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Referee Development

Description of requirements and resources for a referee development.

Referee Assessments

  • A Referee Assessment can take place at a sanctioned event that is suitable:
    • A session length of 2.5 hours or more.
    • A variety of events in all 4 strokes offered. A session that includes mainly distance freestyle events does not provide adequate experience for the developing referee to refine their skills. 
    • Mentored by a Level 5
  • Level 2 Developing Referee official must be undert he guidance of a Level 4 or 5 official when in the referee position
  • Level 3 Referee officials may continue with mentoring (using the assessment form as a tool for their development).
    • A reminder that these mentoring sessions can be done with a Level 4 or 5 official.


By the time a candidate has completed the requirements for either Level 2 Developing Referee or Level 3 Referee, the motivation to continue should come primarily from the candidate. The focus should be directed to self‐improvement through travel afield in the region and the province, and should also be active in providing more help to upcoming officials at the local club.

It is important that the candidate gain as much experience as they can in not only referee roles, but other deck roles. They should gain experience with a number of different types of meets from one session development meets, to multi-day meets that have heats/finals. The more diversified experience the candidate gains as a referee and continues to gain as an official in other roles on deck, will serve them positively in their development as an effective and successful Referee.

As a guide, below are the stages of development for the Referee position

  • Level 2 Developing Referee must be under the guidance of a Level 4 or 5 official
  • Shadowing: Observing another session referee to understand and learn the role. May provide some assistance but not accountable for the session. Passive function.
  • Being Mentored/Mentee: Actively co-refereeing with another referee to receive feedback and support.
  • Assigned: Actively refereeing with Competition Coordinator or mentor Level V official to provide feedback and support

The Referee Assessment Form as a Development Tool

As part of the development of a Referee, the referee assessment tool is intended to be used on an ongoing basis for Referees to assess their own competencies/skills and create a tool for discussion with the mentor Referee or Competition Coordinator who may be working with a Referee on their development.

The Referee Assessment (RA) form can be used at anytime the developing referee first begins actively refereeing. Not all sessions assigned as referee need to be a full referee assessment. A developing referee is encouraged to concentrate the feedback on specific areas such as the general briefing, stroke briefing, deck check, senior official briefing and the session (pace, handling of infraction, leadership, etc).

The mentor referee is encouraged to use the back of assessment form to provide additional details on areas that require more practice.


Protocol for briefings

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