Roller Derby Officials Certification FAQ
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- Are there any changes due to COVID? My games are expiring!
- What does it mean to be “Certified”? What does the Certification mean?
- How can I enter the Certification system?
- How do I know when to go up for Cert? What does advancement look like?
- Who should I ask to write my OOSes and evaluations?
- I referee and NSO. Should I sign up for two accounts or seek Certification as two people?
- Can I assume that further down the road there will be methods to update outdated information?
- What if I have the same name as someone else?
- How do JRDA games fit into the Certification Games Requirements?
- How is Certification handling “Legacy” Evaluations? Should I fill out Legacy evaluations for anybody?
- Can I still apply for Legacy Certification?
- What do I need to do to apply for Initial Certification?
- How much does it cost to become Certified?
- I was Certified before the shutdown. Can I apply directly for Level 1, and hope to get bumped to a higher level?
- But I worked MRDA Championships! Surely I don’t need to start out at Level 1?
- I am currently uncertified, and I’m not on the list from the prior question, but I’ve been working hard for several years. My peers and head officials think that I should be Level 2 in the new system. Can I apply for Level 2 directly?
- I just got certified at Level 1, but my review was very positive. It said I only needed a few more games at my current performance level to make it to Level 2. Do I really need to wait two years before I can apply to go up for Level 2?
- Ok, the prior items say I can either apply for Level 1 when it opens, or wait until Level 2/3 opens and apply for the higher level. Which option should I take?
- Is there support for non-native English speakers?
- Which version of the WFTDA Officiating History does Certification require?
- I’m an independent official. Who should fill out my “Skater” Overview?
- I completed some courses or tests on the old LMS (TalentLMS). Do I need to complete them again on the newer LMS?
- Are there application deadlines? Should I try hard to get all of my materials in by a certain date?
Are there any changes due to COVID? My games are expiring!
Due to COVID, we have made some adjustments to the usual rules for applying for Certification:
- Games stopped expiring on 2020-03-01. So as of that date, any games that counted still count!
- Overviews of Officiating Skill stopped expiring on 2020-01-01. So any OOS written for you since that date is still valid — they no longer expire after 90 days.
- Level 3 Certification is open with no additional requirements. Anybody qualified to apply to Level 3 is welcome to do so. We may institute additional requirements to be able to apply for Level 3 in the future.
Plus, don’t forget that watching footage on Zoom is a great quarantine activity to help your crew stay active! You can also write evaluations for old games, based on footage, for any game played in the last two years!
What does it mean to be “Certified”? What does the Certification mean?
There are two kinds of Certification:
- Recognition, which means that the Certification Committee recognizes that you have the basic understanding of how to officiate the sport, based on completion of coursework and passing tests, and
- Certification at a numeric level, which indicates proven performance:
- Level 1 indicates that you have proven performance for regulation games and games that don’t meet the WFTDA regulations
- Level 2 indicates that you have also proven yourself for sanctioned play that affects rankings but doesn’t “make or break” a team’s ability to compete on a national stage such as Playoffs or Continental Cups, and
- Level 3 indicates that you have proven yourself for high-stakes sanction play including Playoffs and Continental Cups.
How can I enter the Certification system?
Answered 2018-05-22, update 2018-11-06:
There are three ways to enter the system:
- Officials certified prior to the shutdown can apply directly for Legacy Certification via this form.
- Uncertified officials can apply for Recognition
- Uncertified officials can apply for Level 1 Certification
- A certain group of uncertified officials can apply directly for Level 2 or Level 3 Certification (when available). This group includes:
- Uncertified officials who worked WFTDA or MRDA Playoff or Championship tournaments in 2016, 2017, or 2018
- MRDA-Recognized officials who were recognized prior to 2020-01-01
- Previously certified officials who were in their “grace period” during the shutdown
How do I know when to go up for Cert? What does advancement look like?
Here is a handy flowchart!
Who should I ask to write my OOSes and evaluations?
This is answered here: How To Review An Official
I referee and NSO. Should I sign up for two accounts or seek Certification as two people?
No, you should only create one account per human being. You can use this account to apply for Certification on and off skates.
