There will be over 800 umpired games, not counting Playoffs and All Star Day during this season. SRVGAL is aware that towards the end of the season it becomes increasingly difficult to find umpires due to graduations, finals and other activities. We are hopeful that we can cover as many games as possible during those challenging dates and ask that all umpires do their best to be available to officiate those games. SRVGAL will be offering Umpire Clinics again for the upcoming season, so please be sure to sign up if you are interested, as announcements and information will be posted to the website.
Behavior Toward Umpires
Providing well-trained umpires for over 50 teams (3rd/4th – High School) is a significant task. The umpire organization in SRVGAL represents over 100 dedicated youths and adults who are on the field during games to provide safety and fairness for all teams. SRVGAL works diligently all season to provide coverage for the high volume of games played.
Parents and coaches need to keep in mind how difficult it can be to umpire a game, especially if you are just getting started and are inexperienced. History shows that SRVGAL continues to lose umpires every year because of the bad behavior of those involved in the games that they officiate. This behavior can come from players, coaches or parents and SRVGAL has zero tolerance for any such disrespectful behavior.
The role of umpire must be recognized and respected by the coach, the team, and the parents. Youth umpires must be given the same respect as the adult umpires. New umpires must learn positioning, signs and timing of calls all of which takes practice and repetition. SRVGAL asks that all that participate in the game be patient and positive, in order to help all umpires become more experienced and confident in their umpiring skills. Please remember that umpire could be YOUR son or daughter. The umpire in a softball game has complete authority over players and coaches from the moment that the umpire walks onto the field and is fully authorized to manage that game until it is over. That includes having the capacity to end a game at their discretion if the behavior of anyone in that game is disrespectful. They do not need any concurrence from anyone else, it is all at their discretion.
Coaches, players, parents, and spectators shall never argue or dispute the decision of the umpire, make negative or derogatory remarks or gestures towards an umpire, or otherwise behave irresponsibly or disrespectfully or bring the game into dispute. Remember, it is only a game.
SRVGAL has a process in place, which we hope will provide for more control over situations in which conflict develops. We have determined that in order to facilitate that all games are played in a positive and productive environment there will now be an adult "Game Monitor"(GM) present at all games. The game monitor is a volunteer that is provided by the visiting team of each game. They will have an Identification lanyard and will be responsible for intervening in any situation that appears to be headed for conflict or negative behavior of any kind. They will be an advocate and additional asset to aid the Umpire(s) to manage a game in a way that is productive, positive and respectful. They are not to become involved in making calls, or rule decisions or any other interpretation of any SRVGAL documents related to rules or game management. In addition to helping manage, any negative behavior the Game Monitor may also communicate or consult with the Umpire in any situations related to player safety, as in situations which are created by inclement weather or darkness. At all times, regardless of the presence of the game monitor, the Umpire(s) will have the ultimate authority of managing and final decision making authority for all things during the course of any game.
SRVGAL is committed to the core value of "Respecting the game and all who participate in it." To that end all behavior which is not respectful or is in contradiction with this core value will be reported to the SRVGAL Umpire In Chief, at which time the event will be reviewed to determine what occurred, and if any steps need to be taken to prevent similar events in the future. If it is determined that the guidelines as stated above have been violated, appropriate action will be taken to address the issue, which could include suspension of involved parties or even permanent expulsion from SRVGAL in whatever capacity may be held by the party to be found violating the rules, guidelines or core values of SRVGAL and the game in general.
We have established the following standards for SRVGAL umpires:
- All umpires should be ASA certified, however, of course ASA certification through another organization will satisfy this requirement. If the umpire only wishes to umpire in SRVGAL then attending our training sessions will suffice in lieu of ASA certification - we will provide the training to achieve this. Any umpire over the age of 18 will have the opportunity to take the ASA test through SRVGAL, if they wish.
- The Umpire training program for 2019 umpires is being developed. Details will be share with all registerd umpire and will be posted to this website.
- Since SRVGAL uses a system where the umpires assign all of their own games, we expect that when scheduling their games all umpires will be reasonable in making sure they keep in mind that other umpires will also want to schedule the same levels and field locations and times. So, please try to be fair to your fellow umpire. In the event that any umpire seeks to schedule more than their fair share of games, for any particular reason, SRVGAL Umpire in Chief reserves the right to "unassign" or "reassign" as deemed necessary or reasonable. SRVGAL will not ask any umpires to umpire games beyond their abilities.
