Accreditation

ANNUAL RULES TEST AND GRADING POLICY

Below you will find the policy approved by the National Umpiring Staff in relationship to Rules Testing and the Grading System. At this year’s National Umpire Staff (NUS) meeting a major review was undertaken and this opportunity has been taken to reformat this policy document. Changes were approved to make the entry level of the Annual Rules Test less daunting and the grading criteria for Levels 4, 5 and 6 were aligned. Grades Levels 3 to 7 are now all via the field evaluation system.

We know these policies will assist you in the development of your umpiring career and help you with your career path planning. We recommend you discuss your career plan with your Local Association Chief Umpire in the first instance and then with your Regional Director should you require further advice.
 

ANNUAL RULES TEST

The SNZ Annual Rules Test will be set and marked by a National Umpire Staff appointee. The date for this Test will be set by SNZ National Umpire Staff and will normally be set for the first Monday in April of each year. The Annual Rules Test format will be set by the National Umpire Staff targeting entry levels 1-3 and badge holders level 4-7. 

The Annual Rules Test has a dual purpose, namely to provide the historical measure for testing rules knowledge required for promotion between grades. To provide an educational tool for all to remain up to date with the rules of our game, which do change from time-to-time. A predominant view is that continual education on the rules of our game benefits everyone. As a result all candidates may sit the Annual Rules Test as an open book experience.

Each Local Umpires Association is responsible for arranging the Annual Rules Test within their local area. Candidates may apply through their Local Umpires Association to sit the Annual Rules Test orally. Supervisors may sit the Annual Rules Test.

Association results will be forwarded to each Local Umpires Association for further distribution.

Promotion to Level 2 – A candidate is required to sit and only answer the nominated questions of the Annual Rules Test and attain a minimum pass mark of 60%. A minimum pass mark will be valid for three years.

Eligible to be evaluated for Level 4 – A candidate must sit the Annual Rules Test and attain a minimum pass mark of 70% in the same season and also be recommended to be evaluated by their RDU.

Eligible to be evaluated for Level 5 – Be invited and accept the invitation of the NUS to be evaluated at a National Tournament. Sit the Annual Rules Test and attain a minimum pass mark of 75%.

Eligible to be evaluated for Level 6 – Be invited and accept the invitation of the NUS to be evaluated at a U19 or above National Tournament. Sit the Annual Rules Test and attained a minimum pass mark of 80%.

GRADING SYSTEM


Level 1
Local Association Grading. Local Association Umpire who has not sat and passed the Annual Rules Test. Parent Associations are requested to keep an annual list of Level 1 umpires and pass this list to their local umpires association for their inclusion in the National Grading list. May apply to umpire at <13 and <15 National Tournaments within region. Expenses will not be payable.

Level 2
Passed the Annual Rules Test (hold a current pass mark of 60%. Valid for three years) May apply to be evaluated for New Zealand Qualifying Examination. Evaluations will be conducted at any approved two-day tournament within region, and may be undertaken during the same season. Evaluators will be the RDU's (or a qualified person delegated to that responsibility by the UIC). The Evaluator will coordinate and report all results to the UIC. May apply to attend U15, U17 and U19 National Tournaments within region. May be evaluated at these tournaments by the TCU who will co-ordinate and report to the UIC.

Level 3
Passed New Zealand Qualifying Examination.
May apply to be evaluated for Level 4 (the New Zealand Umpires Badge - Practical). Must sit the Annual Rules Test and attained a minimum pass mark of 70% in the same season and be recommended to be evaluated by their RDU.
The evaluation will be conducted either:
(a) At a National Tournament (except the Inter-Association and Open Club Tournaments) or;
(b) At an approved tournament (2 day minimum). Approved tournaments for such examination will be decided on merit by the UIC consultation with the NUS. The evaluator will be the TCU, (or a qualified person delegated to that responsibility by the UIC). The Evaluator will co-ordinate and report all results to the UIC. NOTE: NZ Qualifying and NZ Badge (Practical) evaluations may not be undertaken in the same season. May additionally apply to attend any National Tournaments within region.

Level 4
New Zealand Badge holder.
May apply to attend any National Tournament. For appointments to Inter-Association, or Inter-Club tournaments and to ensure priority appointments to other tournaments, must be umpiring in local fixtures. To be evaluated for Level 5 – Recommended to be invited and accept the invitation of the NUS to be evaluated at a National Tournament. Must sit the Annual Rules Test and attained a minimum pass mark of 75% in the same season.

