Pickleball Canada is developing a staged approach to becoming a high-level pickleball official. This staged approach makes both achieving the high level status a more manageable goal while also allowing those that wish to stop at a lower level a degree of competence and recognition.
The four levels of officiating are:
  • Level 1 – Scorekeeper
  • Level 2 – Associate Referee
  • Level 3 – Certified Referee
  • Level 4 – Nationally Certified Referee

If you are a beginning official, we recommend:

  • Downloading and familiarizing yourself with the IFP Tournament Rule Book
  • Downloading the Referee Handbook and the sample scoresheets so that you can practice the tips taught in the Referee Handbook.
  • Taking the rules test…many times until you get 100%. The questions change each time so be ready!
  • Watching the new PCO Level 1 - Scorekeeper  Quick Start video.
  • Head out to the local courts and offer to referee players in recreational play. Most of them appreciate it, and it gives you a chance to test theory and practice your skills in a relaxed environment.
  • Once you have a solid foundation, reach out to a trainer or mentor in your area that will answer questions and fine tune your skill set. Email Us to help find a trainer or mentor in your area.
  • If you are a certified trainer and would like to set up a training course in your area, please let PCO know the results of the course ......??????

Level 1 Scorekeeper

The Level 1 Scorekeeper experience focuses on the mechanics of score keeping and tracking the correct positioning of the players.  This builds confidence in the official’s ability to ‘keep up with the game’.
Delivery of this program occurs at the local level with an instructor approved by the province.  The instructor should:
  • Be an experienced pickleball player
  • Preferably an experienced pickleball game official
  • Have a demonstrable knowledge of the IFP rules
The resource package in support of Scorekeeper Training includes:

The instructor will inform the province of participants who have successfully completed both the classroom and practical sessions.  The province will pass this information on to Pickleball Canada.  The participant’s Pickleball Canada profile will be updated to include the official’s certification.
Players interested in becoming officials should contact their club or province to request a Scorekeeper Training session.


Level 2 Associate Referee

The Level 2 – Associate Referee delves deeper into the rules of pickleball.  This level has higher expectations around knowledge of the rules and the competence of the official.  An official at this stage would be expected to referee games at local tournaments below medal level. The following is a selected list of requirements for Associate Referee certification:
  • Complete the online referee test (expected Summer 2019) with a grade of 70 % or better, and
  • Demonstrate that they gave officiated a minimum of 10 games as a Level One Score Keeper
  • Attend approved PCO training or equivalent
  • Referee 10 matches at least 2 of which are in a PCO sanctioned tournament [ 5 with a mentor and 5 without a mentor]

Pickleball Canada has developed the training resources and is in discussion with USA Pickleball regarding access to additional support material. It is expected that this program will be available by Summer 2019.
Delivery of this program occurs at the provincial level with an instructor approved by the province. The instructors for this program may be Associate Referee or Certified Referees. 


Level 3 Certified Referee

The Level 3 –Certified Referee provides an opportunity for an experienced official to be able to referee at all levels of competition including regional and national tournaments and medal games. 
The delivery of this program will be conducted by Pickleball Canada.  It is not resource-based but provides mentoring by a Level 4 Referee to refine officiating technique. We are actively working to create this course. Please continue to read the Bulletin (issued every two months) or the magazine (published every quarter) for updated information. Should you have ny questions or comments at any time, please contact the PCO Officiating Chair at, officiating@pickleballcanada. org
Certification at this level will begin after the Level 2 program is implemented.

Level 4 – National Referee

The Level 4 – National Referee is a very experienced referee who has obtained this status through demonstrating competence in officiating at the highest level of play. Selection for this level will be conducted by the Pickleball Canada Officiating Team and candidates will be chosen from those Certified Canadian Referees who demonstrate a high degree of competence and experience through frequent exercising their ability at Tier 1 and 2 tournaments. Emphasis will be placed on current referee experience. In addition to their officiating duties these referees act as mentors, evaluators and trainers for Level 3 officials.

This program is currently in development. Please continue to read the PC bulletin and magazine for further information

A list of officials by province is available to PCO members by contacting the Officiating Chairperson at  When requesting a report please indicate the province you wish the information for. Reports will be produced and made available to the requestor's profile.