Officials are volunteers who give up their time to support competitions. They are mainly seen behind the tables and their role is to keep track of the contest action and make sure everything runs smoothly.
What does the role involve?
There are various levels of official and depending on their award they are able to take on different roles at different events [For further information please refer to the events section of the website].
Officiating duties include:
- Timekeeper:- responsible for keeping track of the contest time, scores and penalties awarded to each player.
- Contest Recorder:- responsible for recording contest results and calling the players to the mat.
- Tournament Director: - responsible for the on-site running of the event. They complete the draw, prepare the timetable, and take overall responsibility for all the officials. They field questions from coaches, players and spectators regarding everything apart from refereeing queries.
Who does the role suit?
Officiating roles suit anyone who is willing to give up their time to support events particularly those who may not like to be in the spotlight.
What skills are required?
Common skills that officials need:
- Ability to concentrate for long periods of time
- High levels of accuracy when completing officiating duties
- Good communication skills
- Ability to work as a part of a team
Why should you get involved?
Officials are an integral part of the competition set-up and without them competitions would not run. Reasons to get involved include:
- To learn new skills
- To make new friends
- To be a part of a successful event
- To help keep the sport running
- To be guaranteed the best seat in the house at competitions!
How do you get involved?
There are two main ways that you can start your career as an official:
- Attend a course and sit a written question paper– this is particularly beneficial and recommended to those who have no prior knowledge or experience in the sport. You will then be awarded either TOC (-16 yrs) or Timekeeper (16+ yrs) status and be invited to officiate at events in your local area.
- Offer to help at your local competitions – if you are already attending competitions in your local area, speak to your Tournament Director and offer your services as an assistant Timekeeper. The Tournament Director should sit you with an existing Timekeeper or Contest Recorder who will show you what to do. You can spend the day practicing your skills, asking questions and getting familiar with the scoreboard. Your work as a trainee timekeeper will be logged and once you've attended 3 events you will be awarded full Timekeeper status.
Current Official Testimonials:
“I got involved in the TOCS programme and was a table Official at the Nottingham Open and their Mini Mon. I was then asked if I wanted to be timekeeper at the National Championships for 10/11 yr olds, which I was very proud to do, and it seems I am the youngest person to have done this so that’s pretty exciting.”
Lauson Kenyon, Judo TOC
“With the kids competing or refereeing and my husband coaching, I decided to take the Timekeepers course so I could be involved too, and found that there is always a great sense of fun and camaraderie on the other side of the mat. I followed up with Competition Recorder and Senior Recorder awards.”
Louise Newton, Senior Recorder