Six steps! See below for detailed description of each step.

  1. Create (or claim) an Officiating Identity
  2. Create a WFTDA Online Learning account: Take the required courses, and pass the required test(s)
  3. Officiate games: The suggested number and type differ by level of Cert.
  4. Undergo Peer Review
  5. Fill out the application form

1. Your Officiating Identity

Officials seeking certification must first register in the WFTDA Google-Apps-based system.

Uncertified officials, including legacy officials who did not attain Legacy Certification, should use this form to create a brand new officiating identity.

Why create an identity? The identity enables the official to:

Officials who want to update or change their identity can use this form.

2. Complete Online Learning and Testing

Each certification level has required online courses to complete as a part of the certification process as well as an online test on rules and procedures. To register and for online learning and testing, go to the WFTDA Certification LMS page. Note that the courses are free, but there is a fee to take the tests. This fee covers the cost of the learning and testing system and the WFTDA does not make a profit off of this fee. If you cannot afford the fee, email certification@wftda.com to discuss alternatives.

Course requirements are as follows:

  • All officials applying for any level of certification must complete the “Risk Management” and “Rules” courses.
  • “Basic” position-specific courses include all courses in the official’s channel: All on-skates courses, or all off-skates courses, based on the Official’s application.
  • “Advanced” position-specific courses include all advanced courses, both on and off skates, regardless of the Official’s application.
Certification Level Rules Risk
Management
Position-Specific Classes Rules and Procedures Test
(80% to Pass)
Level 1 X X Basic Basic
Level 2 X X Advanced Advanced
Level 3 X X Advanced Advanced

If an official takes and fails any test, they may re-take it when they are ready.

For helpful information and tips on how to pursue the education component for Roller Derby Certification for Officials, see our Certification Learning Guide.

3. Officiate Games

WFTDA Certification focuses on “Recognizing Proven Performance.” This means that an official needs to officiate to prove their performance. We then recognize their skill based on peer review, meaning that we base our certification on overviews and evaluations from their peers, heads, mentors, and the athletes they officiate. In order for these reviews to, in aggregate, paint a complete picture of your skills, they need to observe you at work, officiating games. Different levels require us to evaluate different qualities, and for this reason higher levels require more observation.

The following game counts are usually enough for your review to contain enough information for us to be able to grant the level in question, so we recommend that officials wait until they have officiated this many games before applying to this level, unless they believe that they have worked enough games that their reviews can paint the whole picture — email certification@wftda.com in advance of your application if you think this applies to you. This should be especially noted by geographically isolated officials, who may have extensive experience and strong local peer relationships who can provide a complete picture of the official across contexts, without having held regulation or sanctioned games.

Game counts are evaluated based on the WFTDA Officiating History Document located on the Officiating Standards, Procedures, and Resources page, but see also this manual on how to fill it out correctly—its rules apply to all versions of the officiating history).

Suggested experience: Certification Oversight recommends having approximately this much experience, in terms of time and games, prior to applying to certain levels. We know that every official’s personal story is different so if you do not have exactly the right number of “regulation” or “sanctioned” games, that doesn’t mean you should not apply. Send us an email at certification@wftda.com to check in if your game counts or experience differ meaningfully from the suggested experience listed here:

Level Applying For Total Number of Games Regulation* Games Sanctioned** Games How Long Have You Been Officiating?
Level 1 10 N/A N/A 12 months since first game ever
Level 2 30 20 N/A 12 months since getting Level 1
Level 3 30 N/A 15 24 months since getting Level 2

*Games are Regulation if they meet the WFTDA or MRDA requirements for Regulation games, or are Sanctioned** games.
**Games are Sanctioned if they are sanctioned by the WFTDA, JRDA***, or MRDA****. This includes games played at WFTDA or JRDA Playoffs (including Continental Cups) or Championships. Certification also treats all Regulation games played under the WFTDA’s 2022 “Back On Track” program as if they were sanctioned.
***Games sanctioned by the JRDA only count for this purpose if they are played at Level 3, and if the Sudden Scoring rules are not triggered. Games played at other levels, or which trigger the Sudden Scoring rules, do not count as Sanctioned or Regulation.
****Games sanctioned by the MRDA and played on or after 2020-01-01 must also be played at a WFTDA Recognized Tournament in order to count as Sanctioned for this purpose.

