> Home Page > Officials > Judges > Certification > National Chief Judge

National Chief Judge

The USAC Chief Judge Certification certifies that a Judge has successfully completed the requirements set forth by the Judges Committee and demonstrated the ability to carry out the duties of a Chief Judge at the National Championship level. This level of certification will be reserved for only those individuals who have shown the highest level of devotion to all aspects of judging competitive climbing. The ideal candidate will demonstrate exceptional leadership abilities along with a comprehensive understanding of the rules and the ability to apply them in a fair and impartial manner. Additionally, the temperament of the candidate will allow them to remain calm and rational when presented with the frequent challenges posed by competitors, coaches, parents, volunteers and host facility personnel. 

A Chief Judge candidate will be required to complete Steps 1 through 7 of the Judges Certification Path.

Steps 1 - 3:

  • Route Judge Certification

Steps 4 & 5:

  • Divisional Chief Judge Certification

Step 6:

  • Apply for internships at National Level Events.

Step 7:

  • ​Apply to the Judges Committee for Chief Judge Certification.

The Judges Committee will review all applications for certification and grant certification to qualified candidates. The committee will use the performance reviews submitted by the supervising Chief Judge from each of the events at which the Aspirant Chief Judge has interned.  Additionally, the committee may contact the applicant to further assess the candidate’s level of qualification.

Individuals who have been awarded the Certification of Chief Judge are expected to:

  • Carry out, in a professional manner, the duties of a Chief Judge at Regional, Divisional and National Championships as outlined in the USAC Rulebook.
  • Stay updated on all USAC Rules.
  • Complete Performance Reviews for all Aspirant Judges who intern under them.
  • Work with USAC staff, the Volunteer Coordinator and the Chief Routesetter throughout the planning process of a National Championship.

Event Endorsements: Youth Bouldering Nationals, Open Bouldering Nationals, Youth Sport & Speed Nationals, Open Sport & Speed Nationals and Collegiate Nationals.

To the greatest extent possible, the Judges Committee will work with the USAC Director of Operations or Chief Executive Officer to select a Chief Judge, for each National Event, who has received the endorsement for that event. This person will be directly assisted by a National Chief Judge who is working to acquire an endorsement or by a National Chief Judge of equal standing.

The recommendation to grant an endorsement must be made to the Judges Committee by a National Chief Judge, who holds a current endorsement for the given event, and who has recent experience working with the candidate at the event for which the endorsement is being sought. The Judges Committee will review the recommendation and grant endorsements to highly qualified candidates only.

Inactive Status: A National Chief Judge will be moved to inactive status if they have not worked as the Chief Judge or assisted the Chief Judge, at a National Event, in the past 3-years. Once moved to inactive status, all endorsements are lost and must be earned again by following the procedure for obtaining endorsements.


Founding Partner: