Officiating Program


The primary objectives of the Pickleball Canada Officiating Program are:
  • to provide a development and training environment for individuals wishing to become pickleball game officials, and
  • to maintain a high level of officiating.

The Officiating Program consists of the following:

Support Material [PCO members only]

Officiating Levels

There are three recognized levels in the PCO Officiating Program

Level 1 Official

Level 1 is designed to give individuals adequate education, practice and vetting to be confident to officiate tournament matches up to certain levels

Level 2 Official

Additional experience and higher compliance rates will be expected and verified through a more stringent vetting process. Fewer match type restrictions and less supervision will apply. This stage may be the ‘destination’ for many individuals wishing to officiate pickleball matches.

Level 3 Official

Level 3 Officials are also known as PCO Certified Referees. This stage will be achieved through more stringent practice conditions, rules and best practices compliance and vetting. Match restrictions and supervision needs are virtually eliminated.
The specific criteria for each level are outlined as follows.
 Officials Level Criteria Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
 Requisites  Current PCO Membership  Current PCO Membership  Current PCO Membership
 General knowledge of pickleball  Six months as Level 1, with 15
 tournament matches
 Two years as Level 2, with 30
 tournament matches
 Jurisdiction*1  All tournaments, non
 medal matches, non stacked,
 no line judges
 All tournaments including
 medal matches without
 line judges
 All tournaments
 All situations

 Supervision *2  Conversation with Head 
 Official or Tournament
 Director prior to every 
 Guidance from Head 
 Official or Tournament
 Director at beginning of
 each day
 Discussion with Head 
 Official or Tournament
 Director at the beginning
 of each day
 Education / Training Requirements
 IFP Rules *3
 Self Study
70 % on Test 80 % on Test 90 % on Test
 Best Practices *3
 PowerPoint &
 Handbook study
70% on Test 80 % on Test 90 % on Test
 Line Judge Work*3
 PowerPoint & 
 Handbook study
    90 % on Test
 Court side Demo*4 Minimum two games Not Required Not Required
 Game Experience Prior to Vetting
 Doubles 5 10 20
 Stacked   2 5
 With Line Judges     2
 Vetting / Evaluation
 Observed Games 2 4 2
 Vetting By Level 2 Trainer Level 2 Trainer Panel of 3 Level 3s
 Before Every Tournament *5
 Retake Officials Rules Test Yes Yes Yes
 Review Officials Handbook Yes Yes Yes
 Review Best Practices PPS Yes Yes Yes
 Maintenance Qualifications
 Minimum Matches/Annum*6 5 10 20
 Every 6 Months
 Review Officials Handbook Self Study Self Study Self Study
 Review Best Practices PPS Self Study Self Study Self Study
 Retake Officials Rules Test Achieve 70 % Achieve 80 % Achieve 80 %
 Retake Best Practices Test Achieve 70 % Achieve 80 % Achieve 90 %
 Retake Line Judges Test     Achieve 90 %

 Tournament Director or Head Referee may increase depending on circumstances
 Designed to instill confidence, uniform approach and methods
 Take and show evidence of online tests. 
 Court side demonstration is a necessity for Level 1 participants and should be done as soon after the classroom session where
 Best Practices are discussed. While not required for Level 2 and Level 3 - reviews are a good practice
 To be current and fresh, a review prior to each tournament is required
 If insufficient games / matches are officiated, additional refreshing and re-evaluation may be required.