OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today that over 200 umpires have been honored for their years of service and expertise by becoming members of the USA Softball Umpire Awards Program. One of the nation's largest officiating organizations, USA Softball umpires are nationally recognized as the most trained and proficient in the sport and have the opportunity to be recognized for their dedication to the sport through three available outlets: the Medals Program, the National Indicator Fraternity and the Elite Umpire Program.
Click here to see the additions to the USA Softball Umpire Awards Program
"USA Softball’s umpire program continues to be a leader amongst sports officials because of the dedication of individuals like our latest Awards honorees," said USA Softball Director of Umpires, Kevin Ryan. "Joining the USA Softball Umpire Awards Program is a testament to the countless hours they put in to refine and enhance their skills and the standard of excellence they uphold both on and off the field. Congratulations on joining such elite programs."
One of the more popular programs for USA Softball umpires, the Medals Program launched in 1999 and rewards umpires for their years of service who have not been assigned to a Regional or National Championship. With four levels for this program, the Medals Program encompasses all levels of umpires who support the USA Softball program, whether at the local or national level. Umpires who have been registered for three years (Blue Level), five years (Bronze Level), seven years (Silver Level) or more than seven years (Gold Level) can apply to the Medals Program. Members of the Medals Program receive a ball cap, certificate and pin which symbolizes their achievement and a variety of leisure wear, jewelry and trophies are available for purchase.
The National Indicator Fraternity was founded in 1986 and honors those individuals who have advanced to the next level in the umpire program. In order to obtain membership into the National Indicator Fraternity, umpires must have been registered for at least seven years and have umpired or served as a National Championship Umpire-in-Chief (UIC) or Assistant UIC at three USA Softball National Championships. Members of the National Indicator Fraternity receive a certificate, membership card, luggage tag and a pin.
Launched in 2003, the Elite Umpire Program is the highest honor a USA Softball umpire can obtain other than selection into the National Softball Hall of Fame. To become eligible, an umpire must have been registered for at least seven years, be a current member who is in good standing and participated in at least four National Championships (two of which must have been in the same category of play and from an upper level qualifying National Championship). Umpires can apply for either Fast Pitch, Slow Pitch and Modified Pitch, and those who are selected will receive a ball cap, membership card, a framed certificate and pin.
For more information on the USA Softball Umpire Program, please visit USASoftball.com.