The Issues of Referee and Judge Certification

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grappler0000
7/1/09 5:38:32PM
‘Showdown’ Joe Ferraro has an excellent piece up at Rogers Sportsnet that details his experience with ‘Big’ John McCarthy’s referee certification seminar, C.O.M.M.A.N.D. (Certification of Officials for Mixed Martial Arts National Development).


The course is broken down into three areas and participants require a passing grade of 90 percent (at minimum in all three) to be certified. As it stands today, the course has a 75 percent failure rate, as participants simply do not make the grade to officiate or judge in MMA.

Would-be referees must know and identify over 25 takedowns, 35 submissions, 25 positions and seven sweeps, reversals and transitions. They also must know the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts inside and out.

After the identification of the aforementioned moves and keen knowledge of the unified rules, participants are also trained and tested on in ring / cage mechanics. This is comprised of what is required by an official before, during and after a bout. It’s not just about positioning (which is HUGE when refereeing) but dozens of other variables that are key to the safety of the athletes who put it all on the line.

All of this knowledge is paramount for one to be proficient in officiating and without it I do not understand how commissions around the world allow men and women to step into the cage/ring and ref without proving they have this type of knowledge.

If the four major sports leagues — the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL — mandate that officials are properly trained before being allowed to step onto the playing surface, why doesn’t MMA do the same? If this sport is expected to be taken seriously then this type of certification must be the bare minimum an athletic commission requires from an applicant prior to receiving their license to ref or judge.


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Rush
7/1/09 5:41:53PM
If the failure rate is so high and the test is so demanding, how the hell does someone like Dan Mirgliotta get the job?
grappler0000
7/1/09 5:44:15PM

Posted by Rush

If the failure rate is so high and the test is so demanding, how the hell does someone like Dan Mirgliotta get the job?



Because it is unfortunately not a requirement at this time.
slapshot
7/1/09 8:32:52PM
Failure rates can also be indicative of poor communication skills and ineffective teaching criteria, its also like 8,000 to go if I remember right. Thats a lot of money to pay for something that you cant do full time....

My CDL classes cost me around 1 grand. I think everything has to be reasonable before you start requiring a course like that even though its very needed. Requiring that here in Montana would suck out most of what little profit they make in small events. There needs to be more affordable options out there.
grappler0000
7/1/09 11:22:32PM

Posted by slapshot

Failure rates can also be indicative of poor communication skills and ineffective teaching criteria, its also like 8,000 to go if I remember right. Thats a lot of money to pay for something that you cant do full time....

My CDL classes cost me around 1 grand. I think everything has to be reasonable before you start requiring a course like that even though its very needed. Requiring that here in Montana would suck out most of what little profit they make in small events. There needs to be more affordable options out there.



A good start would be the big states like Nevada and California requiring it...and go from there. There are several fields that require degrees or certifications and frankly 8k isn't that bad compared to most others. And if you consider that someone's life is in your hands, I don't see an issue.
telnights
7/2/09 8:42:10PM

Posted by grappler0000
A good start would be the big states like Nevada and California requiring it...and go from there. There are several fields that require degrees or certifications and frankly 8k isn't that bad compared to most others. And if you consider that someone's life is in your hands, I don't see an issue.



I agree it isn't much money at all when you think of it in the big picture. I really feel this sport really needs something like this. In fact I would like to see it even harder than this to get to the pro level. Like say you have to ref set number of fights before you can ref any pro fights. Then your still in training and must Ref a number of pro fights before you can Ref any televised events. Then you must ref another set number of fights before you can ref any tittle fights. If you are showing problems then you should be forced to go back to school and refresh your training and if you keep having issue after this than you should be removed as a Ref.
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