Become a Referee

By becoming a USRowing referee, you will be able to directly support athletes by assuring that they have a “safe and fair” field of play. Without a doubt, referees experience the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” from the best seat in the house. Becoming a referee is not complicated but does require a few simple steps. While any licensed USRowing referee can help you with the process, you should start by contacting the USRowing Referee Regional/District Coordinator in your region or the Director of Referee Programs at USRowing.

Let’s Get Started!

Step One – Applications

  • Complete this Candidate Application and submit to USRowing
  • Complete the NCSI Background Check. You will need to copy and paste this Self Registration Number: 71712499 to complete the background check.
  • Once these two steps are completed, you will receive a complimentary one-year referee membership to USRowing and a USRowing Candidate Referee number.

Step Two – Register for the Online Training Program

Additional Information and Resources

Step Three – Observations

  • Print out the Referee Candidate Card
  • Sign your USRowing Waiver
  • Contact your Regional Coordinator to schedule time to attend one or more USRowing registered sprint regattas with a USRowing official to complete your referee position observations including Start Marshal, Chief Judge, Starter, Referee at Start, Referee and Control Commission/Dock Master.

Step Four – Assistant Referee Licensing Exam


  • Complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport Training Program
  • Take the Assistant Referee Licensing Exam
    • Contact your Regional/District Coordinator for approval to take the Assistant Referee Licensing Exam.
    • Your coordinator will provide an email address allowing you access to register for the exam.
    • The exam is open book. You may use the training material provided in the Online Training Program and the USRowing Rules of Rowing.
  •  To provide feedback on the experience or process please email comments and suggestions to



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