Level 5
Senior New Zealand Badge holder
May apply to attend any National Tournament. For appointments to Inter-Association, or Inter-Club tournaments and to ensure priority appointments to other tournaments, must be umpiring in local fixtures and be a regular attendee at National Tournaments and attains consistent appointments at a senior level. Involved with the local association umpire programme. To be evaluated for Level 6 – Recommended to be invited and accept the invitation of the NUS to be evaluated at a U19 or above National Tournament. Must sit the Annual Rules Test and attained a minimum pass mark of 80% in the same season.

Level 6
Regional International Umpire (Senior New Zealand Badge holder).
May apply to attend any National Tournament. To ensure priority appointments to the Inter-Association, or Inter-Club tournaments must be umpiring in local fixtures and be a regular attendee at National Tournaments and attains consistent appointments at a senior level. Involved with the national/local association umpire programmes.

Eligible for appointment to Internal Internationals and selected overseas tours or exchanges. Eligible for appointment as National TCU.

Level 7
ISF Certificate holder (International Umpire).
This grading will remain current for the period specified by the International Softball Federation.

May apply to attend any National Tournament. To ensure priority appointments to the Inter-Association, or Inter-Club tournaments must be umpiring in local fixtures and be a regular attendee at National Tournaments. Involved with the national/local association umpire programmes.

Eligible for appointment to ISF World Championships and overseas tours (appointments by SNZ/ISF from recommendations by UIC)

Eligible for appointment as National TCU. Priority appointments (full internationals).

Notes:
  1. Only umpires active during the previous season will be graded. An active umpire’s game numbers for the season are to be included in the Local Association Annual Report. Electronic copies of Annual Reports are to be sent to RDU’s by the end of April each year. The minimum number of games per season to retain an active grading, in addition to officiating at a U17 and above National Tournament in that season, will be: Level 5 – 20, Level 6 – 30 and Level 7 – 40. Umpires who fail to meet the minimum requirements will retain their grade that season followed by the letter “R”. Special circumstances will be taken into consideration by the NUS.
  2. Re-entry for umpires graded Level 5 and above who were inactive during the previous two seasons will be at Level 4 unless special application is sought. These applications must be supported by the applicant's Local Association and will receive consideration on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Levels 5 and 6 gradings will remain current for two years (minimum) from promotion, provided the recipient remains active in umpiring.
  4. Further to Note 3) Umpires will serve two years minimum in Grades 4 to 6 inclusive before being considered for promotion. Earlier promotion shall apply only in exceptional circumstances. In addition promotion to Level 5 and 6 by way of meritorious service may be approved by the NUS.
  5. Umpires Level 4 and above should complete the Annual Rules Test (Refresher). Answer sheets are not required to be returned to the Rules Examiner.
  6. SNZ will continue to make available an opportunity to attend approved ISF International Certification Clinics between ISF Oceania Regional Clinics. The following policy will apply:
    A candidate must have the prior approval of the UIC and SNZ before applying to attend any such clinic. They must have previously attended an ISF clinic and attained a minimum mark of 88% or above. They must be actively umpiring at senior level for the two seasons preceding the clinic.
  7. All holders of ISF certification and active in the umpiring programme will be graded as Level 7. Umpires not available for ISF appointments will be graded Level 7 “R” (see note 1 above). Umpires who are not available for ISF appointments but fully active in the umpiring programme be will be graded Level 7 “A”.
  8. The Practical Evaluation Performance Rating form shall be used when undertaking umpire field evaluations.

Evaluations for promotion to Levels 3 and 4 - The evaluator shall discuss the content and advise of the result of their evaluation with each candidate separately preferably at a convenient time towards the end of the tournament. A copy of the evaluation shall be given to the candidate with an electronic copy included with the TCU’s Tournament Report. For successful candidates a Grading Certificate and /or badge will be presented at that tournament.

Evaluations for promotion to Levels 5 and 6 - The evaluators shall discuss the content of their evaluation with each candidate separately preferably at a convenient time towards the end of the tournament. A copy of the evaluation may be given to the candidate. An electronic copy along with the evaluators grading recommendation shall be included with the TCU’s Tournament Report. Each grading recommendation be reviewed by the NUS at their next meeting Grading promotions will then be advised.

The following is the recommended pass mark for each grading Level.
  • Level 360%.
  • Level 4:  70%.
  • Level 5:  75%.
  • Level 6:  80%.