USQ Update

MembershipUSQ Update

Referee Tiers and Recertification for 2016-17 Season

USQ is revising the recertification process for head referees as well as the referee tier system for the 2016-17 season.

During the 2014-15 season, USQ announced a tiered system for all referees. After a season of using the system, we are adjusting it so that it only applies to head referees.

The new tiers are:

  • Tier 1

  • Tier 2

  • Tier 3


The majority of certified head referees will start in tier 2. Those who receive excellent feedback and officiate often may qualify for tier 1 status. Those in need of improvement may qualify for tier 3 status. All three tiers of certified head referees are eligible to officiate as head referees during official matches. At USQ events, tier 3 head referees are likely to be given more lead assistant referee assignments. All tiers will be re-assessed every six months by the USQ membership department. Referee evaluations will be crucial in assigning and changing tiers. Tiers are subject to change throughout the season outside of the formal assessments, pending performance and evaluations.

While a lead assistant referees is required for each official match and paid at a rate of $10 per game in the 2016-17 season, lead assistant referee who are not certified head referees will no longer be a designated tier in the tier system. Snitch referees and assistant referees are also no longer a designated tier. Only certified lead assistant referees or certified head referees are eligible to serve in the lead assistant referee position at official matches. To become a certified lead assistant referee, individuals must pass all three written referee tests and purchase a referee membership. At USQ regional and national championships, certified head referees will be given scheduling preference for lead assignment referee assignments over those who are certified as lead assistant referee only.

USQ’s membership department will be contacting all certified head referees within the next few weeks to inform them of their new tier status.

At the start of the 2016-17 season, tier 1 head referees need to re-take the head referee written test. They do not have to complete a field test. Tier 2 head referees need to re-take the head referee written test and pass a new field test. Tier 3 head referees need to re-take all three referee written tests (head referee, snitch referee, and assistant referee) and pass a new field test.

Head referees who are selected as tier 1 this summer can continue to referee in the 2016-17 season, provided they pass their written test, regardless of tier status last season. At any point after Jan 1, 2017, they may undergo a field test to order recertify for the following season. If they pass, their certification will extend by another year, provided they also re-take the head referee written test in the 2017-18 season. Tier 1 head referees from the 2016-17 season who do not complete a field test between January-June 2017 will have to completely recertify at the start of the 2017-18 season along with tier 2 and 3 head referees.

All written referee tests for the 2016-17 season will be available next month.

As previously announced, all head referees must purchase a referee membership in order to be fully certified. Referee memberships are $50/person. Those referees who are registered adult players may pay an upgrade fee of $25 per person.

For questions about referee certification, please email Membership Director Eric Schnier at