Certification and Training for Umpires

Umpire certification is valid for four years.



For information about the Umpires Program and how to become an Umpire, please review the below-noted questions.

I've completed all the items listed on the application form. What happens now?

The Umpire Committee (UC) will review the application to ensure that all the required items have been completed. Then they will contact your references and others who may be able to offer an opinion on your application. Discussing your application with a large group of people who have worked with you provides the best and most complete picture of your work as an umpire.

What kinds of things do the UC look at when they look at when they contact references and others?

Merely having all the boxes on the application checked off does not, in and of itself, qualify one as an umpire. The UC will look into the following areas:

  • Does the candidate work well with others?
  • Can the candidate subordinate personal wishes for the good of the team?
  • Does the candidate pull his or her own weight in the group?
  • Does the candidate participate in discussions and meetings?
  • Can the candidate work well under pressure?
  • Has the candidate developed and improved skills over time?
  • Does the candidate demonstrate judicial temperament?
  • Can the candidate process information at appropriate umpire speed?
  • Does the candidate lose the plot or freeze up during an active and aggressive race?
  • Can the candidate apply the correct rule to the incident?
  • Can the candidate handle the pressures of the debrief?
  • Can the candidate explain what the umpire team saw, the rules and calls that apply, and lead the discussion that follows?
  • Does the candidate admit mistakes or deficiencies and take steps to remedy his or her errors or weaknesses?
  • Can the candidate operate a wide variety of umpire boats?



Knowledge of applicable rules (RRS, Appendices C & D, and their interpretations as found in the Call Books and Case Book) and a demonstrated ability to make decisions on the water as situations occur is necessary.


Other areas the UC will use as a standard would include:

  • Could the candidate work with someone of a similar skill level in the semi-finals of an appropriate significant event?
  • Would a Chief Umpire (CHUMP) have confidence in placing the candidate in any position at an appropriate significant event?
  • Could the candidate work with an inexperienced umpire in the early rounds of an appropriate significant event?
  • Based on the candidate’s previous work, is there a probability the candidate would have a problem that would reflect poorly on US SAILING or the United States?

If I meet the requirements on the website, does that automatically qualify me?

No. Meeting the basic requirements is the starting point for review of your application.

Is recertification automatic?

No. The UC requires that you submit an application for recertification before your existing certification period expires so that it can review your qualifications to be recertified. The application asks that your SOARS log is up-to-date for the previous 4 years and other information such as workshops attended and tests taken. While references are not specifically required for a recertification application, the UC reserves the right to contact other umpires about you just as it would for an original application. If the UC should decide that you no longer meet the qualifications to remain a certified umpire, it can deny your renewal application.