But I referee under a different name than I NSO!
You can choose an identity like, “Ref Name / NSO Name (League Affiliation).” Your identity text is up to you, but, you can only have one identity in the Certification system.
Can I assume that further down the road there will be methods to update outdated information?
Yes, you can use the Identity Change Request form.
What if I have the same name as someone else?
Your identity involves both your Derby Name and your league affiliation. If you have another official with the same name in your same league (or if you are both Independent), you can add extra context by just updating your identity. For example, you could be “Vanna Whiteboard (from San Francisco) / Independent.”
How do JRDA games fit into the Certification Games Requirements?
Answered 2018-05-22, Updated 2018-08-27
Any sanctioned JRDA game played at Level 3 can be counted as a “sanctioned” game for the purpose of Certification. Any other JRDA game played at Level 3 (including “regulation” games) should be counted as an “other” game. JRDA games played at Level 1 or Level 2 do not count towards Certification because you are officiating a fundamentally different sport. Stay tuned for updates to this as the WFTDA and JRDA organizations seek to collaborate more in the future.
How is Certification handling “Legacy” Evaluations? Should I fill out Legacy evaluations for anybody?
Answered 2018-05-22, Updated 2018-11-04, Updated 2020-11-13:
Certification no longer accepts “Legacy” evaluations (the old kind, which was a PDF that you could print to write on, or fill out on a computer). Certified officials should be evaluated using the modern evaluation system. All evaluations for games occurring within 2 years of a person’s application for Certification will be still read during the application process, regardless of whether official is currently Certified, or ever was, regardless of what level they are applying for, and regardless of whether the evaluation is modern or Legacy.
We will not accept or process legacy evaluations if you turn them in to us, but if you wish you can fill one out and share it with the Official as a way to structure your feedback. Officials should not need evaluations of any sort to attain Recognition, or to become Certified at Level 1. Certified officials should be evaluated using the modern evaluation system.
You should not fill out Legacy evaluations for Certified officials. These officials should be evaluated using the modern evaluation system.
What do I need to do to apply for Initial Certification?
Answered 2018-05-24, updated 2020-02-16:
To apply for (and potentially attain) Certification, you must:
- Create a Brand New Officiating Identity
- Complete the Risk Management course in WFTDA LMS
- Complete the Rules and Procedures course in WFTDA LMS
- Complete the Rules and Procedures test in WFTDA LMS
- Have four people Overview your Officiating Skill, no more than 90 days prior to your application date
- See How to Review an Official for a guide on who you should ask for this
- Be sure you have worked at least 10 games of any type (WFTDA, MRDA, JRDA, etc.) in the 12 months prior to your application date
- Fill out the Application for Initial Certification form.
How much does it cost to become Certified?
Currently it costs $30 to purchase a login to the WFTDA Learning Management System (LMS). One single fee provides access to everything an official needs to apply for Certification at any level, including Legacy Certification, both on and off skates.
I was Certified before the shutdown but did not attain Legacy Certification. How can I get Certified again?
Answered 2018-05-22, Updated 2019-08-29:
Officials who were certified before the shutdown must wait until their cohort (officials of their prior level) are allowed to apply to renew or advance. For example, previously Level 1 officials who did not attain Certification through the Legacy channel must wait until currently-certified Level 1 officials are allowed to apply to advance to Level 2, before they can apply at all.
Officials who did not attain Legacy certification may not apply to any level other than Level 1. By letting the opportunity for Legacy to expire, they have ceded their right to apply to a higher level.
But I worked MRDA/WFTDA Cups/Playoffs/Champs! Surely I don’t need to start out at Level 1?
Answered 2018-05-22, Updated 2018-08-10, Updated 2019-08-29, Updated 2020-02-10:
Uncertified and Legacy officials who, in 2016, 2017, or 2018, worked WFTDA Continental Cups, Playoffs or Championships, or MRDA Playoffs or Championships, can apply directly for any level of Certification (their choice), when available. For example, an uncertified official or a Legacy Level 1 official could apply directly to Level 3, when available. Applying for a specific level does not guarantee that an official will be certified at that level: the official may be certified at a higher or lower level if their proven performance warrants this.
