Umpiring Resources

Quick links to various sections of the Umpiring Resources Page.

Policies and guidelines Development guides
Education and training Past Australian Rules Theory exam papers with answers
Rules – Ask the umpire National Championships Application process
Application forms Liaison Officers booklet
International Appointment Guide National Appointment Guide
Umpire Activity Log Practical assessment resources
Technical Bulletins Mechanical Bulletins
Uniforms Merchandise
Mentor Umpiring News Items
Umpiring Photos Blues News Online

Policies and guidelines

All umpires must familiarise themselves with the policies that govern the conduct of the sport of Softball and impact them as officials of the game.

Prior to accreditation and registration, the NUC requires all Softball umpires to adhere to the Softball AustraliaMember Protection Policy (MPP), which features the Codes of Conduct for Umpires. The MPP has been developed in conjunction with the ASC as a resource for the protection of all members.

It covers issues such as anti-discrimination and harassment, child protection, pregnancy, complaints handling and disciplinary measures.

There are no rules or guidelines that define the type of person or personality that makes a good umpire. In addition to Softball Australia's values and general Code of Conduct, as an official appointed by Softball Australia, a Member State or an affiliated association or club, you must meet the following requirements in regard to your conduct during any activity held by or under the auspices of Softball Australia, a Member State or an affiliated association or club:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all people, and refrain from any discriminatory practices against any person regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, religion or ability.
  • Place the safety and welfare of the players/participants above all else.
  • Be fair and impartial.
  • Avoid any situation which may lead to a conflict of interest.
  • Be courteous, respectful and open to discussion and interaction.
  • Refrain from any form of personal abuse. This includes verbal, physical and emotional abuse.
  • Refrain from any form of sexual harassment. This includes explicit, implicit, verbal and non-verbal sexual harassment.
  • Make a commitment to providing a quality service to softball, to your affiliated club, association and state, and to Softball Australia by continually improving your officiating knowledge and skill. Maintain and improve your accreditation. Seek continual self-improvement through performance appraisal and ongoing education.
  • Be professional in your appearance and manner and accept responsibility for your actions. Display high standards in language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation. Display control, respect, dignity and professionalism to all involved with softball, including opponents, coaches, officials, umpires, scorers, administrators, the media, parents and spectators. Encourage others to demonstrate the same qualities.
  • Operate within the rules and spirit of the sport. Abide by and respect the policies governing softball and sport generally and the organisations and individuals administering those policies. Reject the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport and abide by the anti-drugs policies of the relevant national and international sporting organisations and government regulatory bodies.
  • Value the individual in sport.
  • Do not tolerate acts of aggression.
  • Encourage inclusivity and access to all areas of officiating.
  • Refrain from engaging in any behaviour that is in breach of Softball Australia's Member Protection Policy.

In addition the Umpire's Operating Code covers the following:

  • Interpretation
  • National Umpiring Committee
  • Meetings of the National Umpiring Committee and the National Staff
  • State Directors of Umpiring
  • Meetings of the National Umpiring Committee, National Umpiring Staff and State Directors of Umpiring (National Umpiring Meeting)
  • National Umpire Accreditation
  • NOAS Umpire Accreditation
  • Umpiring Lecturer Accreditation
  • Examiner Accreditation
  • National Umpire Development Squad
  • Theory Examination
  • Practical Examination
  • Logo, Badges and Certificates
  • Uniforms
  • Australian Championships
  • Umpires for International Tournaments
  • Code of Ethics
  • Umpire Recognition
  • Finance

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Development guides

The Softball Australia International Umpire Development program is an ongoing program for level 5 and 6 umpires wishing to advance to ISF umpire certification. The purpose, selection and ongoing requirements for squad members can be found by reading the documents below:

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Education and training

Softball Australia has developed extensive nationally approved training resources to assist umpires understanding of playing rules, self improvement and on diamond rotations systems. These resources may require Microsoft PowerPoint, the PowerPoint viewer, Adobe Reader or other tools.

We also have other education and training resources, such as international articles, hints and tips, guides, and past exam papers.

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Past Australian Rules Exam (suitable for all levelled umpires)

Exam Answers
2014             (179kB) 2014             (42kB)
2013             (151kB) 2013             (42kB)
2012             (167kB) 2012             (41kB)
2011             (164kB) 2011             (41kB)
2010             (194kB) 2010             (50kB)
2009             (161kB) 2009             (40kB)
2008             (109kB) 2008             (63kB)
2007             (32kB) 2007             (17kB)
2006             (43kB) 2006             (60kB)
2005             (37kB) 2005             (60kB)

For hints on ideal ways to prepare and answer exam questions, review Theory Exam Hints and Tips for some great advice.

