Most umpires want to know how they can be selected to umpire at World Championships, Regional Games, or even the Olympics. The following will provide information on obtaining certification as an WBSC umpire.

First, you must be a registered Umpire with USA Softball, the National Governing Body (NGB) for softball in the United States. To find out how to become a registered umpire within USA Softball, contact your local association. A complete list of associations can be found on our website by clicking here>>


USA Softball has all types of umpire training available. There are rules clinics, mechanic schools, and advanced fast pitch camps at the local, national, or regional levels. Umpires who take the time to advance their knowledge and increase their skill level will have the ability to be assigned to Local, Regional and National Championships. Umpires can increase both rules and mechanics skills by attending clinics held both on the Local regional and National level. Once an umpire has been registered as a USA Softball umpire for at least seven years, worked at least four USA Softball National Championships, two of which are in the same category of play and from an upper level national championship, they can apply for the USA Softball Elite umpire program. Once they have gained this status they can apply for an WBSC Umpire Certification School.

When applying for an WBSC Umpire Certification Seminar umpires must have completed the application and have it approved and signed by the umpire’s UIC and USA Softball (to verify qualifications) and approved by the WBSC. Once this is completed the umpire is eligible to be invited to attend a Certification Seminar of their choice.

Prior to attending, a candidate must complete and achieve 90% mark on a 100 question pre-qualification rules exam.  This exam must be taken online at the WBSC Ump School (30% of total mark).  At the Certification Seminar, major rule and mechanic differences are reviewed during a two day classroom and on field drills session.. The umpire is evaluated in a plate mechanic drill, (10%) using either live pitching or a pitching machine.; Case plays (5%) and mechanics plays (5%) are offered for each candidate to describe rule interpretations and 4 umpire rotations.  Candidates are evaluated in games, one game at each position (50%). Overall, the umpire must achieve a 90% or higher score to be certified.

Once certified, the umpire is eligible to be assigned to a WBSC World Championship. Each participating country can select from their eligible list of certified umpires, and the host country usually has 3-4 selections. Some countries participating in the championship may not have certified umpires, therefore if more umpires are needed, based on the number of teams participating, the WBSC can add as many at-large umpires as required.

Contact USA Softball Director of Umpires Kevin Ryan at for more information.