Becoming an Umpire

Baseball umpiring presents a tremendous opportunity to participate in the great game of baseball. Umpiring is both challenging and rewarding, and as a bonus gives you the best view of the game.

The West Australian Baseball Umpires Association (WABUA) offers a comprehensive training and development program for prospective and existing umpires. These programs enable umpires to follow a career path that leads all the way to the Olympic Games or a career as a professional umpire in the USA.

Training and Development Program

The key element of the WABUA’s training and development program is a course conducted in August and September each year prior to the start of the Perth metropolitan baseball season. The course is structured to provide tuition in umpiring at a range of levels - from the novice wishing to umpire junior baseball through to the more experienced wishing to umpire at the top State League level and beyond. Instruction is given on the mechanics of both base and plate umpiring, predominantly in practical on-field sessions together with supporting classroom instruction on theory. The lead instructors for the course have been trained at professional umpires schools in the US. Also, the course uses advanced teaching techniques such as video recording of mechanics and remote communications systems for setting up real-life game situations.

Continued training is provided as part of the Rules and Mechanics Meetings held fortnightly by the WABUA throughout the baseball season. Click on the "Current Umpires" menu for dates for Rules & Mechanics Meetings for this season.

On request, the WABUA may also provide specific training programs to metropolitan and country baseball clubs, schools or other associations. There is also a 'Level 0' National Accreditation course available that runs for about 4 hours and can be done in an evening.

Suggested/required minimum levels of training for umpiring

Lower junior grades for your local club:

The "Green Shirt" training course is designed to give novice umpires an introduction to and familiarity with the major elements of umpiring. The completion of this course would equip a person for umpiring the lower grades of the junior competition for their local club.


A club umpire for lower junior and senior grades:

Completion of the pre-season training course would generally be considered to be sufficient to proficiently umpire on behalf of a local baseball club in the lower grades of both the senior and junior grades.


Upper junior and senior grades:

Umpires for the upper junior and senior grades are appointed by the WABUA on behalf of Baseball WA. All umpires appointed by the WABUA must be nationally accredited with the Australian Baseball Federation (ABF). Further details of attaining National Accreditation are given below.

National Accreditation

National Accreditation with the ABF as an umpire is achieved by completing a recognised training course such as the WABUA’s pre-season training course and sitting a theory exam on the rules of baseball and mechanics of umpiring. Umpires are accredited at different levels according to their assessed proficiency and results achieved in the theory exam. Training courses must be attended annually and the theory exam attempted at least once every two years to maintain national accreditation.

Development Opportunities

The WABUA provides a range of development opportunities for those wishing to accept the challenge of advancing their umpiring careers. These include:

- intra- and inter-state trips to umpire elite state baseball squads;
- umpiring at National Schoolboys championships;
- umpiring inter-state at National Junior Championships;
- attending national umpiring schools; and
- attending professional baseball umpires school in the US.

Pursuing the development program could lead to umpiring in peak national competitions such as the Claxton Shield, umpiring in Australia and overseas at international competitions such as the Intercontinental Cup and World Cup, and ultimately the Olympic Games. In new developments for Australian Baseball, the opportunity now exists to umpire professionally in the United States.

More information

More information on requirements for umpiring can be obtained from the State Umpries Advisor or Secretary of the WABUA. Contact details can be found in the "About the Club" menu under "Committee and Contacts".