire signals REVOKE DECISION

This umpire signal only comes into play whenever a player takes a successful DRS. If the umpire’s original decision, whether out or not-out, is overturned by the third umpire, then this is known as a revoked decision.

What Umpire Signals? – It is signaled by crossing their hands over their shoulders.

9. Out

A cricket Umpire kumar dhramsena wearing white tshirt & white hat in ICC world test championship final signals out in test match by raising his index finger in air.
Iconic signal of OUT by cricket Umpire

Should I say something about this? Seriously???
Just Joking. Whenever a batter got out in any way, like a catch-out, LBW, Run-out, etc., the umpire signalled him or her out.

What Umpire Signals? – The Umpire raised his Index finger in the air above his head.

Now days umpires usually don’t signal this during catch out & bold.

10. Bye

A umpire in white shirt, black pant & a black tie wearing a white hat indicating "bye" by extending his one arm above
BYE signal by cricket umpire

Oh! This cricket umpire signal is interesting. A bye is scored when the ball passes the batter and the batter is able to take a run, provided that the ball does not touch the bat or any part of the batter’s body.

A Bye can also lead to four runs if a wicketkeeper commits a mistake while keeping.

What do cricket umpires signal? – The Umpire extends one arm above his head.

11. Leg Bye

A umpire indicates leg bye in a test match by tapping in one of his raised his knee. He is wearing white t-shirt, black pant & white hat.
LEG BYE signal

When the ball hits the pads or any part of the batter’s body, excluding the gloves, and if the batter is able to take runs, then these runs are considered as leg bye runs.

You should note that leg-bye runs are only added to the team score, not to the batter score or bowler figures. Leg-bye runs can be in the form of running or boundaries.

If the team gets four runs as leg-bye runs, then the umpire first signals leg-bye, then four runs.

What does the cricket umpire signal? – The Umpire raised one of his knees and tapped it 2-3 times with his hand.

12. Bouncer

A umpire in white t-shirt, black pant & white hat signals bouncer in a test match by tapping raising his index finger in air after taping shoulder.
This how cricket umpire signals BOUNCER

When a bowler delivers a type of ball that passes over the shoulder of the batter, then this ball is known as a bouncer.

We know that the ICC has set a limit that only 2 bouncers per over are allowed in Test or ODI cricket, while 1 bouncer per over is allowed in T20 cricket.

The cricket umpire signals to the bowler to remember this limit because if a bowler crosses this limit, he or she is penalized by a no-ball followed by a free hit (only in T20 and ODI).

What Umpire Signal? – The Umpire taps their right shoulder two or three times.

13. Dead ball

A cricket umpire signals dead ball by sweeping his both arms accross knee in a cricket match. He is wearing white tshirt, black pant, white hat along with a tie.
DEAD BALL signal look like this

The ball that is not counted as a delivery and must be bowled again is termed a dead ball. It can occur in many ways.

One of the most common ways is when the batter pulls away from playing any shot while the bowler is in delivery stride, or vice versa.

Other rare dead ball incidents are when the bowler delivers a two- or three-bounce (tip) ball to the batter, or if a batter hits a ball in such a way that it touches the spider camera or its connecting wires, then that ball is also considered a dead ball.

In the later one, if the ball went for 6, 4, catch out, or runs after touching the camera or wire, then they are also not counted.

What Does the Umpire Signal? – A Cricket umpire signals the dead ball by sweeping both arms across his knees.

14. Short Run

A umpire indicates short run in cricket by tapping his shoulder with extended arm. He is wearing blue t-shirt, black pant & white hat.
Interesting signal of SHORT RUN

If a batter fails to ground their bat beyond the popping crease while running, then this event is termed a short run. This generally happens when batters try to score multiple runs by running. You should note that an incomplete run is not added to the batting side total & obviously to the batter score.

What Umpire Signals? – The Umpire taps his shoulder by extending one arm 2-3 times.

15. Penalty run

A umpire in blue t-shirt, white hat & black pant gestures penalty runs by bring his hand across chest & tapping in his shoulder.
Rare PENALTY RUNS signal of cricket

The batting or bowling team is rewarded with penalty runs for a number of different offences, like committing manipulation while fielding or if wicket keepers gloves or helmet (which sometimes lie behind the keeper) interfere with the way of the ball.

Generally, the later one is the major reason for penalty runs. Due to this, five runs are rewarded to the respective team totals.

What does the umpire signal? – The umpire brings his hand across their chest and places it on their shoulder. If they tap their shoulder, runs go to the batting side, but if the hand stays in place, runs go to the fielding side. It is quite rare that a cricket umpire signals it for the fielding team.

16. Powerplay

A umpire in black t-shirt & white hat gesture powerplay in ODI cricket match by rotating his arm in windmill motion.
POWERPLAY signal by umpire

Powerplays are only implemented in limited overs cricket, i.e., T20 or ODI. However, the powerplay signal is only applied in ODI matches.

Powerplay was introduced to give a fair chance for the batting team to score more during the first 10 overs (or first 6 overs). Know more about Powerplay.

What Umpire Signals? – The cricket umpire can be seen rotating their arm in a windmill motion.

17. New Ball

A cricket umpire wearing white tshirt, black pant & white hat signals new ball in test match by holding ball above his head.
Cricket umpire signals NEW BALL in test match

This cricket umpire signal is only applicable in test formats.

If the cricket ball is used continuously for more than 70 overs, then the ball grip, seam, or swing become worse, thereby it provides an unfair advantage to the batting team, due to which a new ball is provided to the bowling team.

What Does the Umpire Signal? – A cricket umpire signals a new ball introduced in the game by lifting and showing it to the scorers and batsmen.

18. Last Hour

A umpire gesture last hour of test match by helding his wrist in air & pointing to the watch. He is wearing blue t-shirt, black pant & white hat.
LAST HOUR signal by cricket umpire

Like the new ball, this signal is only applicable in test cricket. With this signal, the cricket umpire indicates to both the bowling and batting teams that only one hour is left for the day to be completed.

What Umpire Signals? – Cricket The umpire held his wrist above his head and pointed to the watch.

Conclusion – Cricket Umpire Signals

I have sincere hopes that this blog about cricket umpire signals will certainly elevate your cricket knowledge. From now on, you will be more observant whenever the umpire signals something. Now you can confidently show your cricket umpire signal knowledge in front of your friends whenever the umpire signals something.

Tell me, Which signal is most interesting to you? Which signal should be changed? Or Do you know any other event for which umpire cricket signals should be introduced? Kindly drop your opinions in the comment section! Thank you for reading this blog until now! Connect with me at cricketpunch.com for more blogs like this.

About Me

Somesh lakhera- The Man behind Cricket Punch

As a passionate cricket enthusiast, I have been immersed in the world of cricket for the past 13 years. Through my cricket blogging website, I aim to share my love and knowledge of the game, providing engaging content for fellow cricket fans to enjoy. – Somesh lakhera

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