How do I become a Credentialed Referee

December 1, 2023

Alan Thomson

This is the question that we have received a few times since publishing the last Officiating article in SCOOP, which we welcome and will continue to answer, BUT we have spent a lot of time and effort writing the Officiating documentation and supporting material for the Pickleball Canada webpages. I will go through the steps and process here so that we have it documented in one article.

Start by opening the PC webpage and click on the Officiating button, or click this link…

Open the OFFICIATING PROGRAM – OVERVIEW document. It provides the First Steps all the way through to explaining the Certification and Evaluation process!

Open the link to the OFFICIATING ORGANIZATION CHART & CONTACT INFORMATION. This will provide the email contacts for Officials in your Region who can assist you in your journey through the Officiating program.

The section dealing with REFERENCE MATERIAL includes links to all the documentation you need to start in the Referee Program. The Rules and Officiating Handbook being the two most important. Referees must know the rules inside out, and as I often explain it is difficult to teach the rules as every word in the rulebook is important. Which means that you must learn the rules through self-study and when a situation arises, review the pertinent pages, and apply them to that situation.

The Officiating Handbook is of equal importance in your Referee training experience. The Handbook contains the “Best Practices” that the Referees MUST follow and will be assessed and evaluated to when going for their Level 1 & 2 Credentials and Certification.

Hopefully at this point anyone interested and opening these pages will continue to explore the remaining documents in the Officiating pages.

It is worth mentioning that all the documents in these pages (other than the USA Pickleball Rulebook – International Edition) have been produced by the Officiating Advisory Council members. Annual changes to the rulebook then requires all documents to be checked and amended. Through continual discussions and requests USA Pickleball have now agreed to allow the use of some of their most important documents! This has come about with the inception of the Pickleball Federation of the Americas organization and the closer relationships between Canada, USA, & Mexico. I cannot stress the importance of this step forward, as it will free up considerable resources annually when Rule Changes are made. We will be making the move to using the USA Pickleball Officiating Handbook very shortly… after it has been translated into French.

Thank-you to our Pickleball Canada Pickleball Federation of the America’s (PFA) Representative, Tony Casey, Jim Price USA Pickleball Officiating Representative with PFA and USA Pickleball for this gigantic step forward. This will continue to assist Canada in meeting the high standards set for Officiating by USA Pickleball and allow us to be a part of this reciprocal program. Canada was the first Country to have recognized Certified Referees outside of the US, and again the first country to Certify their own Referees. We must continue to work together at maintaining this standard as Pickleball continues to grow and expand to other countries in the world.

Alan Thomson
PC National Leader of Officiating