Weightlifting Referees

Weightlifting Referees are classified into four categories:

1. USA Weightlifting Local (LWC) Referee. USA Weightlifting Local Referees may referee at USA Weightlifting Local Competitions.

2. USA Weightlifting National Referee. In addition to the above competitions, a USA Weightlifting National Referee may referee at USA Weightlifting National Competitions.

3. International Weightlifting Federation Category 2 Referee. In addition to the above competitions, an International Weightlifting Federation Category 2 Referee may referee at International Tournaments, Regional Games, and Continental Championships.

4.  International Weightlifting Federation Category 1 Referee.  In addition to the above competitions, an International Weightlifting Federation Category 1 Referee may referee at World Championships and the Olympic Games.  

USA Weightlifting Local (Local Weightlifting Committee) Referee 

To become a Local referee, one must:

  • Be a current USA Weightlifting member, 18 years or older. Results for those who attempt to take the clinic without a USA Weightlifting membership will not be processed.
  • If you do not pass the Referee Test, there is a 30 day waiting period.
  • Other than possible membership registration/renewal, there are no costs or fees associated with becoming a USA Weightlifting Local (Local Weightlifting Committee) Referee at this time.
  • Attend or view the USA Weightlifting LWC Referee Clinic conducted by USA Weightlifting National (or higher) Referee. The online clinic can be found at: http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Weightlifting/Referees/Referee-Clinic-Video
  • Pass the ONLINE test. Instructions on how to access the test can be found at the end of the Clinic.
  • USA Weightlifting Local Referee clinics may be arranged with USA Weightlifting National (or higher) Referee outside of a USA Weightlifting Local Competition, at a USA Weightlifting Local Competition or at a USA Weightlifting National Competition; however ALL testing must be completed online. No paper exams will be processed.
  • Upon successful completion of the above:
    • The referee who conducts and proctors the Local Weightlifting Committee referee clinic/test must send an email or fax to the National Office, specifying the date and location of the clinic, as well as the respective names, addresses and USA  weightlifting membership numbers of the people who participated in the clinic.

USA Weightlifting National Referee

To become a National Referee, one must:

  • Be a current USA Weightlifting member in good standing.
  • Officiating at 6 Competitions in previous 2 calendar years prior to application. Inclusive of at least 2 in the 12 months prior to application.
  • Additionally, officiating at least 1 nationally-run competition in the past 2 years for a total of a minimum of 7 competitions.
  • The minimum number of sessions worked is 14. This number may require additional competitions in order to qualify.
  • Submit an application to take the USA Weightlifting National Referee Test at a USA Weightlifting National Competition.
  • Pass the USA Weightlifting National Referee Test which consists of a written and practical examination.  
  • USA Weightlifting Background Check in good standing.
  • USA Weightlifting SafeSport Education in good standing.

Upon successful completion of the above:

  • The referee who conducts and proctors the referee clinic/test must send an email or fax to the National Office, specifying the date and location of the clinic, as well as the respective names, addresses and USA Weightlifting membership numbers of the people who passed the test.
  • People who pass the test, but who are not current USA Weightlifting members, will not receive the referee booklet until membership is renewed.
  • The National Office will issue a USA Weightlifting National Referee License/Card and USA Weightlifting National Referee Patch to the successful applicant. 
  • Other than possible membership renewal, there are no costs or fees associated with becoming a USA Weightlifting National Referee.

USAW Referee Test Application

IWF Category 1 Referee

To become an IWF Category 1 Referee, one must:

  • Be a current USAW member in good standing.
  • Minimum 7 years total experience (At least 2 calendar years at IWF Category 2).

    Within the 2 years (24 calendar months) to the application:
  • Minimum of 4 National Competitions, inclusive of at least 2 must be a National Junior, American Open Final and/or USA Weightlifting National Championship.
  • Total of 8 competitions, inclusive of the above 4.
  • Submit an application to take the IWF Category 1 Referee Test at a USAW National Competition (Testing for IWF Category 1 and IWF Category 2 occurs at the National Juniors, National Championship and American Open Finals only.)
  • Pass the IWF Category 1 Referee Test which consists of a written and practical examination. 
  • USA Weightlifting Background Check in good standing.
  • USA Weightlifting SafeSport Education in good standing.

Upon successful completion of the above:

  • The applicant must provide the payment for the cost for of an IWF Category 1 Referee License/Card to the USAW.  See the IWF rules for the current cost of an IWF Category 1 Referee License.
  • The USAW will forward this payment to the IWF; and obtain an IWF Category 1 Referee License for the successful applicant.  

USAW Referee Test Application

IWF Category 2 Referee

To become an IWF Category 2 Referee, one must:

  • Be a current USAW member in good standing.
  • Minimum 7 years total experience (At least 2 calendar years at IWF Category 2).

    Within the 2 years (24 calendar months) to the application:
  • Minimum of 4 National Competitions, inclusive of at least 2 must be a National Junior, American Open Final and/or USA Weightlifting National Championship.
  • Submit an application to take the IWF Category 2 Referee Test at a USAW National Competition. (Testing for IWF Category 1 and IWF Category 2 occurs at the National Juniors, National Championship and American Open Finals only.)
  • Total of 8 competitions, inclusive of the above 4. 
  • Pass the IWF Category 2 Referee Test which consists of a written and practical examination. 
  • USA Weightlifting Background Check in good standing.
  • USA Weightlifting SafeSport Education in good standing.

Upon successful completion of the above:

  • The applicant must provide the payment for the cost of an IWF Category 2 Referee License/Card to the USAW.  See the IWF rules for the current cost of an IWF Category 2 Referee License.
  • The USAW will forward this payment to the IWF; and obtain an IWF Category 2 Referee License for the successful applicant.   

USAW Referee Test Application

Validation of Referees

USA Weightlifting Local (LWC) & National Referees

A USAW Local Referee or National Referee License remains valid as long as the holder remains a current USAW member.

IWF Category 1 and IWF Category 2 Referee

An IWF Referee License must be renewed with the IWF every Olympic period (four years).  See the IWF rules for current costs and fees for the renewal of a an IWF Category 1 or IWF Category 2 Referee License.