News

Referee Tier and Certification System Policy Update

USQ Referee Team announces policy updates effective July 2021.

The previous Referee Development Plan announced in March 2015 ran through the 2019-2020 season, with one update in June 2019. The Referee Team has been reevaluating USQ’s overall referee program with the primary goals of addressing the issues with certification and encouraging the development of referees, both new and existing. By combining various policy proposals and feedback from USQ volunteers and referees, the following changes to the referee certification program have been established and will become effective July 1, 2021.

USQ TIERED REFEREE CERTIFICATION

The tier certification program has been expanded to include an additional tier and the requirements for certification have been updated to continue to allow referees tier 1-4 to begin each new season as a fully certified Head Referee before passing a field test. However, all tiers of referees must follow a recertification process and become a USQ Referee Member at least 24 hours before the first event they intend on officiating. Beginning in July 2021, Tier 1 and 2 referees have a separate recertification process they may follow if they choose to do so.

Tiers will expire based on the most recent field test of the Head Referee, and there will be no more mandatory tier demotions at the end of each season. In order for a referee to move up a tier, the referee must  still pass a field test at a standard of scrutiny expected of a referee of that tier. Head Referee tiers will remain available publicly, and will go live in September.

All Head Referees are assigned a tier 1-4 immediately upon field testing. All Head Referees from the 2019-2020 season will start the season as an uncertified tier 4 Head Referee. All four tiers are eligible to officiate as Head Referees during USQ official matches. Referee evaluations are crucial in assigning and changing tiers. Tiers are subject to change throughout the season outside of the formal assessments pending performance and evaluations.

CERTIFICATION AND RECERTIFICATION

Certification Deadline: Certification requirements must be completed at least 24 hours before a scheduled event at which a referee intends to referee.

Note: All Head Referees from the 2019-2020 season will start the season as an uncertified tier 4 Head Referee.

(Re)certification and Tier System Overhaul

Tier Level

Annual Certification Process

Time Gap Between Field Tests

Current Year + (4 - Tier) = Exp Year

Seasonal Game Requirements

Tier 1

Attend a changelog seminar hosted by USQ Referee Team AND


Upgrade to a Referee Membership


OR follow the Tier 2 process

End of the 3rd calendar year after their most recent field test. Ex: If you get a field test in 2021, your field test cert lasts until 12/31/2024

Fully-certified Head Referees of all tiers must officiate at least 7 games per quidditch season (July 1 - June 30)


If, by June 30, a fully-certified Head Referee has not finished their game requirements, their field test certification expiration date will automatically change to the end of that calendar year (December 31).


To remain fully-certified, the Head Referee must get a new Field Test Certification with an updated tier designation.


This updated tier can be the same as their old tier.

Tier 2

Attend a changelog seminar hosted by a Field Test Proctor AND


Submit passing answers to Free Response Questions AND


Upgrade to a Referee Membership


OR follow the Tier 3 process

End of the 2nd calendar year after their most recent field test. Ex: If you get a field test in 2021, your field test cert lasts until 12/31/2023

Tier 3

Attend a changelog seminar hosted by a Field Test Proctor AND


Pass all three written tests or equivalent AND


Upgrade to a Referee Membership


OR follow the Tier 4 process

End of the 1st calendar year after their most recent field test. Ex: If you get a field test in 2021, your field test cert lasts until 12/31/2022

Tier 4

Complete all three written tests or equivalent AND


Upgrade to a Referee Membership

End of the same calendar year as their most recent field test. Ex: If you get a field test in 2021, your field test cert lasts until 12/31/2021

Head Referee Candidate

To become a certified referee, a referee candidate must:

Complete all three written tests or equivalent AND

Upgrade to a Referee Membership AND

Schedule, complete, and pass a Field Test

Must pass a Field Test before they can begin head refereeing

 

Assistant Referees:

  • Must pass the Assistant Referee Written Test.
  • Certified assistant referees are not required for official matches with the exception of regional championships and US Quidditch Cup.

Snitches:

Lead Assistant Referees:

Head Referee Candidates (No Tier):

  • Prerequisite: Lead assistant referee certification.
  • Must pass a field test before receiving a tier and becoming eligible to referee official games.
  • Certified Head Referees are required for all official matches.

Returning Head Referees (Tier 1-2):

     OR

  • Alternate Recertification process.
  • Register as a USQ Referee Member and/or upgrade their Player Membership.

 

Referees of Tier 1 and Tier 2 may opt into an alternate recertification process that involves a changelog seminar detailing the new information in the new rulebook. Referees who pass this alternate recertification do not need to take written referee tests. Tier 1 and 2 referees may also choose to follow the normal recertification process (Tier 3 and Tier 4 recertification).

