Becoming a Judge

Judges are a key part of tournament staff. Judges are needed to conduct fair, efficient and effective events. Think of judges as tournament facilitators and less as rules punishers.

Becoming a USAA judge is great way for archer’s friends and family, especially parents; to participant and help support their archer and the sport. Many JOAD parents find judging to be a great way to be close to the action. Many retired archers become judges.

To get started:

Age 18 and be a member of USAA for at least one year (or otherwise show reasonable familiarity with USAA tournaments and target archery).
Complete the USAA judge candidate application form, brief test to show rudimentary familiarity with the FITA rule books and submit with the application and fee. Soon applicants receive a guide book and judges shirt.

Most begin judging by shadowing a more experienced official. A magnifying glass is the first essential tool to acquire along with a red pen and perhaps a whistle and a stop watch. The best way to learn is to judge events. Most opportunities present themselves as club, local and state tourneys. Events often “pay officials” which is a nice way to be paid to stay busy.

Judge seminars are offered from time to time to teach proper technique. With more judging comes the collection of more equipment; your own rule book, bow scale, calipers, extra judge shirts, red and yellow cards…

USAA judges are asked to keep their contact information current and complete regularly distributed case studies. Judges are also invited to sign up to officiate national events where the USAA provides a per diem funding to officiate. Judging a national event is a great way to learn from more experienced judges.

Judge advancement takes place as experience is gained along with passage of a series of tests. Levels are; Judge candidate, Regional judge, National judge, Continental judge, International judge candidate, International judge. Continental and international judges are invited to take part in various international events including, world ranking, continental, world cups and world championships, Pan Am and Olympic games.

Judges often become tournament organizers. Judges are also ideal tournament jury of appeal members.

Target archers need tournaments to compete. Tournaments need judges to conduct meaningful events. Helping to conduct a quality event helps to make what the archers do important.