- All umpires will be required to wear protective equipment (facemask, shin guards and chest protector) at all games. This is a REQUIREMENT AND NOT NEGOTIABLE, based on weather or any other factors. This equipment will be supplied by SRVGAL and in the event the umpire gear is missing or in need of repair, the umpire will need to use the catchers gear supplied to the SRVGAL teams for their use. Of course, if an umpire has his or her own personal gear that can be used as well.
- All umpires must be 13 years old before they can begin signing up for games. In the event that the umpire will be turning 13 at some time during the season, they should attend the training for that particular season and then wait until their 13th birthday before assigning games.
- Umpire scheduling will be made exclusively through the use of the online scheduling system.
- In prior years, we have had many committed and dedicated people performing the umpiring duties for SRVGAL and, for this, we are very grateful. Unfortunately, our experience has involved many umpire "no-shows" leaving games without an umpire. It is our goal this year to virtually eliminate all cases of umpire "no-shows" and uncovered games and would appreciate all the help we can get from the umpires on this years' roster to achieve that goal.
"No-shows" events will be tracked and may have an effect on future umpire assignments.
Umpire Scheduling Guidelines
- No SRVGAL umpire may be scheduled to umpire the games of teams on which girlfriends, sisters, daughters or other close relatives are going to be playing.
- Every attempt should be made to ensure that an umpire does not even umpire in the same division or level where there is a girlfriend, sister, daughter or other close relative.
- There are exceptions to these:
a.) if we have no alternative, we can relax the guidelines, especially in the white divisions and
b.) in the case of an umpire being at a game and the assigned umpire is a "no-show."
- The use of any such exception should be brought to the attention of the League Coordinator and the Umpire in Chief
Umpire Pay Schedule
The pay scale has been devised with an emphasis on trying to get umpires to return and continue to work with SRVGAL:
- New umpires and in most cases, umpires with no SRVGAL experience will be classified as level 1 umpires and will be paid per the Umpire Pay Schedule.
- All umpires registered with SRVGAL will be placed in the data base of the League Athletics system which is where the umpires will self assign their own games. In this database every umpire has been assigned a number designating their "level". Entry level will be assigned a 1 for at least the first season with SRVGAL, until they have umpired 5 games in any one season. Once 5 games have been officiated by a level 1 umpire, they will be eligible to move to level 2. It is the umpire's responsibility to advise the League Administrator and the Umpire in Chief when 5 games have been umpired. SRVGAL does not track that progress, so the move to level 2 will not be made until the umpire has advised SRVGAL. The other level numbers, which will be assigned, are 2,3 and 4 (most experienced). Many factors are considered when assigning the numbers, such as number of games which that person has umpired, the quality of umpiring provided in previously umpired games, the amount of times an umpire may have not shown up for assigned games, etc. SRVGAL is committed to do whatever is reasonable to help any umpire develop and move up in the "levels", but will make the final determination on the ranking of all umpires in the SRVGAL system.
- If any umpire believes their assigned level is not commensurate with their level of skill as an umpire, please let the Umpire In Chief know and we will be happy to address the issue and consider any reasonable discussion related to the rating.
- It is highly recommended that 1st year umpires work with partners, particularly for the 1st season.
- The Umpire Game Card/Pay Slip (PDF) is the form that every umpire must use to document their participation in their scheduled games. To receive payment, the umpire must complete this form, have it signed by the game coaches, and then send it to the SRVGAL League Administrator. The Pay Slip will then be processed and payment will usually be mailed within two weeks of receipt of the Pay Slip. The back of the Pay Slip provides an area for documenting any unusual game event.
Details about our 2020 umpire training program will be provided by Tom Leyden, UIC.
The dates reserved for training are:
Feb 22: 9am to noon
Feb 27: 6pm - 9pm
Feb 23: 3pm - 6pm
Feb 25: 6pm - 9am
Umpires will be able to self-assign games using our new League Athletics system when the schedule are released. Please contact the Umpire in Chief for more information.
W-9 Form (PDF)
Umpire Consent and Release (PDF)
USA Softball Background Check Form (PDF)
Umpire Consent and Release (PDF)
Umpire Pay Schedule (PDF)
Umpire Game Card/Pay Slip (PDF)
2019 USA Softball Umpire Manual
2020 USA Softball Umpire Exam & Answer Sheet
How to Sign Up for a Game
Rules Quick Reference (PDF)
Questions, comments, and constructive criticism regarding umpires and our umpiring program can be directed to our Umpire-in-Chief, Tom Leyden at email@example.com.