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Referees' Commission Codes/Policies

Referees' Commission Policies

Update for 2022-23 Season

The following email was sent to referees on July 29, 2022:

Hi [first name],

We hope you’re enjoying your summer and taking some time to recharge your batteries ahead of what is shaping up to be another incredible fencing season.

On that note, we’re reaching out to share that the Referees’ Commission has some new policies to announce for the 2022-23 season. You can find them (and other key forms) outlined on this page and below. Please review the policies carefully.

You’re also invited to a Zoom meeting to discuss these changes, learn more about the rationale behind them and ask any questions you might have. 

The meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, Aug. 1. Find Zoom details at the end of this email.

Below you’ll read about:

  1. Referee Ratings System Change
  2. Minor Hiring Policy
  3. Referee Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics
  4. Referee Travel Policy
  5. Zoom Meeting to Discuss Changes

1. Referee Ratings System Change

The Referees’ Commission has realigned referee ratings to match requirements for local, regional and national events. Moving away from the current ratings of P for having passed exams in a particular weapon, and the 10 – 1 scale — with the lower number representing the higher level of the referee — the new rating scale is:

  • P – Passed the appropriate exams for that weapon
  • L2 – Beginning referee working at local level events
  • L1 – Referee with demonstrated competency to work higher level local events
  • R2 – Referee with demonstrated competency to work at regional level events
  • R1 – Referee with demonstrated competency to work higher levels at regional events
  • N2 – Referee with demonstrated competency to work national Level events
  • N1 – Referee with demonstrated competency to work highest level national events

Note: R1 rated referees are eligible for selection to referee at national events, depending on tournament needs.

N2 and N1 ratings will be awarded during the annual Referees’ Commission meeting.

Changes to the referee ratings system also impact eligibility criteria for Certified Referee Observers (CROs) and Certified Referee Instructors (CRIs). Under the revised system, a CRO must either be a multi-weapon referee with an N2 (or higher) in two weapons or an N1 in a single weapon and must have a minimum of an R1 in any weapon in which they are conducting referee observations. CROs may award referee ratings to an R1 level; however, must hold a rating at least one level above the rating that they are awarding in each weapon. Under the revised system, a CRI must be a multi-weapon referee with an N1 in at least two weapons and must have a minimum of an R1 in any weapon in which they are conducting referee observations. CRIs may award referee ratings to an R1 level; however, must hold a rating at least one level above the rating that they are awarding in each weapon. Additionally, CRIs may make recommendations to Domestic Assignments for R1-rated referees to begin working at national events. CRIs may also provide feedback to the Referees’ Commission nominating referees for consideration for promotion to N2. Other eligibility criteria and responsibilities for CROs and CRIs remain unchanged.

Regional event bid packages will require an N2 head referee.

There will be an automatic decay of referee ratings. If a referee has not worked to their level over the course of four full seasons, their rating will reduce by one level. (i.e., an N2 becomes an R1 if over the course of four full seasons from the awarding of the N2 rating the referee does not renew that rating) Ratings of R2, L1 and L2 will not decay. A rating of a P is good for one full season at the end of which, if the potential referee has not been observed and awarded at least an L2 rating, the individual will have to start over again with the seminar and exam process.

Notes:

  1. Please be patient while we update our website, bid packets and referee availability form with this new information. 
  2. The RC will review current referees and convert their ratings to the new ratings system before the season begins.

2. Minor Hiring Policy

The Referees’ Commission has adopted a new minor hiring policy:

Minor referees will no longer be hired for national events. Keeping in line with USOPC and U.S. Center for SafeSport guidelines in conjunction with logistic challenges, no referee will be hired for national events who is not at least 18 years of age and fully SafeSport and background check compliant as of the first date of competition for the respective tournament. This requirement applies to full-time, part-time and walk-on referees.

Referees at regional events must be at least 13 years of age on the date of the event.

This new age requirement policy does not apply to local events, and there is no age requirement to attend referee certification seminars necessary to become a certified referee.

Minimum age to referee by tournament level

Tournament Level

Minimum Age

National

18 years

Regional

13 years

Local

No minimum

 

3. Referee Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics

The Referees’ Commission has adopted a new Referee Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics for the 2022-2023 season and beyond.

The following links are to the new Referee Code of Conduct and updated Referee Code of Ethics:

4. Referee Travel Policy

For the 2022-23 national events season, USA Fencing will be partnering again with Cain Travel on our flight bookings for all tournament officials. Whenever possible, officials should book their flight tickets with Cain Travel. If you are hired for an event and have not created a profile with Cain in order to book and manage your reservations, please email nationalevents@usafencing.org to receive information on how to set up your profile.

If an official is not able to book their flight to a national tournament with Cain Travel for any reason, they MUST contact the National Office for approval to book their ticket on their own BEFORE purchasing. 

To receive approval to book your flight, please email nationalevents@usafencing.org and include a copy of the itinerary and price for the ticket you wish to book. If an official books a ticket for a flight without first receiving approval from the National Office, the flight will NOT be eligible for reimbursement after the event — no exceptions. 

5. Zoom Meeting to Discuss Changes

You’re invited to a Zoom meeting, hosted by the Referees’ Commission, to discuss these changes.

When: 8 p.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022

Zoom link and call-in info

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87440880793?pwd=TEFCNjdmU24rYVVDcDhkdXVHZnlEdz09

 

Meeting ID: 874 4088 0793

Passcode: 758426

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Meeting ID: 874 4088 0793

Passcode: 758426

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcAYbaZwuG

Referees are a vital part of our sport, and we appreciate your commitment to growing fencing and delivering incredible tournaments through the top-quality refereeing you provide. 

Sincerely,

USA Fencing and the Referees’ Commission