Getting an umpire’s license

In the USA, umpires are classified this way.

      Grade 0 - international
      Grade 1 - national
      Grade 2 - regional
      Grade 3 - club

In New Zealand, umpires are classified this way.

      Grade 1 - Club Umpire
      Grade 2 - Regional Umpire
      Grade 3 - National Umpire
      Grade 4 - Confederation Umpire (FIPJP exam) 
      Grade 5 - International Umpire (FIPJP exam)

The international umpires comprise the Umpires Committee of the FIPJP, the committee in charge of writing and modifying the official FIPJP rules of play.

Mike Pegg, of the English Petanque Association, is the only international umpire who is a native speaker of English.

Licenses for club, regional, and national umpires are granted by national federations. Typical requirements are that you must have been a national federation member for a certain number of years, have been nominated by your local club, and have passed some sort of examination. Each country has its own procedures, so you need to consult your country’s national federation for information on its procedures. That would mean consulting the FPUSA in the United States, the FFPJP in France, and so on. In Canada, it probably means Fédération de Pétanque du Québec. You might be interested in this post about seeking an FPUSA umpire’s license.

The FIPJP grants international umpire licenses — at most two licenses per year from each national federation. Candidates must be 60 years of age or younger.

It seems that European players must be licensed by the CEP (Confédération Européenne de Pétanque) before seeking an international umpire’s license from the FIPJP. Mike Pegg, an international umpire based in the UK, has a Facebook page called “Ask the Umpire”. On April 22, 2013 he put up this post.


The CEP (European) Board are putting into place an exam leading to a diploma for umpires. This is to bring us (the CEP) in line with the FIPJP plans for umpires.

The first of the exams, which will be held every other year, will take place this year (2013) at the European Championship for Men in Rome.

It will be necessary for a candidate to take and pass the CEP exam before they can move on to take the International (FIPJP) exam.

The FIPJP have an age limit of 60 years and a maximum number of 2 candidates per year per national federation.

The CEP will have the same max number but the max age will be 50 years.

For more information, see

There are a number of useful resources (although some are 5 or more years old) available via links on the New Zeland Petanque web site. You may find the following especially useful.


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