Umpiring in Great Britain

All umpiring training and accreditation in Great Britain, which includes the EPA, SPA & WPA are now administered by the British Pétanque Umpires Board (BPUB). The elected Umpires from each associations form the BPUB executive.

To ensure that umpires throughout Great Britain are consistent in the method of recruitment, training, examination, development, and appointment.

All umpires of the 3 National Associations are automatic members of the Board (BPUB) on reaching qualification (Grade 3).

The Board shall be led by an Executive comprising:

Chairman: The Senior International umpire in Great Britain.

Members: The National Umpire of each member Association.

This Board shall:

  1. Set out recruitment, training and advancement criteria.
  2. Ensure that every umpire appointed to a National event is suitably qualified.
  3. Co-ordinate recruitment programs in each of the National Associations.
  4. Set examinations and validate results across all Associations to ensure consistency is maintained.
  5. Support each National Association with consistent, competent umpiring.
  6. Expenses incurred in the operation of the board will be met by the umpires’ home association.


  1. The Chair of this board shall report directly to the 3 Associations Executive.
  2. The National Umpires of each Association shall communicate information and rulings from this board to their own National Association umpires.

Currently, all perspective umpires need to attend a course organised by John Thatcher National of the BPUB.

Each course will consist of one day’s training which consists of a presentation on the rules, open discussions and practical sessions. On the second day there will be a short review of the previous day followed by a written and practical examination.

Existing and potential umpires need to understand that as umpires they are required to support the BPF and WPA in umpiring club, regional, national and international events. Each qualified umpire is expected to officiate at least one event in a year.

These events require the umpires to be on their feet all day with very few breaks. This is not a commitment to be taken lightly, hence the courses are demanding and require each delegate to commit mentally and physically for the duration of the course.

Day 1 Training
  1. Umpire’s code Rules
  2. Conduct of umpires: How to apply and enforce rules
  3. Duties of the umpire: Measuring

During day 1 the above topics will be covered in full in the classroom and by practical demonstration and practice.

Day 2 Exam
  1. 1 ½ hour written exam paper
  2. 30 minute oral and practical exam

These courses are open to all WPA members who have been members for a minimum of 2 years.

General Notes Regarding Umpiring Qualifications

The qualifications available to umpires in Great Britain are as follows:

  • Grade 3 (Club)
  • Grade 2 (Regional)
  • Grade 1 (National)


The International level is only achievable by taking an International exam set by the FIPJP.

Each level requires the candidate to be physically able to carry out the responsibilities of being an umpire and to sit an exam (written, practical, verbal). 
The standards required to a pass are as follows:

  • Grade 3 umpire (pass mark is 70%) the candidate is required to be a member of an Association for a minimum of 2 years and to be 60 years of age or younger.
  • Grade 2 umpire (pass mark is 80%) the candidate is required to be an active umpire (grade 3) for a minimum of 2 years.
  • Grade 1 umpire (pass mark is 90%) the candidate is required to be an active umpire (grade 2) for a minimum 2 years.

The International umpire candidate is required to have been a National umpire for a minimum of 2 years and to be 55 years of age or younger.

For a candidate to be considered for the International exam he or she must first pass an exam set by the senior GB umpire.

Once qualified the various grades are able to umpire at the following events:

  • Grade 3 umpires can only officiate at club events unless supervised by a senior umpire.
  • Grade 2 umpires can only officiate at club and regional events unless supervised by a
    senior umpire.
  • Grade 1 umpires can officiate at all events (international events require supervision by an
    international umpire).

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