Become a Provincial Referee
Each province has their own requirements, protocols, procedures, etc. Ideally, it is preferable that every province’s referee criterion be the same. However, in a country as geographically vast as Canada with a vastly differing population concentration, this proves to very difficult. Some provinces have a very comprehensive referee program and events every couple of weeks. Whereas, other provinces have only one game per year. For those referees who live in provinces with a limited number games, it is a distinct advantage for them to travel to a neighbouring province to gain valuable ring time.
National Referee Seminar
After meeting the Provincial requirements and with the recommendation of the Provincial Referee Chairperson, a Provincial Referee can attend a national referee seminar, usually two days in length. The seminar will consist of a lecture on the competition rules and a subsequent written exam, hand signal practice, practical testing and scoring testing. The second component is an evaluation at an event.
Why Become a National Referee
1. Aside from being a competitor or coach, it is a way to “play the game”.
2. A vision of ensuring that both players in any given match have an equal chance to win.
3. Ensuring the players’ safety and fair play.
5. Meeting like-minded people who will become life-long friends.
When to Become a National Referee
1. As long as the requirements of the Referee Policy is fulfilled, anyone can become a referee at any time. You don’t have to be a retired player or coach or instructor.
2. Being in good physical health with a good level of physical fitness is a must.
3. Having played the game (regardless of the level) at some point in one’s taekwondo career is a huge benefit. It’s not mandatory, but it certainly provides insight into the game play and is an advantage to the referee when making calls during the game.
Characteristics of a National Referee
1. Ability to travel: both in available time and financially
2. Mental fortitude: Often the relationship between the coach/fighter and the referee can be strained and is sometimes combative. The referee must have thick skin and broad shoulders. Fortunately, use of electronic scoring systems and recent rule changes have significantly reduced the combative nature between coaches and referees.
3. Courage of Conviction: the referee must be able to stand behind a decision made, not sway or be swayed.
4. Knowledge of the rules and have the ability to make a decision within a split second.
5. Good communication skills: The ability to communicate is a must. English is the official language of taekwondo.
6. Enjoyment and motivation: The referee must enjoy the art/sport/game.
Ongoing Continuing Education
1. In order to remain current, referees must continue to referee at the provincial and local level. Since the number of national events per year is limited to only one or two; and the number of appointed referees is also limited, referees must be diligent about committing to referee at every available event.
2. Referees must continue to refresh themselves on the often changing, ever fluid competition rules. There are usually several national referee seminars conducted regionally, every year or so. Referees should plan to attend a seminar at least every couple of years.