How to Become a Certified Badminton Umpire

Written by keith olsen
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How to Become a Certified Badminton Umpire
Becoming a certified badminton umpire starts at the local level. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

The origin of badminton goes back over 2,000 years. "Battledore and Shuttlecock," as the game was known in 17th century England and other European countries, was a forerunner of the 19th Century Indian game called "Poon." Modern badminton is a world sport, organised locally in over a hundred countries through hundreds of badminton associations. The United Kingdom alone has 36 associations and 74 recognised clubs. If you have an interest in badminton officiating, you can get your initial training at the local level, then seek additional training with regional or national associations.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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    Selection of Certified Umpires

  1. 1

    Familiarise yourself with the latest Laws of Badminton as approved at the Badminton World Federation Annual General Meeting of May 15, 2010. An umpire is responsible for understanding the laws of the sport and interpreting them to the referee during competition. In order to be an umpire, you should be familiar with all regulations regarding the game, including court and court equipment, the toss, scoring, player misconduct, and penalties.

  2. 2

    Explore the local badminton scene and join the national badminton association for your country. USA Badminton, for example, has listings of local clubs you can join. The process for becoming an umpire may vary slightly for one association to the next, but the general process is the same everywhere. You must gain your initial training at the local level, then attend an educational course with a regional or nationally recognised association in order to officiate at those levels.

  3. 3

    Seek an assessment to become an accredited umpire after you have completed the training course. In the UK, for example, you must be accredited by the Badminton Umpires Association of England. After twenty-four months before you can apply for assessment to become a certified umpire. The Badminton World Federation is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the sport of badminton's world governing body. The federation organises the Thomas Cup and other major world tournaments. The federation has two levels of umpires: a Badminton World Federation Certificated Umpire and a Badminton World Federation Accredited Umpire. In order to become a certified umpire, an individual has to be nominated.

  4. 4

    Compile and record your "Record of Work" that details where you have umpired during the year and submit it to your accrediting association. Competition for umpires is stiff at the higher levels. The number of Badminton World Federation major events, for example, is determined by the Sport Committee and Council, and selection of certified umpires for federation events follows a nomination process. The Badminton World Federation Office and Sport Committee Chair come to an agreement on the number of umpires that will be selected for each event. The final selection is based on the competition format and additional factors, including financial resources.

  5. 5

    Dedicate yourself to the sport, connect with association officials, and become involved in organizational matters at every level in which you officiate. Beyond the local clubs, the competition for selection of umpires becomes stiff. At the highest level of the sport, for example, the Continental Confederations of the Badminton World Federation, which includes Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and the Pan Am Confederations, recommend umpires, and reserves, as per quotas established by the federation. Nominations are listed in an order of priority, then referees are consulted regarding the nominations. The nomination list is finalised by the Sport Committee, then approved by the Badminton World Federation Council. Finally, the federation issues invitations to those who have been approved.

Tips and warnings

  • Pay special attention to regulations involving changes and innovations in equipment.
  • It is the umpires duty to make sure the court meets regulation standards.
  • Badminton Europe has an age limit of 55 for umpire assessment and the Badminton World Federation will not assess an umpire over age 50.
  • Badminton World Federation technical officials, including umpires, are bound by a strict code of conduct.
  • If you have been inactive for 2 consecutive years in an association, you will be removed from the list of umpires.

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