Certified Officials Corner

In order to progress through the levels officials need to meet the requirement of the level at which they would like to be certified. The three major processes governing the US Squash officating program are:-

  1. Event Assignment – how officials are allocated to events to ensure they are provided the appropriate opportunity to progress.
  2. Match Assessments – how officials are provided immediate feedback sessions from which they can contnuously develop their skills throughout the season.
  3. Annual Review – how officials are designated their level for the following season, using an aggregation of feedback and activity from the previous season.

These processes are descibed in more detail in the sections below.

Event Assignment ProcessAssessment ProcessAnnual Review ProcessResources

US Squash requires officials to attend US National Championships, US based PSA Events, and CSA team matches. Officials may also be invited to attend non-US based PSA events.

Each event will require a combination of officials, from Level 3 to Level 5. The combination of level and number of officials required may also change during the course of the event.

The US Squash Director of Officials oversees the assignment process. In making decisions consideration will be given to both the requirement of the event itself and the development needs of the officials within the US program. This is to ensure that each official is given the appropriate opportunity to maintain their level and to improve.

At the beginning of the season the US Squash Director of Officials will send out a form to interested officials asking for availability. This information will be used to assign officials to events.

US National Championships

US Squash hosts 5 JCTs, the US Junior Open, High School Nationals, US Nationals, 3 CSA Championships and 3 end of season junior championships that all require officials. Each event will have an assigned Senior Official who will act as the Tournament Referee. A further number of referees will be allocated based on a ratio of approximately 1 referee per 4 courts. Where there are multiple venues some referees will be assigned as Site Tournament Referee and will perform the duties of the Tournament Referee at the venue. The responsibilities of a Tournament Referee are explained in the Resources section below.

CSA Matches

Some colleges require independent officials for their in-season college matches. Where this is the case they generally will only accept local officials. If a 5-court system is used 5 officials will be needed per match. Currently there is limited opportunity for assessments at these matches unless they are livestreamed.

PSA Events

Promoters of PSA events must communicate directly with the PSA regarding officials for their events. The PSA will then liaise with the US Squash Director of Officials to make final decisions regarding assignments. In making these decisions, the development needs and experience of officials will be considered to ensure appropriate opportunity is given.

Smaller PSA events usually require 1-2 officials for the duration of the event.

For larger events the number of required officials decreases as the event progresses but often will require 8-10 for the early rounds, decreasing to 3 or 4 for the latter.

Assessments form part of a continuing professional development approach for referees.

Assessments are used to help provide feedback to officials on their overall performance on a match they have officiated. Assessments are not pass or fail, rather they are learning opportunities which will identify where an official has done well and where they may need to develop.

Assessments will be carried out by Senior officials at all US National Championships, CSA Championships and PSA events. Assessors will use the assessment feedback form which can be found (here – link).

If an official would like to be assessed on a match that is of the required quality, that has been live streamed, for instance a CSA match, they should send the video to the US Squash Director of Officiating who will then assign a Senior Official to assess the match.

During a live match, the assessor will oversee the official during the match to be assessed and will be looking not only for the accuracy of decisions but will also be reviewing the presentation of the match, the ability of the official to control the match and how well the official communicated to the players and spectators during the match. Specifically the assessor will be looking at the following:

  • Presentation of Match
  • Uses correct Squash Language
  • Tone is appropriate to situation
  • Uses Club Locker scoring
  • Communicates effectively with Video referee
  • Applies conduct when necessary
  • Applies rules correctly (injury ad illness)
  • Communication and Managing Conflict
  • Communicates effectively with players
  • Identifies issues early
  • Identifies why issues are happening and who is at fault
  • Gives players appropriate instructions
  • Follows through with what has been said

After the match the assessor and official will meet to discuss the performance of the official and review the outcome of the assessment. The assessor will upload the assessment into the US Squash assessment database using this form. This will form part of the evidence required for officials to be certified at Level 3 or above.

While not all matches that are assessed will necessarily have all the issues listed, comments will be aggregated over all assessments for an official and will help to inform the annual review process.

Officials will be certified at a designated level annually at their annual review.

Any official who would like to be certified at Level 3 or above will need to ensure that they have met all the requirements of the desired level, as defined by the Officiating Development Program, by May 31 each year.

Any official failing to meet the requirements may not be certified for the upcoming season or may be recertified at a different level.

A Level 5 Official and/or the US Squash Director of Officials will perform the annual review for eligible officials.

  • The US Squash Director of Officials will aggregate comments from the assessment feedback forms and review the performance in the summer assessments in order to complete the required sections of the annual review summary for each official. (Link)
  • Each official will be asked to provide feedback regarding their thoughts on their performance during the season. Specifically, they will be asked to comment on:-
    • Their performance.
    • Their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Goals for forthcoming season.
    • How can US Squash support them.

The Review will be scheduled for a suitable date and time in May or June. This will usually be conducted by conference or video call and will be an open discussion with the purpose of certifying the official at the appropriate level and setting goals for the following season.

Assuming all eligibility criteria are met, the following categories will be used to guide the assessment.

  • Percentage of decisions that are correct
  • Uses correct Squash Language
  • Tone is appropriate to situation
  • Communicates effectively with Video referee
  • Applies conduct when necessary
  • Applies rules correctly (injury ad illness)
  • Communicates effectively with players
  • Identifies issues early
  • Identifies why issues are happening and who is at fault
  • Gives players appropriate instructions
  • Follows through with what has been said
Post Review

The official will be sent the annual review summary which will include recommendations of certification level for the following season, and a development plan for the official to include their goals for the following season and a plan for them to be able to achieve those goals. Please see (link)

  • Assessment Feedback Form
  • Activity Log
  • Annual Review Form
  • Responsibilities of a Tournament Referee
  • Match Assessment Form
  • Logging an Assessment or Clinic Form
  • Beginner Clinic Presentation