Greater Sacramento Softball Association

Umpire Recognition & Awards

USA Softball offers different levels of recognition for their years of service and expertise through the Medals Program, the National Indicator Fraternity, ISF Certification, and possibly the National Hall of Fame. No other organization has this various assortment of rewards programs for their umpire.

Umpire Medals Program

Umpires can be rewarded for registering and officiating USA Softball without being assigned to regional or national championships. This rewards the local umpire who supports the USA Softball program, and can be relied upon for local assignments. 

There are four levels for this program - the Blue level for those who have been registered for three (3) years, the Bronze level for those registered for five (5) years, the Silver level for those registered for seven (7) years and the Gold level for those registered for seven (7) years. Umpires can reach these levels quicker if they have umpired in national championships, or attended National Umpire Schools.

The program was instigated in 1999 and currently there are 5536 umpires registered in the program at various levels. The cost is $20 for each level, and the umpire receives a cap, certificate and pin symbolic of the level achieved. An umpire could register for all four levels if he/she desires and receive caps, certificates and pins for each level paid. In addition, there are various leisure wear items, jewelry items and trophies for each level if the umpire or association desires to purchase these.

The Medals program is a very popular program for the USA Softball umpire, with the caps and shirts being seen all across the USA. As our umpires take pride in their program and as more umpires are becoming aware of this reward program, more registrations are received. When submitting the application, local association commissioners must approve, indicating the umpire is in good standing. Names are printed annually in the USA Softball Case Book. Applications are available from the National Office or our web site.

Download Medals Application

Umpire National Indicator Fraternity

This reward program has been available to USA Softball umpires since 1986. It was originally started as a program for those umpires who have been assigned and officiated in three national championships, but did not qualify or gain approval for International Softball Federation (ISF) certification. Today it is considered the highest level reward program for USA Softball Umpires, not including the USA Softball Hall of Fame Umpire classification or ISF certification.

There are currently just over 2,000 members certified with the National Indicator Fraternity (NIF), with approximately 100-125 added annually. The applicant must have been an USA Softball registered umpire for at least seven (7) years, but does not have to be currently active. To qualify the umpire must have umpired or served as a national championship UIC or assistant UIC for three nationals, or can substitute attendance at an USA Softball Advanced Umpire School for one of the nationals. Approval by the local commissioner and the Regional UIC is mandatory for acceptance. Cost is $15 and the umpire receives a certificate, membership card and a patch.

The program is popular for those umpires who have advanced to the next level, and as a result have umpired in three nationals. It is a select group, considering that there are nearly 50,000 umpires nationwide. Applications must be received by Dec. 1st of each year in order for your name to be permanently displayed in the National Hall of Fame and printed annually in the USA Softball Case Book.

Download National Indicator Fraternity Application

Elite Umpire Program

This reward program is the highest honor an USA Softball umpire can obtain other than selection to the USA Softball Hall of Fame. The program was launched in 2003, with 153 umpires approved in February of that year. There are currently 360 qualified umpires that have been selected for the "Elite" program. Members who are approved as "Elite" umpires can apply for their international certification (ISF), and are the only umpires selected for the National Championship Series (SP) and the Armed Forces Slow Pitch Championships. In future years, it is anticipated that "Elite" umpires will be selected for major Fast and Modified Pitch Championships. To become eligible for this program, an umpire must have been an USA Softball registered umpire for at least seven (7) years and a current member in good standing. The umpire must have participated in at least four (4) national championships, and umpired in two (2) in the same category of play and from the championships listed below:

FAST PITCH: Men's Major, Women's Major, Men's Master 40-Over, Girls 18U USA Gold, Men's "A" or Women's "A".

SLOW PITCH: Men’s Super, Men’s Major, Men’s A, Men's B, Men’s Industrial ( previously Major or A ), Men’s 16” Major, Men’s Masters 35-Over, Men's 40-Over, Women’s Open ( previously Major or A ) CO-ED Major.

MODIFIED PITCH: Men's 9 Man Major, Men's A or Women's 9-Player, or Men's 10-Player. The USA "Elite" umpire application fee is $40.00 and is non-refundable. The umpire will receive a lapel pin, a navy USA "Elite" cap, membership card, framed certificate, and name listed in the USA Softball Hall of Fame. Three passport size photos should be attached to the application. Deadline each year is October 1. Applications will be reviewed at the November Council Meeting and applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

Download Elite Umpire Application

ISF Certification

Receiving ISF certification is a program for the elite USA Softball Umpire, not available to any other softball organization. Once the umpire is certified as an ISF umpire, he/she is available to umpire at World (adult or junior men's and women's) or Regional Softball Championships, including the Pan American Games and the Olympics. Certification can be achieved in fast pitch, slow pitch, or modified pitch levels.

A total of 213 U.S. umpires have been certified in this program since it began in 1978. Considering there have been nearly 100,000 registered umpires during that span of time, it is indeed an honor to hold this certification. Of that total, only 129 are active - 57 in fast pitch, 28 in slow pitch and 44 in modified pitch.

In international competition the highest assignment an umpire can achieve is a World Tournament and/or the Olympics. To achieve this honor, an umpire must have umpired in three national championships - two of which must be in the major division of the category applying for. In fast pitch, this includes the Men's and/or Women's Major and "A" divisions, the Men's 40-Over or the Girls 18-UGold. In Slow Pitch it includes the Men's Super, Men's or Women's Major and "A" Divisions, Men's Major and "A" Industrial divisions. In Modified, it includes the Men's Major and "A" or Women's Major divisions. In whichever championship the umpire applies, he/she must have the highest possible rating.

Once this has been accomplished, the umpire can apply through the ISF headquarters to attend a five day "Certification" Seminar, which includes evaluations in live competition, evaluations on plate mechanics calling balls and strikes, evaluations on responding to mechanic and case plays, and being taught the difference in USA Softball and ISF Rules and passing a written exam on the rules.

For those who qualify, applications are available from the national office or from the ISF World Headquarters and Training Center at 1900 South Park Road, Plant City, FL 33566. Telephone (813) 707-7204 or E-Mail:

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