The National Program (Level 4/5)
Are you interested in becoming a nationally certified (Level 4-5) umpire? These are the highest certification levels for amateur umpires in Canada, and certify umpires to work National Championships. Learn more about the national program and its progression below.
If you're a Level 3 umpire wishing to be considered for the National Program, contact your Provincial Supervisor of Umpires.
Within the national program, an umpire progresses through a series of classifications. This progression is not made within a year but will represent the progression through most of the umpire’s career. Advancement may end at any step of the progression, based on an umpire’s personal interest in advancement and their performance assessment on evaluations.
The classification progression steps are:
1. Level 4 Trained (4T)
2. Level 4
3. Level 5
4. International Recommendation
Level 4 Trained Classification
The following is the necessary criteria for an umpire to attain the Level 4 Trained classification:
• Be recommended by his Provincial Supervisor based on successful completion of base and plate evaluations in the prior season
• Be currently certified provincially as a Level 3 umpire
• Have a minimum of four (4) years experience
• Be eighteen (18) years old or older during the current season
• Attend a national certification clinic
• Pay the national certification fee
• Must write the national exam and score at least 80%
• Must be field evaluated twice annually (1 plate, 1 base) at the provincial level by a Senior or Master Course Conductor and receive a positive evaluation on both plate and base evaluations.
To obtain or maintain a national certification, all criteria must be met during the same year. Any umpire with missing requirements will restart the procedures the following year. In other words, if an umpire succeeds at the exam and no evaluations are sent to Baseball Canada, he/she will need to proceed again the following year unless he meets the requirements as mentioned above.
Level 4 Trained umpires are eligible to be assigned by their province to a Minor Baseball Canada Championship.
Level 4 Classification
To obtain a Level 4 classification, an umpire must have successfully completed an umpiring assignment at one (1) Baseball Canada Championship at a minor category.
A Level 4 umpire is exempt from submitting an annual plate and base evaluation for a period of three (3) consecutive seasons from their last Baseball Canada Championship as either an umpire or Supervisor.
Level 5 Classification
To obtain a Level 5 classification, an umpire must have obtained a major assessment at a Minor Championship, and retained that major assessment at their first Major Championship.
Once an umpire attains Level 5 classification, that designation is retained even though performance at a subsequent Baseball Canada Championship may result in a minor recommendation.
A Level 5 umpire is exempt from submitting an annual plate and base evaluation for a period of three (3) consecutive seasons from their last Baseball Canada Championship as either an umpire or Supervisor.
Once an umpire has attended a Canada Games Championship, he/she will not be eligible for another Canada Games Championship assignment as an umpire.
Annual Renewal of National Certification
An umpire’s national certification must be renewed annually in order to maintain active status.
Each Provincial Supervisor is responsible for ensuring umpires within their province complete the following:
• Payment of annual certification fee ($75)
• Participation at an annual national certification clinic
• complete the national exam each year
• submit plate and base on-field evaluations, if applicable (see exemptions outlined in 2.3.3 and 2.3.4)
Should an umpire score less than 80% on the exam, the umpire will be contacted by the High Performance Portfolio Lead to implement an improvement plan to enhance rule knowledge.
The BCUDC recognizes that an umpire may not actively umpire within the national program for a period of time. When that situation occurs, the umpire may elect to remain certified within the national program as an inactive umpire. Inactive status requires payment of the annual certification fee for that year and completion of the annual exam. An umpire may elect to maintain certification as an inactive umpire indefinitely.
A national umpire who leaves the national program and then wishes to return will have to follow the same criteria for getting invited to a national certification clinic as all other umpires. The returning umpire would need to be evaluated on the plate and bases, and upon receiving a positive evaluation, will then be invited to the following season’s national certification clinic.
If a national umpire has been out of the Program for more than three (3) consecutive years and did not maintain inactive status during the absence, then national classification will restart as Level 4 Trained.
If a national umpire returns to the program within three (3) years of leaving the Program, or after a longer absence during which inactive status was maintained for each year of absence, then classification will be granted at the Level attained when the umpire previously left the Program.
If a province wishes to have an umpire apply for an exemption from this policy, the Provincial Supervisor must apply in writing to the BCUDC. The BCUDC will review each application and grant an exemption in circumstances that warrant. Exemptions could include, but are not limited to, umpires who have left the program due to pregnancy, compassionate reasons, bereavement and/or medical reasons.
The exemption clause is to be used in exceptional cases, and the BCUDC anticipates that most umpires returning to the program will be covered under the policy as written.