Frequently asked questions

How old do I need to be to apply/enroll into the course?

Minimum age is 14 for a student to apply for an officiating class. Any person who is 18 years of age or older and a high school graduate (or GED) is eligible to receive their class two certification High School students may enroll in an OHSAA officiating class is eligible to obtain a Class 3 permit. Class 2 – Eligible to officiate all levels of contests except varsity level contest.
Class 3 – Restricted to 7th, 8th and 9th grade and non-interscholastic officiating.

Do I need previous experience to become an OHSAA Umpire?

There is no specific experience required to become a sports official. A simple passion for the game and a desire to become involved is the first step. Many officials have played or coached but it is not a prerequisite. A basic understanding of the game, and the dedication to become familiar with the rules, mechanics, and physical demands are preferred. Many officials also get started on the youth league level prior to working the high school level. The OHSAA Umpire course will teach you the basic rules, mechanics, and philopshies to get you prepared to take the field.

What age group will I most likely be assigned?

You will begin with the age group you feel most comfortable with and where the assigner you are working for feels you are most qualified to umpire. At first, you may start out working junior high, freshman, or even junior varsity contest. You will gain additional experience through many different levels through the summer months.

When is the season, how long are games, the season and how much do games pay?

Depending on the season will determine start time. High School contest start at 5:00 p.m. through the week and double headers on Saturday may start anywhere through the day.Summer league games will vary. Most games will start near 6:00 p.m., and you will find some games that start through the day for tournaments or other reasons. Game length will be dependent on age level. Most games you will work sevein (7) inning games, some youth will play six (6) inning games, and even some leagues and levels play nine (9) innings. Games may run from 90 minutes to around two (2) hours. Baseball and Softball seasons start in late March with High School and run through the summer and some even into the fall. You can work as many or as few games as you would like to or that your schedule will permit. Most nights of the week you are able to work games if you so desire. Also, depending on the age and competition level will determine pay. Here are some pay scales to help give you an idea of what to expect with a 2 man crew: High School Varsity - $60 High School Freshman/Junior Varsity - $55-$60 Junion High School - $50-$65 Summer League - $50-$75

Will I need to purchase my own equipment?

Each umpire supplies his/her own equipment and uniforms. Click here to review basic umpiring equipment that will be needed to start umpiring. The cost of a complete package can run from about $250 to over $1,000 depending on the type and amount of equipment and uniforms you purchase. You will find that you can earn the money you spent on equipment back fairly quickly through working games. Below is a link of officiating equipment suppliers that many officials use: ​Honigs (Michigan) Ref and Sport (Columbus, Ohio) Purchase Officials (Akron, Ohio) Gerry Davis Sports (Appleton, Wisconsin) Ump Attire The Officials Choice (Morristown, New Jersey) Smitty Official's Apperel Outlet Store Smitty Official's Apparel

When would I officialy become an umpire?

Once you complete the OHSAA New Officials Course with the 25 hours of in class and on field instruction and successful completition of the three (3) part exam, you will recieve your certification to start working games.

How many umpires work a game, and who works behind the plate?

Most local high school games use a two person umpiring system. Depending on different factors along with "lower-level" request, you may work games by yourself. As you gain experience along with certain levels of tournaments you could work a system with 3 or 4 umpires. Throughout the season, most umpires split their time pretty evenly with working the plate and the bases.

How much does it cost to become an umpire?

Outside of your New Officials Course registratinon fee, each year you will pay OHSAA Association Dues of $50 for each sport. You will also need to join a local association and those dues run between $10-25 per year as well. The most expensive part of being an umpire is the investment and upkeep of equipment. You can expect to pay $150-$250 for your very basic gear your first year if you buy new. Instructors usually connect you with a local association and that will have veteran umpires who donate gear for you to keep and use till you can afford to buy your own.

How would I move up to the higher levesl of umpiring?

That depends entirely on your skills and dedication as an umpire. Hard work, studying hard, and becoming the best umpire you can be at the level you do. Once you are the best Frosh/JV official, be the best Varsity official. There are plenty of umpiring clinics, camps, and schools all around the country, too, that will help you to develop your skills. Whether you want to move up or not, don’t forget that the reason you are umpiring is to have FUN! Games are assigned based upon performance and not years of service. There is no "magic formula" to determine if, or when, you may get assigned higher level games. The general track for getting to the higher level is starting out calling Freshman/JV games, then moving up to small school varsity games, then getting some large school varsity games, then getting assigned consistently to the very good Varsity games. Then if you show assignors the commitment and dedication to the craft of umpiring, College Supervisor will begin to take notice and may assign you to summer college age level summer games or junior college games to see how you umpire and then working into regular season assignments.

I have several years working as an umpire, will that help get games?

Assignments of games are based upon performance and not years of service (seniority). New umpires generally start out calling Freshman/JV games and advance to higher levels based upon their performance. If you have prior experience at higher levels (college, etc.) or are transferring from another association or another state's organization, the assigners may base your schedule of higher level games based upon that experience. The bottom line is that your experience may have some bearing on your assignments, but it really depends on your performance as an umpire. If you are currently an umpire certifed by OHSAA or another State Association please email us at Umpire Ohio to learn more about the steps you will need to take to transfer.