How to Become an Umpire
Curious about becoming an umpire? Here’s everything you need to know before you get started.
- How do I become an umpire?
- Are there different certification requirements for different levels of play?
- How do I get scheduled for games?
- How many games will I get to work per weekend?
- How much are umpires paid per game?
- What support is there for new umpires?
- How are umpire complaints/feedback from teams handled?
How do I become an umpire?
To become an umpire in the Vancouver Women’s Field Hockey League (VWFHL), you first take a Community Umpiring Course online through Field Hockey BC (FHBC). The Community Umpiring Course is $25 to take and consists of a series of online lessons and practice questions designed to prepare you for the final written test.
- You will need a grade of 75% or higher in order to pass the course.
- Participants must be aged 13 and up.
- A field assessment is also needed to acquire certification.
Once you are certified as a Community Umpire, you are eligible to umpire in the Women’s League, but it is recommended you begin umpiring during the Junior Spring Season. It is required that you hold your Community certification prior to the start of the Women’s Season to be eligible to umpire during that season.
If you wish to further your umpiring knowledge, you may take the Provincial umpiring course as the next step.
Information and registration details for umpiring courses can be found by visiting the FHBC website here.
Note: Umpires do not need to be certified to umpire for the Men’s League.
Are there different certification requirements for different levels of play?
Yes - Community certification qualifies you to umpire divisions 5&6 only. Provincial certification qualifies you to umpire divisions 1-6. Regional or Canadian certification qualifies you to umpire any division.
How do I get scheduled for games?
Umpires sign up for matches on the VWFHA website. After signing up for a match, umpires will receive an email that their request was noted. Once approved by the Umpire Coordinator, umpires receive a second email confirming the match.
Umpires can also choose between the following options:
- Assign yourself as a dedicated umpire to a specific team (i.e., declare you are the umpire representing Hawks 1)
- Or, work unassigned (i.e., fly solo with no association to a team).
If you assign yourself to a team, it is expected that you umpire the equivalent matches to the season. For example: Hawks 3 plays 18 games in the season, so the team umpire is to umpire 18 games in the season.
Unassigned umpires do not have the above requirement. However, priority selection is given to declared umpires depending on the matches requested. Declaring could be a better option if you have a limited schedule or limited transportation to fields.
How many games will I have to work per weekend?
It is up to each umpire to decide how many games they will work. It is recommended that umpires assigned to a team work a minimum of 1 game per weekend.
How much are umpires paid per game?
You can view the umpire pay scale by clicking here.
What support is there for new umpires?
The Vancouver Hawks use several approaches to keep umpire development on-track:
- We offer pre-season orientation sessions for new and returning umps, focusing on ‘the basics’
- We ensure that umpiring at every Junior Spring Season game is overseen by an umpire-mentor, meaning feedback to umpires is very personal
- We work with FHBC and others to ensure that umpiring upgrade courses are available
- We urge and actively coordinate upgrade opportunities for aspiring umpires and qualified assessors.
FHBC is also engaging the more experienced umpires to try and mentor those that are looking to continue their umpiring to a higher level. FHBC also provides radios that umpires can use to communicate to each other and to one more member on the sideline which can help with learning during games.
How are umpire complaints/feedback from teams handled? What can new umpires expect in terms of communication?
All feedback from teams goes directly to the league Umpire Coordinator. Feedback is taken seriously, and the Umpire Coordinator will communicate directly with umpires to facilitate learning and umpire growth.