How To Become A Badminton Umpire – A Complete Guide

Umpires are technical officials that maintain the integrity of the sport and ensure that the game is played to a set of predefined rules and regulations. This career is especially for those individuals who can make judgments and take quick decisions during the course of a badminton match. Moreover, umpires need to be people-friendly and should be comfortable working in a team along with other umpires and referees.

If you want to become a Badminton Umpire and don’t have any idea about the process and guidelines, then this article is a must-read for you. 

How to become a badminton Umpire?

The first step in becoming a badminton umpire is to achieve the training at the local level and seek additional training with regional and national associations. After doing this, you need to prepare for an assessment to become an accredited umpire. This can be done after you complete the training course.

Moreover, before becoming an international umpire, you need to achieve the highest national qualification. Go through your respective national and regional websites to find out more information as it is different for different countries. 

What is the role of an umpire?

The umpire has the authority of a particular match and is in charge of the court and he/she ensures that the match is conducted according to the formulated rules and laws. The umpire makes decisions on player faults or lets. Moreover, the umpire takes into record any incidents of misconduct and reports it to the referee.

The umpire’s jurisdiction starts from when the players enter the court and ends when the players leave the court. Notably, the umpire reports to and acts under the authority of the referee. 

What are the levels of BWF umpires?

The Badminton World Federation has predominantly two levels of umpires-

  • BWF Accredited
  • BWF Certified- the highest level of umpiring

How to become a BWF Certified Umpire?

The National Badminton Federations train, develop, and assess umpires to the highest national level for the top national tournaments. Later, the umpires who are at a sufficient level and experience may then be assessed to become accredited or certified at the continental level.

The training and development and assessment of the selected umpires are further provided at the continental level. Moreover, the BWF and Continental federations can run umpire training courses and seminars to ensure the umpires have the requisite knowledge to officiate at the highest international levels. 

The BWF umpire accessors are responsible for the assessment and appraisal of umpires to BWF Accredited and Certified levels. They also help to lead the respective education and mentoring programs of these umpires. The instruction manual for both BWF umpires is available on the BWF official website. 

How are umpires selected?

The process of selecting an umpire may vary slightly for different national associations. However, to become an umpire, you should be familiar with all the laws of badminton including, toss, service, scoring, players, and penalties. 

Try and explore by umpiring at the local level and join the national badminton association of your country (for example, in India it is the Badminton Association of India). Train at the local level, and then attend an educational course with a regional or nationally recognized association to officiate at those levels. Prepare for the assessment to become an accredited umpire after you have completed the training course. 

To become a BWF certified umpire, the individual must be nominated from his/her particular association. For this, compile your entire record of work and submit it to your accrediting association. To pass the umpiring test, try umpiring a couple of matches at the club level and regional level. Record the entire match and identify your mistakes and try to rectify them in your next matches. 

For additional practice, you can make use of the badminton umpire panel to identify the precise vocabulary and notations. 

What equipment and uniform are needed to become an Umpire? 

An umpire needs to be properly dressed according to the BWF Code of conduct. Sometimes, the equipment and uniform may be provided to you by the organizers and otherwise, you will need to buy it yourself. A few types of equipment and uniform prerequisites required for an umpire are- 

  • Umpire Shirt- For higher levels, you usually need to buy it yourself or a specialized shirt/sweatshirt can be provided to you.
  • Black Trousers- Well, this should be of no problem as most of the individuals own black trousers themselves. 
  • Black socks- Again a basic color which is easily available to everyone. 
  • Black shoes- Well, remember to wear a clean pair of black shoes to maintain the integrity of the sport. Moreover, you can purchase a pair of black shoes totally dedicated to the umpiring purpose. 
  • Coin- A coin is used during the toss before a match. Any coin will do but most umpires prefer a specialized coin for better clarity when dealing with non-native speakers. The simplest type of coins is with colors as colors are understood by anyone from any country. 
  • Red, yellow, and black cards: Like other sports, badminton also includes a set of penalty cards which are shown to players during a match for several reasons. As an umpire, you will need to have all three cards with you before a particular match starts. 
  • Stopwatch: A stopwatch will be used to measure the time intervals and interruption lengths during a match. 
  • Clipboard: This is used to hold the score sheets. However, it will not be required if an electronic scoring system is provided. 
  • A 2-meter stick: This is used to measure the net height. 

Rules and Regulations

To be an Umpire, you need to follow a strict code of conduct laid down by the BWF. Moreover, you need to keep yourself updated with all the new changes and innovations in equipment. Also, if you remain inactive for a period of 2 years, you will be removed from your association. Notably, it is the umpire’s duty to make sure that the court meets regulation standards. 

What are the salary prospects for a badminton umpire? 

In India, the salary for an established umpire ranges from 75,000 to 1,00,000 per match. Meanwhile, in the UK or Australia, Umpires get roughly £2700 per match. Like this, the salary differs in different countries. 

Can a badminton coach become an Umpire?

Definitely yes, a badminton coach can become an Umpire once he/she has completed all the training and experience required to become an Umpire. 

What are the benefits and limitations to becoming a badminton umpire? 


There are many benefits to becoming an umpire. Some of them are-

  • A lot of travel with a chance to visit new cities and countries. 
  • The job keeps you fit and healthy
  • You get to watch your favorite sport right in front of your eyes.


With advantages, umpires are subject to a few limitations as well. 

  • Lonely travel 
  • Stress due to fast and heavy decision making.
  • Sometimes, umpires are subject to verbal and physical abuse when their decision is not accepted by fans and players. 

Final Thoughts 

The competition gets tough at the higher level for an Umpire as the badminton industry has seen a rapid rise in terms of development and viewership over the years.

However, it is a good career option overall and best for people who look into other part-time jobs along with being an Umpire. Therefore, dedicate yourself to the sport, connect with your association officials, and become involved with umpiring at all levels as much as you can. 

At the highest level, the continental federations recommend umpires as per the quota recommended by the Federation. The nominations are listed in an order of priority which is then consulted with the referees. The sports committee finalizes the list which is then approved by the BWF. Finally, the federation issues an invitation to only those who have been approved. 

Keep learning, practicing, and stay updated with your association and worldwide reforms to successfully become a badminton Umpire. 


Anushree Burad

Qualified as an MBA in Sports Management. A Sports fanatic and a passionate badminton player. My passion for sports drove me to foray into sports writing. This is my attempt at translating my thoughts into words. Looking forward to contributing to Sports through my writing.

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