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American Water Ski Association

Want To Become A Judge Or Scorer?

Here's All You Need To Know

One of the best ways to enjoy a tournament is to participate as a judge or scorer. We’re always in need of more help, and AWSA’s Judges and Scorers’ Committee and Board of Directors have revised the judges and scorers’ programs over the past few years in an effort to make it easier to obtain and maintain an official’s rating. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

I’m a slalom skier; can I obtain an official’s rating just for my event? 

Yes. Except for Pan Am (international) officials, judges and scorers can receive their official’s rating in one, two or three events.

How do I become an assistant judge or scorer?

There are several ways to become an Assistant Judge or Scorer. The “traditional” program requires an aspiring official to assist at sanctioned (Class C or higher) AWSA tournaments until an application form has been completed.  The requirements include various judging and scoring activities done under the supervision of a Regular or Senior Judge. Application forms for these programs may be obtained from the Chief Judge or Scorer at any tournament, or by contacting USA Water Ski’s Competition Department. Once the application form has been completed, the applicant simply sends it in to USA Water Ski headquarters to become an Assistant Judge or Scorer. These tasks can usually be completed in two or three tournaments, if you work hard.  Also, EP skiers can apply (without completing the application process) to headquarters for an Assistant Judge's rating in any event in which they hold a current EP.

I’ve been skiing in NSL tournaments; is there anything I can do to become a slalom judge?

A similar program has also been developed for NSL judges wanting to achieve an Assistant Slalom Judge’s rating. The application requirements are basically the same as with the “traditional” program, except that no supervision is required by a Regular or Senior Judge.  Once the application form has been completed, the applicant must pass a “take home” test and send the application form and test to USA Water Ski headquarters. Application forms for this program may be obtained from the Chief Judge or Scorer at any NSL tournament, or by contacting USA Water Ski’s Competition Department.

I have an EP rating; am I eligible to become an Assistant Judge? 

Yes. EP and Open rated skiers may receive an Assistant Judge’s rating in the event(s) in which they hold their rating by completing the top portion of the Assistant Judge’s application (or obtaining a signed, current rating card) and sending it to USA Water Ski’s Competition Department.

I have an Open rating; can I become a judge?

Yes. Open rated skiers can test to become senior judges in the event(s) in which they hold their rating, after attending a Judges and Scorers Clinic.

What do I need to do to maintain my Assistant Judge’s or Scorer’s rating? 

All you need to do is work four tournaments every two years in order to maintain your rating.  Assistant Judges and Scorers are no longer required to attend Officials Clinics in order to maintain their rating (although you must attend a clinic before applying to upgrade to Regular Judge or Scorer).

How do I make sure I get credit for working at a tournament? 

Although every effort is made to keep track of who has worked as a judge or scorer at a tournament, the best way to avoid “missed credits” is to double check the paperwork. Make sure the Chief Judge and Scorer have you (and your Membership number) properly recorded in the tournament’s Record of Officials, and make sure you have your personal official’s record completed and signed at each tournament.

I’m an Assistant Judge (or Scorer), but I mostly ski at Record tournaments; is there a way to receive credit towards my Regular official’s rating at a record tournament? 

Yes. Assistant Judges may now fill some of the shore judging positions at Class E Record Capability tournaments.  Assistant Judges and Scorers may also receive credit at a Record Capability tournament for work performed under the direct supervision of one of the event officials who is actually judging or scoring an event.  In the slalom and jumping events (and tricks event with respect to scoring only), the assistant official may initially judge the contestant’s score, subject to revision or correction by the supervising official.  In the tricks event, an Assistant Judge may work as an “extra” trick judge; immediately after each skier or event, the supervising judge reviews the Assistant Judge’s score. Assistant Scorers may also receive credit for work (under the general supervision of a Senior or Regular Scorer) at Record Capability tournaments with the Chief Judge’s approval when there are not enough Regular or Senior Scorers available.

I’m an Assistant Judge (or Scorer); what do I need to do to upgrade to Regular? 

There are two ways to complete the requirements for upgrading to Regular Judge or Scorer. The “traditional” approach involves completing various quantitative requirements (basically working at tournaments in various capacities), including attendance at an Officials’ (Judges and Scorers) Clinic. A “fast track” program is also available as an alternative route to becoming a Regular Official.  Under the “fast track” program, Assistant Judges and Scorers may apply to test (in a supervised setting) for an upgraded rating upon (1) serving as an Assistant Chief Judge (or Scorer) at 2 or more tournaments (Class C or above); (2) attending a sanctioned Judges and Scorers Clinic; and (3) submitting a resume to the Judges' and Scorers’ Committee for approval (by a majority vote) demonstrating that the applicant has adequate experience and knowledge (substantially equivalent to applicants participating in the traditional judges' and scorers’ training and evaluation programs) to properly judge or score the event(s) for which an upgrade is sought.  “Substantially equivalent” experience and knowledge may be demonstrated on a case-by-case basis such as through coaching experience or a coaches rating (e.g., a Level 3 Coaches rating), open skier’s rating, national/world record performances as a skier, etc. Once the requirements of either of these upgrading programs have been completed, the official needs to complete an open-book test.  Regular Slalom and Tricks Judges must also take a practical test involving the calling of several slalom and/or trick passes.  Information about these programs may be obtained from the Chief Judge or Scorer at any tournament, or by contacting USA Water Ski’s Competition Department.

I’ve been a Regular Judge (or Scorer) for many years; how do I get my Senior rating? 

You may test to become a Senior Judge or Scorer once you have attended an Officials’ Clinic and completed certain quantitative requirements. These quantitative requirements include work as a Chief Judge (or Scorer) as well as general participation as an event judge (or scorer), including work as an event judge (or scorer) at three or more Regional or National Championships. Once all quantitative requirements have been completed, you should contact USA Water Ski’s Competition Department to arrange to take an open-book test and practical exam. You should also review the "fast track" programs to see if you're eligible to accelerate your eligibility to upgrade your judges or scorers rating.

I’m a Regular Judge (or Scorer) and I would like to upgrade , but I haven’t been able to work at three Regionals or Nationals. Is there anything I can do?

Although officials gain valuable experience from work at important tournaments like the Regional and National Championships, under exceptional circumstances (such as pregnancy, medical problems, military duty, or temporary job assignments) a Regular Official may apply to the Judges and Scorers Committee for a one-time hardship to allow work at a Record Tournament to be counted towards one of the Regional/National Tournament credits otherwise required to upgrade.

I’ve held my official’s rating for several years, but I wasn’t able to meet all of the quantitative requirements for the last two years. Is there anything I can do? 

The Judges and Scorers Committee often grants one-time hardships to officials who are unable to complete all of their biennial requirements. A written hardship application form must be submitted to USA Water Ski headquarters before May 1 of the following year. The hardship form may be obtained by contacting USA Water Ski’s Competition Department.

My official’s rating was downgraded because I didn’t participate in any tournaments during the last few years. I would like to become active again; is there any way I can be reinstated as an official?

Yes. Officials who have been downgraded may apply within five years for reinstatement once they have attended an Official’s Clinic.  Regular and Senior Officials must also retest.

A friend of mine is a Pan Am Judge; how do I become qualified as a Pan Am Judge? 

Pan Am Judges are qualified to judge international team events in the United States and elsewhere. To become a Pan Am Judge, you need to take an additional test and practical exam under IWSF rules. If you’re interested, USA Water Ski’s Competition Department can provide you with more information.

As you can see, there are many ways to become a judge or scorer. We would love to have your help. For more information contact USA Water Ski’s Competition & Events Department at 1-800-533-2972.