Pickleball Officiating - “Are we there yet?’

An ongoing problem of running a pickleball tournament of any size is finding enough “qualified” referees.  What inevitably happens is that those players who are spectators are called upon to officiate matches.  The efforts of all of those volunteers have been greatly appreciated. Someday, the status of a pickleball referee needs to be elevated to the same level as that of referees in other competitive sports.  Are we there yet?!

The following is a suggested recommendation for training USAPA officials: 1) designate one or two people who have this same dream and are capable of training officials; 2) establish a list of potential officials within each state; 3) offer training sessions within the each state; 4) observe potential officials, offer a written test and award a rating to those who qualify as a “USAPA Picklebal Rated Official”.

The goal would be to provide USAPA rated officials for all sanctioned tournaments.  Officials would be provided with a USAPA white shirt with a logo indicating that person has completed the training and is a USAPA rated official.  The second goal would be to eventually pay a minimal fee and/or mileage to officiate USAPA sanctioned tournaments.

Are you a potential USAPA rated official?  The following checklist provides you with a few characteristics of a good official.  1) A genuine interest in the sport; 2) Confidence; 3) Good communication and interpersonal skills; 4) The ability to remain focused on the competition; 4) The ability to remain calm under pressure; and 5) The ability to maintain control of a match.  An official is a person who can be placed into a position of authority and can handle the responsibilities without being over-bearing.  As a pickleball official, you are in charge, however, it is the players who the fans have come to watch, not YOU!!

2 Responses to “Pickleball Officiating - “Are we there yet?’”

  1. Janet Razz on 22 Jan 2009 at 2:44 am #

    Very well written. MI Pickleball Players are having similar conversations in regard to ref training. May I please have your permission to post a link to this story on MI Pickleball? Thank you for promoting PICKLEBALL!

  2. Wayne Roswell on 11 Feb 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi Mary,

    I am going to use this article in the March edition of the e-pickleball news with your permission. I would also like to make sure I know to credit for the article your or Sandy or both.

    Hope you remember me from the articles you sent for our Atlantic South Blog.

    Wayne Roswell
    Chair of Communications, USAPA

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