There is a difference between Referee Certification and being Qualified to referee. You do not need to be certified to be a referee (at this time), except in certain sanctioned tournaments.
Referee certification culminates in the eligibility to referee sanctioned tournaments, medal matches, and (in some cases) get paid. Being qualified means you are able and willing to referee when needed, and know the basics of good refereeing (so you don’t look like a fool). Although sanctioned tournaments now require referees for every match, non-sanctioned or fun tournaments do not, though they are expected for medal matches.
Anyone can take the class to become a better referee. But for Referee Certification, the following is required:
- Be a member of USAPA
- Pass the Referee and Linesman tests
- Download and review the Referee Handbook
- Complete 4-hours of referee instruction with a USAPA-approved instructor (3 hours in classroom, 1 hour on courts). If you have also passed the tests, you will receive a Certificate of Completion at this point.
- Referee 30 matches, including at least 15 at sanctioned Be sure you keep a record of ALL matches you referee (including tournament name and date).
- Apply for certification: on-line, pay fee, schedule on-court evaluation.
The tests are taken at the USAPA website. They are free. There are three tests (Player, Linesman, and Referee) and all are recommended. They provide immediate feedback, and may be taken as many times as necessary to pass. The longest test (Referee) only takes about 25 minutes to complete. Once you pass each test, forward your results to the instructor.