Receiving ISF certification is a program for the elite ASA Umpire, not available to any other softball organization. Once the umpire is certified as an ISF umpire, he/she is available to umpire at World (adult or junior men's and women's) or Regional Softball Championships, including the Pan American Games and the Olympics. Certification can be achieved in fast pitch, slow pitch, or modified pitch levels.

A total of 213 U.S. umpires have been certified in this program since it began in 1978. Considering there have been nearly 100,000 registered umpires during that span of time, it is indeed an honor to hold this certification. Of that total, only 129 are active - 57 in fast pitch, 28 in slow pitch and 44 in modified pitch.

The highest assignment an umpire can receive is to umpire in the Olympics. A total of six US umpires have been selected. In 1996 (Atlanta), US umpires were Emily Alexander (Phoenix, AZ), Julie Johnson (Alexandria, IN), Kathy Straham (Nashville, IN), and Jeff Hansen (Fremont, NE). In 2000 (Sydney, Australia), the US umpires were Lisa Rudloff (Stockton, CA) and Jim Lykins (Las Vegas, NV).

To achieve this honor, an umpire must have umpired in three national championships - two of which must be in the major division of the category applying for. In fast pitch, this includes the Men's and/or Women's Major and "A" divisions, the Men's 40-Over or the Girls 18-UGold. In Slow Pitch it includes the Men's Super, Men's or Women's Major and "A" Divisions, Men's Major and "A" Industrial divisions. In Modified, it includes the Men's Major and "A" or Women's Major divisions. In whichever championship the umpire applies, he/she must have the highest possible rating. Once this has been accomplished, the umpire can apply through the ISF headquarters to attend a five day "Certification" Seminar, which includes evaluations in live competition, evaluations on plate mechanics calling balls and strikes, evaluations on responding to mechanic and case plays, and being taught the difference in ASA and ISF Rules and passing a written exam on the rules.

For those who qualify, applications are available from the national office or from the ISF World Headquarters and Training Center at 1900 South Park Road, Plant City, FL 33566. Telephone (813) 707-7204 or E-Mail:





Name Hometown Year
Michael Moore - Slow Pitch Waterloo, IA 1997
Tom Topping - Modified Pitch Coralville, IA 1996