Certified Official


Terms of Understanding and Agreement  

Attention Applicant:

Before submitting your application to become a Pickleball Canada/USAPA Certified Referee, please ensure that you have successfully met the following prerequisites:
  • You must play pickleball and be a Pickleball Canada or USAPA member in good standing.                    
  • Study the Pickleball Canada/USAPA/IFP rules
  • Download and study the Pickleball Canada/USAPA Referee Handbook.
  • Download and study the USAPA Line Judge Handbook
  • Pass the USAPA online Referee Test and Line Judge Knowledge Review [please send your results email to officiating@pickleballcanada.org]
  • Complete locally administered Pickleball Canada/USAPA referee training from a registered trainer [pending]
  • Shadow experienced referees and referee non-tournament play for practice
  • After receiving training according to the Pickleball /USAPA standards and procedures, you must have refereed a minimum of 30 matches, including at least 15 in sanctioned tournaments according to Pickleball Canada/USAPA/IFL rules
  • You must obtain concurrence from your Pickleball Canada/USAPA registered trainer that you are ready to be evaluated.
  • Pass on-court evaluation by Pickleball Canada/USAPA Referee Certification Evaluation Committee (see below)
  • Receive Pickleball Canada/USAPA/IFL Certified Referee credentials package
Please be aware that failure to apply the Best Practices (standards and procedures) as defined in the Referee Handbook will result in demerits and potential failure to pass the evaluation. It is important that you take preparing for the evaluation seriously and approach the evaluation process well versed in the IFP/Pickleball Canada/USAPA rules and practiced in applying the best practices.
To pass the evaluation, among other requirements, you will be expected to:
  • Display professionalism in your actions, words and demeanor throughout.
  • Maintain an efficient flow in the match.
  • Conscientiously watch for and call faults, especially in the non-volley zone.
  • Use at least two simultaneous methods to track servers, the primary method being a clip that is moved from server to server.
  • Mark every point and side out on the scoresheet in the space provided as they occur.
  • Position the clipboard so the clip end always points toward the serving team.
  • When a timeout is called, follow the best practices timeout procedure -- state the score and record it in the appropriate timeout box, and move to center court.
  • Follow all Pickleball Canada/USAPA refereeing best practices contained in the Referee Handbook.
The Application Process
  • When you click the link at the bottom of this page you will be directed to the application form. At the top of the application is a statement signifying that you understand and agree with the above Terms. You must check that box to continue with the application.
  • After completing the application click the SUBMIT button.
  • Once your application is received and the prerequisites validated, you will be e-mailed confirmation of acceptance into the program and a payment link where the fee can be paid using PayPal or a credit card. If for some reason you are not accepted you will be notified accordingly.
  • Once payment is verified you will receive an e-mail containing a schedule of upcoming on-court evaluation venues and dates. The sooner you reply with a preferred evaluation venue and date, the more likely you are to be assigned your preference. Scheduling for each venue will be done strictly on a first-to-respond basis.
  • On-court evaluation involves being critiqued by a Pickleball Canada/USAPA evaluator for a minimum of three matches, at least one involving a stacking team and at least one a medal match using line judges.
  • Understand that scheduling on-court evaluations is based on evaluator availability and the number of applicants in an area. Therefore, there may not always be an on-court evaluation venue and/or date that is convenient for you to attend. In such case a significant amount of time could elapse between paying the fee, and when you are able to schedule an on-court evaluation.
  • When you are scheduled for a venue and date, a Pickleball Canada/USAPA Referee Certification Evaluation Committee member will contact you directly to coordinate the details.
  • The nonrefundable evaluation fee is $95 and affords the applicant two opportunities to pass the on-court evaluation. Should you fail to qualify on the first try, you are entitled to one re-evaluation after a waiting period of 14 days; most likely it will need to be at a different venue.
Upon passing the on-court evaluation you will be asked to upload a passport-size head and shoulders digital photo of yourself for your photo ID badge.

Once the photo is received and the credentials package processed you will be issued:
  • Two Pickleball Canada Certified Referee dry-fit collared shirt (male and female styles)
  • A Pickleball Canada referee photo ID badge
  • A Pickleball Canada referee lanyard with badge holder and supply pockets
  • Certified Referee listing on pickleballcanada.org
  • Acknowledgement of your accomplishment in Pickleball Magazine (one-time)
  • Priority for refereeing medal matches in Pickleball Canada/USAPA managed events
  • Certified Referee compensation, where available
  • Other benefits associated with being recognized as having earned distinction as a Pickleball Canada/USAPA Certified Referee

As a Pickleball Canada/USAPA Certified Referee you have agreed to perform officiating duties in accordance with the refereeing best practices contained in the Pickleball Canada/USAPA Referee Handbook. Non-conformance will result in a warning followed by a petition for revocation. A referee’s certification may be revoked for one year by a vote of the Certification Committee after official notification to the referee and an opportunity to respond to the issue(s) identified. To be reinstated after the one-year revocation, the referee must repeat the application and evaluation process.