Why Umpiring is the PERFECT side hustle for 2023

What is Umpiring?

Umpiring is the art of refereeing a baseball, softball or slo-pitch game, either in amateur or professional sports. This role of an umpire is important in ensuring fair play and providing safety to players during each and every game.

Umpiring is a great side hustle for those looking to supplement their income, as it provides an opportunity to earn good money and develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the sport you love. It also offers flexible scheduling and provides a way to stay physically active and meet new people on the diamond.

Why should you become an umpire?

Well for starters, you already love the sport. If you’re a fan of baseball, softball or slo-pitch, why not get more involved with the game?

Umpiring allows you to gain a better understanding of the rules, refine your own game, and even earn some extra cash.

You’ll get to spend time outdoors watching baseball, and if you are dedicated to learning the art of umpiring, you may even have the opportunity to ump some of the biggest year-end tournaments with action-packed games!

What Makes Umpiring the PERFECT Side Job?

Here’s our Top 7 List of reasons why Umpiring is the perfect side hustle for 2023, and for years to come!

Check out some of the biggest benefits of umpiring, and get started on your Umpire Certification as soon as today.

1. Low Start-Up Cost

Umpiring requires very few pieces of equipment.

All you really need to get started is a uniform shirt and hat, usually supplied by your Umpire in Chief, and a clicker to keep the count during games. Of course if you’re umpiring in the summer, don’t forget your sunscreen!

Since the initial investment for your umpire gear is minimal, it’s easy to get started making money right away as an umpire.

Need to purchase an umpire shirt and hat? Visit the SPN Umpire Store for all the gear you’ll need.

2. Flexible Scheduling

Umpiring is a highly flexible side hustle, as it doesn't require a full-time commitment and can be done on evenings, weekends, or holidays.

This makes umpiring the ideal job for those who are just looking for an extra source of income, or those with other commitments (like your own baseball games to play!).

As an umpire, you can take on games as they come up and fit them into your schedule when you have free time.

Since you get to decide which games you are available for, all you have to do is let your Umpire in Chief know when to book you. You can decide how much or how little you’d like to work during the baseball season, and get the change to earn extra money without having to commit to a regular job.

Whether you are a full-time student, a part-time worker, retired, or a stay-at-home parent, you can fit umpiring into your schedule. The flexibility of umpiring gives you the rare opportunity to make money while doing something you love.

3. Easy to Get Started

To get started as an umpire, you only have to pass 1 test - the Umpire Exam. The quiz takes just a few minutes, and you get to retry until you get a passing grade.

You can take advantage of online resources and training courses available to help those new to umpiring get up to speed quickly, and you’ll be able to run your own baseball games in no time.

Once you’ve passed the test, you’ll receive your own Umpire Certification to officiate league or tournament games, like those governed by Slo-Pitch National (SPN).

4. Learn on the Job & Develop Your Skills

Umpiring is a great way to develop your knowledge of the sport, and will help you learn how to run games effectively & efficiently.

As you umpire, you will learn and become more confident in calling balls, strikes and outs accurately, as well as more familiar with the rules of the game. With just a bit of practice, you’ll refine your ability to make quick decisions under pressure and remain impartial when making calls.

Plus, since you are always on the diamond you may even become a better player with the knowledge you are gaining as an umpire. It’s beneficial to be able to see and understand as a player what an umpire’s experience is like during an average game.

It’s important to be confident during each game, especially with teams that may second guess your calls.

Although it can be hard when you are starting out, the only way to get better is to keep making the right calls! Teams will respect your decisions, and may even request that you umpire their future games.

With practice and experience, you will become more confident and accurate in your decision making, and well on your way to establishing yourself as a trustworthy and hardworking umpire.

5. Great Pay

Umpiring is a great way to make some extra money on the side, and you can earn even better pay by improving your skills and working your way up to umpiring tournaments and competitive events.

Being an umpire is the ideal job for anyone interested in softball, no matter your age.

Whether you are recently retired and want to make some extra money, or a student who plays softball and want to umpire as a way to subsidize your own tournament and league fees, umpiring is a solid career choice.

While the exact rate of pay depends on the level of competition you are officiating (i.e. amateur vs. professional), umpires can generally expect to earn decent wages for their work.

Potential to Cover League and Tournament Fees

Umpiring is also a fun way to subsidize your own league and tournament fees. As an umpire, you can work games as they come up and earn money that can be used to pay for your own team's league and tournament fees!

Potential to Receive Bonuses

As your skills and experience grow, you may have the opportunity to umpire larger, more prestigious tournaments and events, which may have the potential to earn you even more money.

Additionally, umpiring can also provide a chance to develop relationships with teams and organizations, which could lead to further opportunities to make money in the future.

Once you have proven your skills as an umpire, you’ll be given plenty of opportunities to officiate higher-paying events like tournaments and even indoor winter leagues.

6. Network & Make New Friends

Umpiring is also a way to meet new people and make friends. You’ll get to know the players you are working with, the coaches, and the other umpires.

By making connections with people in the softball community, you can create relationships that could lead to more opportunities for umpiring and other related jobs in the future.

Even if you’ve been a fan of the sport for years, but have never played, umpiring may be just the thing you need to get started. You’ll get the chance to meet and talk to dozens of teams and coaches, and you can get comfortable on the diamond before your first game.

Just make sure you read up on the rules first, as many leagues have different rule sets and game times that they follow.

7. Get Outside & Stay Active

If you have retired, or are not able to play slo-pitch anymore, umpiring is a great way to ease yourself back in to the sport and still enjoy and be involved in the game.

Umpiring is a great way to keep your body active and fit. You'll be running up and down the base lines with each play so it’ll be easy to stay in shape.

Plus, umpiring will help to build your stamina and agility, making it the perfect physical activity to engage in while making money.

A large majority of softball players also play year round, even in the winter! This means that you can umpire all throughout the year, and stay comfortable and warm while umpiring indoor dome games during the winter.

Not only are there leagues that play throughout the winter season, but most weekends there are tournaments hosted in different areas, so you have the opportunity to earn even more.


All in all, Umpiring is the perfect side hustle for 2023. It provides a flexible schedule, requires minimal start up cost and is a way to stay active and meet new people - all while developing your skills and knowledge of the sport.

It’s a great way to make money while doing something you love.

If you’re interested in umpiring, you may also be interested in convening future softball events where you can hire your own umpires!