Welcome to the Red Deer Softball Umpires Association!
Why Should I Become A Softball Umpire
Many new umpires get started because it is a great part-time summer job. During the week, games are in the evening, and if your schedule allows, you also have the opportunity to work at weekend tournaments.
Without umpires, a softball game cannot be played. As an umpire, you are part of the third team on the diamond, and you are an important part of the sport.
For current or former softball players, umpiring allows you to stay involved in the game, as well as giving something back to the game. Not only that, you get the “best seat in the house” to see all the action.
You will become part of an exclusive group within the softball community. The RDSUA is one of the largest umpire associations in Alberta, and includes a number of members who have umpired at events across the country. We want to help our new officials learn and improve.
Umpiring is good exercise, since umpires are on the diamond for the entire game. And during a tournament, you could officiate three or more games a day.
Finally, softball teaches life skills that sometimes only become apparent later in life. These skills include:
- Decision-making – you make the call
- Dealing with confrontation
- Ability to analyze a situation
- Public speaking skills
- Sense of fair play and impartiality
- Skill to develop appropriate reply to peers, coaches and players
What Do I Need To Start Umpiring?
You are never too young or old to umpire. Umpires vary in age from 13 years old to over 70. You will be matched with the right level of ball, and the right support and mentorship to ensure you have a successful and enjoyable season.
What we ask of you is:
- A love of the game of softball
- Hustle, physical and mental alertness
- Willingness to learn and gain experience
- Register as a Softball Canada umpire, and attend the pre-season clinic offered in April
Umpire Development Program
Successful recruitment and retention of umpires helps ensure there are sufficient officials to work games each year. The RDSUA works with local Minor Softball Associations and Softball Alberta representatives across central Alberta to identify potential umpires; register and train them at the annual clinic; and, throughout the season, work with our new umpires to develop their knowledge and mechanics, and encourage them to return next season.
The RDSUA works with Minor Associations to ensure coaches, parents and players understand the role of the umpire, and that they interact with umpires in appropriate manners. We have a zero tolerance policy for abuse. We realize our umpires are learning and improving, just like the players, and that everyone will make mistakes. Our goal is to take a mistake and turn it into a learning experience for all concerned.
Getting Started – Attending Our Umpire Clinic
Attendance and successful completion of the Softball Canada Umpire Level One Clinic, and full registration in the RDSUA, are required to umpire minor softball. The clinic is held in April (exact date and location to be confirmed by January each year) in the Red Deer area.
Clinic Fees and Registration are $100 for new and minor-aged Level 1 umpires (ages 13-18 years). Many minor softball associations reimburse the umpire clinic and registration fees at the end of the season subject to the umpires covering a specified number of games and their annual tournament. Check with your local minor softball association for specific details.
When you join the RDSUA, and complete the clinic, you will become part of the larger umpire community in Alberta and Canada. At the clinic, you will fill out a registration form that registers you with Softball Alberta. The clinic fee covers your registration, and includes:
- Softball Canada rulebook (new book issued in odd-numbered years)
- Softball Alberta insurance
- Softball Canada annual umpire exam (new umpires will complete at clinic; others will write the exam online)
- Softball Canada and Softball Alberta publications
Once officially registered, you will be assigned a Softball Canada umpire number. This number shows that you are a Registered Umpire in Alberta, and, because your Softball Alberta is affiliated with Softball Canada, you are now registered with Softball Canada. You are in a position to umpire at sanctioned tournaments in Alberta, including provincial championships and qualifiers, and eventually at Canadian championships.
For our youth umpires, the RDSUA makes all reasonable attempts to ensure that written communications to a minor umpire are also emailed to the umpire’s designated parent(s)/ guardian. We try very hard to keep the parents engaged in the umpire development program and look for as much feedback as possible. We do our best to protect any and all information provided to the association.