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Past Australian Basic Umpire Exam papers with answers (Levels 1 and 2)

Exam (Basic) Answers (Basic)
2013             (71.8kB) 2013             (207kB)
2012             (216kB) 2012             (134kB)
2011             (138kB) 2011             (74kB)
2010             (113kB) 2010             (79kB)
2009             (149kB) 2009             (26kB)
2008             (60kB) 2008             (58kB)
2007             (44kB) 2007             (21kB)
2006             (137kB) 2006             (25kB)
2005             (55kB) 2005             (25kB)

For hints on ideal ways to prepare and answer exam questions, review Theory Exam Hints and Tips for some great advice.

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Rules – Ask the umpire

In "What's the Call Blue" National Rules Interpreter, Leigh Evans, answers some questions from actual game situations regarding the rules of the game.

January 2011 "Does The Run Score?" presentation (702kB)
March 2009 Batting Out Of Order Appeal  (78kB)
March 2009 Batter Runner Interference  (69kB)
  Pitching (25kB)
  Obstruction plays (22kB)
  Drawing the throw (23kB)

If you would like Leigh to answer your "What’s the Call Blue?" situation, please email him at Leigh Evans.

Former Softball Australia Limited National Rules Interpreter, Alan McAuliffe has provided explanations about rules and situations in many of the earlier editions of Blues News Online (BNOL).

August 2006 Pre/Post season conditioning (10kB)
June 2006 Why kids lose interest (12kB)
February 2006 Scoring runs (25kB)
January 2006 Obstruction (15kB)
November 2005 Running bases in reverse order (12kB)
October 2005 The running lane (12kB)
September 2005 Overthrows (10kB)
August 2005 Batting out of order (14kB)
July 2005 Interference with catcher (12kB)
June 2005 Deliberately dropped fly ball (11kB)
  The Strike Zone (10kB)
  Infield Fly (14kB)
  Six Things To Think About (15kB)

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International Appointment Guide

Being appointed to an International Championship/Tournament is an exciting moment in every umpires career but there are a few administrative tasks that need to be completed prior to and post tournament/championship. The International Appointment Guide provides information on what is required of a touring umpire.

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National Championships Application process

Each year National Championships are held around Australia in the following categories:

  • Under 17 Boys/Girls
  • Under 19 Men/Women
  • Open Men/Women.

Each year, umpires level 4 and above can nominate their availability for consideration for national appointment via an availability form and return it, along with your umpire activity log, to your State Director of Umpiring.

This form must be completed if you wish to attend in the following roles:

  • Nationally accredited umpire (currently level 5 or higher)
  • Candidate (currently a level four or five)
  • Skill share
  • Liaison officer (see Other Links below for more information)

The National Championship appointments Version 2 for 2015 are available here:

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Application forms

There have been changes to the application form, so please refer to these instructions prior to completing it.

  • Electronic Application: Fill out the form electronically using Microsoft Word (preferred) or print and complete a paper copy.
  • Application Form for National Championships 2016 (86.5kB)
  • Please respond to each and every Selection Box or Preference. Select your response to each Selection Box or Preference by selecting the grey box with your mouse, if you wish to respond in the affirmative. Not selecting a grey box means a No or negative response. Sending of the Application Form via the umpire's email will constitute signing the form by the umpire.
  • Save your file, with your name in the file name and forward it, along with any accompanying documentation, to your State Director of Umpiring.
  • Paper Form Application: Tick the grey boxes to indicate you want an affirmative response. Not selecting a grey box means a No or negative response.
  • Sign and send your form and any accompanying documentation to your State Director of Umpiring.
  • Development Plans: Level 5 and 6 Candidate Umpires will be required to complete a Development Plan to assist in their lead up to the practical examination in 2016. For further information, please review a SAL NUP Individual Goals Activity Plan (131kB).
  • Each umpire is also to complete an Emergency Contact Form (39.1kB)

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National Appointment Guide booklet

A booklet has been created to provide umpires with information on what to expect when attending an Australian National Championship

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Liaison Officers booklet

A booklet created to assist Liaison Officers appointed to Australian National Championships


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Umpire Activity Log

An electronic Umpire Activity Log has been developed and is available for immediate use. When applying for National appointments, submission of Umpire Activity Logs will only be accepted using this version. Any umpire who has been using their own Excel spreadsheet can, with a little knowledge and some care, copy and paste the relevant columns into the V2 model.


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Practical assessment resources

The following resources are useful for preparation for practical assessment, as approved by the Softball Australia Umpire Accreditation Program

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What is a Mentor are now on their own page.