Returning Head Referees (Tier 3-4):

The recertification process for Tier 3 and Tier 4 referees will remain similar to previous years. The referee tests no longer need to be taken in order. Candidates must not take the same test within 24 hours of failing it.

Tier Advancement: In order to move up a tier or tiers (including returning to the tier held before the mandatory tier demotion) a referee must take a field test. Based on the results of this field test and past performance, their tier will be reevaluated. A referee’s official tier will be included in their field test results.

 

FIELD TEST PROCTOR ELIGIBILITY

In order to become a field test proctor, new proctors may be required to shadow an existing proctor to ensure their effectiveness and awareness of policies and procedures. This will allow for more effective proctoring and ensure that the feedback provided in field tests is useful and productive. Existing proctors are not required to complete this process, but they are encouraged to do so if they would like to receive additional feedback on their proctoring.

At the beginning of each season, returning proctors must email referees@usquidditch.org to express interest before meeting with a member of the Referee Team for an interview and instruction on the process. Field test proctors may be any level of referee tier.

New proctors must email referees@usquidditch.org to express interest before meeting with a member of the Referee Team for an interview. If accepted, they will be paired with an existing proctor to receive additional instruction before conducting their first event of field tests under the supervision of the existing proctor. The existing proctor will provide feedback and ensure the quality of the proctor before the proctor may conduct field tests without supervision.

FIELD TEST PROCESS

The type of games on which Head Referee candidates are permitted to field test has been adjusted to ensure that all games being used for field testing are high quality and follow a standard of rules a Head Referee would be expected to uphold in an official game.

Referees who are tier 1-4 certified and are field testing for the purpose of tier evaluation may referee additional games at the event in which they are field tested. Field tests under these circumstances are permitted at USQ Regional Championships and US Quidditch Cup, but may not be available due to scheduling. For referees taking a field test at regional championships or US Quidditch Cup, the proctor will receive $20.

Head Referee Candidates who do not have a tier may only referee the game on which they are field testing and may not field test at regional championships or US Quidditch Cup.

Events with USQ official games, USQ sanctioned events, or Major League Quidditch official events are the standard for field tests. The games used for field testing at events may be either official or unofficial. Field tests for tier evaluation are permitted at USQ Regional Championships or US Quidditch Cup for referees who are currently certified, but referees should be aware that field testing may not be available due to scheduling. Referees are encouraged to field test at other events when possible.

 If the candidate is not a tier 1-4 referee, no other official games may be head-refereed by the field test candidate (except in cases of inconclusive games). If the candidate is currently certified as a tier 1-4 referee and is testing to move up a tier, they may referee other official games at the event.

INCONCLUSIVE GAMES

A referee field test candidate may only field test one time per tournament unless the game they refereed is deemed by the field test proctor to be “inconclusive.”

A game may be deemed inconclusive if it did not have enough unique scenarios to properly test the referee’s ability at the discretion of the field test proctor. A game’s status as inconclusive is based on the game itself, not the referee. A game cannot be deemed inconclusive because the referee performed poorly.

In a situation with one or more inconclusive games for a single referee, the field test proctor is only paid for the first game. The referee field test candidate is paid for all subsequent games. Any number of games may be ruled inconclusive. Tournament Directors are encouraged to schedule initial field tests for earlier in the day. However, Tournament Directors are not required to fulfill requests for additional field test slots.

If an event has multiple proctors available, subsequent tests may be run by a different proctor, assuming both proctors agree to this and the second proctor is aware that they will not be paid for the test(s).

REFEREE SEASON REQUIREMENTS

Number of Games Refereed or Proctored: Certified Head Referees are required to serve as a referee or referee proctor on at least 7 games throughout the season. If a referee wishes for a game at an unofficial event to count toward this total, they should have the tournament director submit the event and relevant scoresheets online through the USQ website OR email gameplay@usquidditch.org and CC referees@usquidditch.org with relevant information to judge the event and number of games for approval. At minimum the TD should be able to report teams competing, list of Head Referees, lead assistant referees, assistant referees, and snitch.

Referee Reviews: A certified Head Referee can request that reviewing games count for part of the required number of games for the season. The reviewer must not have been a player, coach, team staffer, or non referee official in the game (scorekeeper, timekeeper, or goal judge). The game must be viewed in person, not solely on video. The requirements are determined based on the referee’s tier at the time of the deadline. Reviews are due two weeks before the end of the season (June 30).

 

If there are any questions regarding these policies, please email referees@usquidditch.org.