Top Tips For How To Interact With Judges and Refs


It’s amazing how many athletes can be disrespectful to judges and volunteers. Don’t athletes recognize that judges and refs have the ability to control the flow of an event, so you gotta do what you can to create a good vibe with them? You’ll also want to be very concise with your communication, so that you can focus on the work you’re about to do. During a competition, you obviously want to make sure that you’re setting yourself up to perform your best. To do that, you want the event to go as smoothly as possible and how you interact with your judge can be the difference-maker.

Top Tips for interacting with judges and refs

Before The Event

1. Give a solid handshake or pat on the back, smile, introduce yourself (even if you think they “should” know who the hell you are) and look your judge in the eyes to say thank you for helping with the event.

2. Kindly ask the judge to be very clear with rep calls and to immediately let you know what fault you’ve committed if there’s a “no rep.”

3. If you have any special requirements, modifications, or questions about standards go over them as soon as possible with very clear language.

During The Event

1. Flash your eyes to your judge at the end or top of a movement that you want to make sure you see a signal for. You may even have time to ask (depending on the event) if you are unclear if it’s a counted rep or not.

2. If you get no-repped, immediately get clarification on what you need to do, then take a deep breath and get back to it.

3. If you have special requests, or you can’t see, understand or hear the judge…make sure that you deal with the situation in a calm, cool, efficient manner. When all else fails, keep moving your best because that’s all you can do.

After The Event

1. Regardless of the results, give a solid handshake or pat on the back, smile, look the judge in the eyes and say thank you for helping.

2. You may want to ask the judge if there were any sketchy parts of your movement or if he or she has any suggestions for how you can better achieve a specific standard. Hey, there’s always a learning opportunity, right?

If you practice being judged throughout your training, you’ll be far more comfortable with it. I suggest that you read this article – “What Type o Athlete Do You Want To Be?” for more tips.

Bottom Line: The more kind and clear you are with your judge, the better. When you’re competing an event, you can make sure to treat each volunteer or employee with respect. Show your gratitude, look people in the eyes, and be good role model. You can’t control much, so you might as well focus on what you can influence, like your body language and attitude.


If you want more:

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