How do I become a referee?
Levels of Referees and Associated Events in USA JUDO
The International Judo Federation (IJF) authorizes four levels of referees:
Officials must be members of the Federation within which they reside. In the United States , that is USA JUDO. USA JUDO recognizes two sub-Federation levels of Judo referees, called Regional* and Local. Those levels have been left to the purview of Group A and Group B members of USA JUDO to define, develop and maintain.
*Notice there is an international level named 'Regional,' and a sub-National 'Regional.'
Development of National Referees within the USA by the Referee Commission includes evaluation into one of several levels of ability and experience. Those levels are:
The level of a National Referee is a matter of restricted information between the Referee Commission and the National Referees. It is not generally publicized and should not be divulged by the individual referee or any other judo agency outside the Commission. If asked, a National Referee should refer to himself or herself as a 'National Referee.'
In order to provide appropriate expertise at events of differing levels of difficulty, certain tournaments require a minimum referee level to officiate. Referees at levels below that minimum are encouraged to work such tournaments in other capacities, such as technical officials (timing, scorekeeping.) All USA JUDO National Championships require a referee to hold the N-2 level. The USA JUDO Senior National Championship requires at least N-1.
In order to provide challenge for improvement, update changes in knowledge and skill levels and assure that they are current; the Commission conducts referee evaluations at several Evaluation events and Test events each year. All National Test sites are also Evaluation sites. National Referees are expected to attend the clinic and to officiate at least one Credit, Test or Evaluation tournament per year. The evaluations are organized and supervised by Commission members assigned to these events. The evaluators may be assisted by other Commission members present, or other high ranking referees, as deemed appropriate by the assigned evaluators.
To progress from N-3 (entry level) to N-2, a National Referee must be evaluated at two or more evaluation/examination sites in a calendar year and earn an average rating no higher than 2.50.
To progress from N-2 to N-1, a National Referee must be evaluated at two or more evaluation/examination sites during a calendar year, one of which must be an N-2 level event (such as High School or Collegiate National Championship, the Junior Olympics or the Fall Classic.) In the latter case, the referee would have to earn an average rating of 1.50 or lower.
A Regional Referee who is: a) a US citizen or legal resident alien; b) past the 18 th birthday; c) a member of USA JUDO; d) holder of a judo rank of Shodan or higher, and; e) a certified Regional Referee for at least one year may take the National Referee examination at any National Test site listed below. Candidates should bring USJI card and a copy of the Regional certificate to the candidates' clinic.
The status of all National Referees is re-evaluated annually after the final evaluation event of the year. The rating given verbally after an evaluation tournament is the rating for that event and does not change a National Referee's status for that year.
A list of the National Test, Evaluation & Credit sites for 2005, and the minimum referee level approved for each site, is provided below. These sites are relatively stable from year to year, but are subject to review and re-evaluation by the Referee Commission each year or changed within the year.