NOTE: This does not apply to any official that is Certified in the new system, at any level. It only applies to Uncertified and Legacy officials.
NOTE: Working a Postseason tournament in 2019 does not qualify.
I am currently uncertified, and I’m not on the list from the prior question, but I’ve been working hard for several years. My peers and head officials think that I should be Level 2 in the new system. Can I apply for Level 2 directly?
The new Certification system is heavily invested in certifying people to the correct level. This includes uncertified officials who aren’t on the list of people who can apply to “jump” past Level 1, and thus may only enter the system via a Level 1 application. For all officials that apply to enter the system at Level 1, Certification will carefully review their entire body of work, including their OOSes, but also their Legacy Evaluations. If Certification views an uncertified official who applies for Level 1 as having proven their performance at Level 2 or Level 3, Certification can and will “bump” that official to the appropriate level, even if their application was to enter the system at Level 1.
I just got certified at Level 1, but my review was very positive. It said I only needed a few more games at my current performance level to make it to Level 2. Do I really need to wait two years before I can apply to go up for Level 2?
Not necessarily! We understand that different officials will apply to enter the system or apply to advance at different points in their career. For people who believe that, based on a significant body of evidence (including but not limited to a prior Certification review with concrete steps on how to get to the next level), they can apply for an exception to the two-year waiting period.
Ok, the prior items say I can either apply for a level that’s open, or wait until a higher level opens and apply for the higher level. Which option should I take?
Answered 2018-07-23, Updated 2019-08-29:
Certification is not advising anything for uncertified officials, but here are things to consider:
- If the level you believe you deserve is available, you should apply for it. For example, if you are certain you deserve Level 2 but are not sure of Level 3, we encourage you to apply for Level 2 when it is open.
- Every game is another game under your belt, are evaluated under a 2-year window. What games do you have coming up? What games will fall off of your timeline?
- The advanced coursework and advanced test say something about your abilities. Will this be an important component of your application? Or does your record speak for itself?
- Do your hopes for Level 2/3 rely on evaluations? “Legacy” evaluations will not be accepted for games that occur after we open for Level 1.
If you are comfortable waiting, we ask that you wait so that the proper panel can process your application directly.
Is there support for non-native English speakers?
While many people are fully capable of officiating Roller Derby in English, that doesn’t mean that they are comfortable speaking it. If you would like to provide your self-summary, or an evaluation, or an overview of officiating skill in a language other than English, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the language you would like to speak, and we will try to find a translator.
Which version of the WFTDA Officiating History does Certification require?
We accept the “new” and also the most recent officiating histories. If your officiating history has an “Instructions” tab, scroll to the bottom left of that tab and see when it was “Last Revised.” If it says, “Last Revised 2017-01-05” or after, you can use it.
I’m an independent official. Who should fill out my “Skater” Overview?
While Certification would most like to hear from an athlete who you have officiated many times, this is not always possible, and for officials who aren’t affiliated with a league, it can be very difficult. This Overview can be filled out by anybody who represents a roller derby league or governing body. This does not have to be a WFTDA league!
We also note that most tournament GTOs represent the league, and that all GTOs from WFTDA Recognized Tournaments also represent the WFTDA for this purpose, and can fill out the “League Representative” Overview.
I completed some courses or test on the old LMS (TalentLMS). Do I need to complete them again on the newer LMS?
Certification has taken a snapshot of all courses and tests that were completed in the old LMS, so the only requirements you need to take in the new LMS are courses you did not fully complete, or tests you did not pass.
Find more information in the Certification LMS system FAQ.
Are there application deadlines? Should I try hard to get all of my materials in by a certain date?
Certification no longer operates on a monthly cycle! Applications are processed in the order in which they are received, based on our capacity. Then, panels and panelists review the packets once they have been prepared, and so on. Every day is a good day to apply for Certification!
The one thing of note is that Certification usually takes the month of December off, so processing will shut down for that month. Applications in mid-to-late November may also be affected as they will be mid-process when we take our break.