PCO 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.

Pickleball Canada has defined a 3 tier referee system

There are three recognized levels in the PCO Officiating Program

Level 1 Referee

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 Referee

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.

PCO Certified Referee

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.

Where to start and how to get there

Any individual previously trained and qualified as either a PCO Scorekeeper or a PCO Associate Referee will be required to re-enter the PCO Referee at the very base. The current standards for PCO Level 1 Referee are new and the PCO Level 2 Referee standard has been upgraded. Combine that with the passage of time and the introduction of numerous rule changes, a significant review and refresh will be required. Relevant retained knowledge, practices and confidence will be taken into account during this upgrading process.

The upgrade process should include:

  • A review and verification by online tests of PCO/IFP Rulebook knowledge. The review portion may be self driven.
  • Attending an in class presentation Officiating Best Practices. Verification by successful completion of the Officiating Best Practices online test will be required.
  • All test marks to be to the Level 1 Referee and Level 2 Referee standards, as appropriate.
  • Additional on court training or review may be required
  • Finally vetting by Level 2 or higher qualified personnel

For individuals just starting to learn the art and craft of refereeing the following chart details: prerequisites, education, training, experience expectations, the vetting processes and the ongoing follow up one must adhere to not only remain current with all rules and practices but also to retain their rating or Certification.

PCO Officiating Program Level Criteria Chart

  Level 1 Referee Level 2 Referee Certified Referee
 Prerequisites Current PCO Membership Current PCO Membership Current PCO Membership
General knowledge of pickleball  One year after the date of being rated as a Level 1 Referee and having completed at least 15 tournament matches  Two years after the date of being rated as a Level 2 Referee and having completed at least 80 tournament matches
Jurisdiction *1 All tournaments, non medal matches, no line judges All tournaments including medal matches, as determined by the Head Official or Tournament Director. All tournaments,  All situations
 
Supervision *2 Discussion with Head Official or Tournament Director prior to every match 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 *3
PCO/IFP Rulebook Self Study Self Study Self Study
PCO Referee Handbook Self Study Self Study Self Study
PCO Best Practice Power Point Slides Classroom session recommended Self Study Self Study
PCO Referee Rules Test  Achieve 80 %  Achieve 90 % Achieve 90 %
PCO Best Practices Test  Achieve 80 %  Achieve 90 % Achieve 90 %
PCO Line Judge Test  Achieve 90 %  Achieve 90 % Achieve 90 %
 Additional Activity Required  On court training/practice minimum 4 games *4  Monitored practice minimum 3 games Referee Evaluation Completed
Ongoing mentoring  Level 2 Trainer or Mentor  Level 2 Trainer or Mentor Certified Referee
 Game Experience Prior to Vetting
Doubles 10 20 80
Stacked 2 5 10
With Line Judges   3 5
 Vetting / Evaluation
Observed Games 3 3 3
Vetting By *5 Level 2 Trainer or Certified Referee Trainer Level 2 Trainer or Certified Referee Trainer Certified Referee Evaluator
Recognition Red neck wallet & ID card Red neck wallet & ID card Red neck wallet, ID card & Referee T-shirt
 Before Every Tournament – review or retake *6
PCO/IFP Rulebook Recommended Recommended Recommended
PCO Referee Handbook Recommended Recommended Recommended
PCO Best Practice Power Point Slides Recommended Recommended Recommended
PCO Referee Rules Test Recommended Recommended Recommended
PCO Best Practices Test Recommended Recommended Recommended
PCO Line Judge Test Recommended Recommended Recommended
 Maintenance Qualifications
 Every 6 Months – provide evidence *7
PCO/IFP Rulebook Self Study Self Study Self Study
PCO Referee Handbook Self Study Self Study Self Study
PCO Best Practice Power Point Slides Self Study Self Study Self Study
PCO Referee Rules Test Achieve 80 % Achieve 90 % Achieve 90 %
PCO Best Practices Test Achieve 80 % Achieve 90 % Achieve 90 %
PCO Line Judge Test Achieve 90 % Achieve 90 % Achieve 90 %
Minimum Matches per Annum *8  10  10  20
Attend Rules Update Briefing  Annually  Annually  Annually

Notes

1Tournament Director or Head Referee may increase depending on circumstances
2Designed to instill confidence, uniform approach and methods
3Take and show evidence of online tests. This evidence will be recorded by PCO.
4On court training a necessity for Level 1 participants and should follow the classroom session ASAP.
5PCO Referee Rating Form to be followed. Copy available online.
6To be current and fresh, a review prior to each tournament is recommended.
7Results will be submitted for inclusion in the PCO database.
8If insufficient sanctioned matches are officiated, additional refreshing and a re-evaluation may be required.