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Technical Bulletins

Technical Bulletins are now on their own page.

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Mechanical Bulletins

Mechanical Bulletins contain information pertaining to umpire issues, mechanics and rotations. Following a review of reports from umpires returning from International competitions and our own inconsistencies across the country in relation to mechanics, the following memos and various National Umpiring Program Mechanic Bulletins will dictate how mechanics are to be used across the country.

Date released

Bulletin id



2011 December


Three Umpire System - Outfield Mechanics


2010 October


Base Mechanics


2009 November


Infield Fly Mechanic


2009 October


Inside / Outside Theory


2009 October


Third Strike and Trapped Balls


2009 October


Outfield Corrections


2009 October


Check Swing


2009 October


Plate Work


2009 October


Count Signal


2009 October





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A Softball uniform consists of:

  • Powder blue, long or short-sleeved shirt
  • Dark navy blue slacks
  • All black shoes - clean and shined
  • Black or navy socks
  • Plain Navy cap
  • Plain all black or blue belt with a plain silver buckle – 1 to 1 ½ inch
  • Dark navy blue ball bag (plate only)
  • Plain navy blue jacket, with no colored trim
  • All white t-shirt (crew or v neck) under the uniform shirt

The umpiring crew will be dressed alike. The only exception is that the plate umpire does not have to wear a jacket even if the base umpires do. If one base umpire wears a jacket, all should.

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There is a range of merchandise available for umpires to purchase at the Online Store.

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Blues News Online (BNOL)

BNOL is the official magazine for umpires in Australia. It is written by umpires for umpires and has been published since mid-2001. To subscribe, please email the Communications Member, Kyira Cox.

2015 Jan(2.14MB) Feb (1.36MB) Mar/Apr(1.07MB) April S/E (345KB) May/June(1.41MB)  
2014   Feb (955kB)   Mar/Apr v2 (1.1MB) May/June (683kB) June Tech edition (347kB)
2013   Feb (566kB) Mar (519kB) April (656kB) May (2.2MB) June (618kB)
  July (458kB) Aug (617kB) Sept (880kB) Oct (725kB) Nov (652kB) Dec (727kB)
2012 Jan (249kB) Feb (372kB) Mar (762kB) April (2.22MB) May (392kB) June (922kB)
          May 2/E(258.9kB)  
July (408kB) Aug (608kB) Sept (1.2MB) Oct (919kB) Nov (957kB) Dec (930kB)
2011     Mar (1.19MB)     Jun (783kB)
  Aug (335kB) Sep (731kB)   Nov (750kB)  
2010   Feb/Mar(1.58MB)     May (769kB)  
      Oct (788kB) Nov/Dec (733kB)  
2009 Jan (1.56MB zip) Feb/Mar(986kB)   Apr (5.16MB) May/Jun(6.27MB)  
Jul (208kB) Aug (389kB) Oct (419kB) Oct Special Edition(404kB) Nov (558kB) Dec (478kB)
2008 Jan/Feb(703kB)       May (745kB) Jun/Jul (2.05MB)
    Sep (625kB) Oct (1.34MB)   Dec (3.96MB)
2007 Jan (470kB) Feb (1.10MB)   Apr (1.32MB)    
Jul/Aug(330kB)   Sep (2.11MB) Oct/Nov (1.28MB)   Dec (468kB)
2006 Jan(1.75MB) Feb (1.54MB) Mar (1.60MB) Apr (573kB) May (521kB) Jun (424kB)
Jul (379kB) Aug (495kB) Sep/Oct(749kB)      
2005 Jan (355kB) Feb (1.07MB) Mar/Apr(483kB)   May (813kB) Jun (1.33MB)
Jul (647kB) Aug (960kB) Sep (824kB) Oct (564kB) Nov (2.07MB) Dec (1.52MB)
2004 Jan (948kB) Feb (558kB) Mar (519kB) Apr (808kB) May (252kB) Jun/Jul (846kB)
  Aug (175kB) Sep (187kB) Oct (526kb) Nov (402kB) Dec (38kB)
2003 Jan/Feb(707kB)   Mar (58kB) Apr (446kB) May (317kB) Jun (597kB)
Jul (490kB) Aug (524kB) Sep (427kB) Oct (394kB) Nov (410kB) Dec (382kB)
2002 Jan (652kB) Feb (433kB) Mar (244kB) Apr (159kB) May (965kB) Jun (524kB)
Jul (221kB) Aug (225kB) Sep (138kB) Oct (764kB) Nov (331kB) Dec (331kB)
2001 Jul (1.25MB) Aug (1.52MB) Sep (396kB) Oct (315kB) Nov (437kB) Dec (865kB)

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