4. Undergo Peer Review

Certification has three formalized types of feedback that your peers, heads, athletes, and the like can use to tell us about your officiating performance.

  • Overviews of Officiating Skill — thorough and detailed analysis across positions over the last two years
  • Evaluations — feedback about a single game or tournament
  • Feedback on Character — comments about the official’s human side and what they bring to a game besides officiating performance
  • To see who has filled out evaluations and OOSes for you, use this form: https://goo.gl/forms/THxmlwLwdvtHQ0dh2.

    Overview of Officiating Skill (OOS)

    The Overview of Officiating Skill (OOS) is an online peer assessment form used to assess an official’s strengths, challenges, and areas for growth. For an overview, we ask your overviewer to provide a thorough, detailed analysis of your performance. They should set aside 1-2 hours to complete the OOS. Send this form to your overviewers, or click here to provide an overview (this is not the same as a per-game or per-tournament “evaluation,” it goes much much deeper):

    For instructions on how to choose an assessor, and also instructions for assessors on how to submit an effective OOS, see our How to Review an Official page.

    Each certification level has different requirements for the required number of OOSes and who must submit an OOS. As these recommendations need to be relevant, OOSes do not expire, but we recommend that they be written as close as possible to your application so that they paint the most up-to-date picture of your officiating. The categories include:

  • Athlete Representative — someone who has been a rostered skater in games the applicant has officiated, or someone who has observed the applicant from the skater perspective such as a coach, bench staff, member of training, etc. If they also officiate that is fine, but they should fill out this Overview as a skater. This should be someone from your home league, if you have one.
  • Head Official — This can be a mentor, a league’s Head Referee or Head NSO, or someone who frequently fulfills the Crew Head or Tournament Head role when the applicant officiates.
  • Peer Official — This should be someone with whom the applicant frequently officiates. It need not be a Head Official.
  • Experienced Official — This is someone with broad knowledge of the sport who understands the difference between local, regional, and global play. Anybody who has worked at a WFTDA Championship Tournament, Playoff, or Continental Cup counts in this role, as does any official currently certified at Level 3, or any Tournament Head Official from a National Federation tournament.
  • NOTE: If you wish to become certified both on- and off-skates, you will need to fill out separate applications with three separate OOSes, as the OOSes ask different and specific questions about your performance across on- or off-skates roles. It is fine to have the same people (peers, mentors, etc.) fill out OOSes for you in both categories, but for each category they all need to be separate individuals.

    Level Applying For Total Number Source
    Level 1 3
    • 1 from an Athlete Representative
    • 1 from a Head Official
    • 1 from a Peer Official
    Level 2 4
    • 1 from an Athlete Representative
    • 1 from a Head Official
    • 2 from Peer Officials
    Level 3 4
    • 1 from an Athlete Representative
    • 1 from a Head Official
    • 1 from a Peer Official
    • 1 from an Experienced Official

    Evaluations

    Evaluations are available to Certified Officials, and also to Uncertified officials who opt in. Evaluations are not required as part of the certification process, but are strongly encouraged, especially for Level 2 and 3, to be able to illustrate the breadth of knowledge and performance.

    An evaluation should be scoped to the details and anecdotes of your performance in a single game or tournament, and should take an evaluator about 15 minutes to fill out. If you wish to receive an evaluation for a game or tournament, it is recommended that you alert your crew head, tournament head, or crewmate in advance of the game. However, every participant in a game has the right to fill out an evaluation for an official, and many people fill out evaluations without being asked. Officials may also submit self-evaluations for games they work.

    For information on how to submit an effective evaluation, see our How To Review An Official page.

    Feedback on Character

    You may also provide Confidential Feedback on Character, if you have feedback about the individual’s character outside of their in-game performance. This could include positive qualities such as whether they create a safe space. It can also include reports of problematic behavior outside of officiating. If you have doubts as to whether the individual has consistently upheld the WFTDA Code of Conduct, you might also consider submitting a report to grievance@wftda.com and directly to certoversighthead@wftda.com.

    5. Complete Application and Code of Conduct

    Once all the requirements for certification are completed, all applicants must agree to the terms of the WFTDA Code of Conduct and the WFTDA Privacy Policy in the above application; you can just print a copy, sign it, and then upload a picture of the signature page as part of your application.

    After that, they can use this form to Apply for Certification.

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