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Referee License Information

Candidate Requirements

If you are interested in becoming a USRowing Referee, please contact your regional representative to get started.

To become licensed as an Assistant Referee, a Candidate needs to:

  • Be a USRowing member.
  • Successfully Complete SafeSport Training and a Background Check.
  • Attend a Referee clinic covering the Rules of Rowing.
  • Be at least 21 years of age, or a college senior and a participant in an intercollegiate rowing program.
  • Have normal sight, hearing, and mobility, sufficient to sustain routine activities.
  • Show proof of the ability to swim 200 yards.
  • Observe the following positions to understand their roles and responsibilities: Marshal, Chief Referee, Starter, Referee at Start, Referee and Dockmaster.
  • Pass the Assistant Referee exam, a written test covering the Rules of Rowing, after meeting the above requirements.

Assistant Referee Requirements

To become a fully licensed Referee, an Assistant Referee must:

  • Be a USRowing member.
  • Successfully Complete SafeSport Training and a Background Check.
  • Attend a clinic every year.
  • Work a minimum of four regatta days per year.
  • Be exposed to the following positions for the minimum number of times indicated and complete an evaluation form each time: Marshal - 2, Referee at Start - 5, Starter - 5, Chief Judge - 5, Referee - 10, and Control Commission - 2.
  • Work for a minimum of 14 regattas before sitting for the Referee exam. Minimally, 12 must be sprint races and two must be head races.
  • Work two National Standard Regattas.
  • Work at a minimum of four different race courses. It is recommended that one of these be out of the Assistant Referee’s home region.
  • Pass the Referee exam after meeting the above requirements and 24 to 48 months after passing the Assistant Referee exam. The exam has both practical and written parts and is conducted by a three-person panel.

Referee Requirements

To maintain a license once earned, a Referee must:

  • Be a USRowing member.
  • Successfully Complete SafeSport Training and a Background Check.
  • Attend a clinic every year.
  • Work a minimum of four regatta days per year.
  • Officiate at a minimum of four different race courses within any two-year period. It is recommended that one of these be out of the Referee’s home region.
  • Officiate at a minimum of one National Standard Regatta every other year.
  • Participate in a biannual evaluation program conducted by a clinician. The objective of this evaluation is to provide feedback regarding strengths and weaknesses including ideas for continued education and improvement.
  • Participate in a re-certification exam every four years.
  • Submit a Referee Data form to the Referee Vice-Chair every year.