by Al Myers
Eric Todd becomes a Level 2 USAWA Official at York Barbell.
Eric Todd has just earned his Lifetime Certification as an USAWA Official by completing his 25th officiating duty at the 2015 USAWA National Championships. This now makes Eric a Level 2 Official (highest officiating rank) in the USAWA. Eric now joins 13 other Level 2 officials in our organization! Congrats to Eric for this great accomplishment in the USAWA!
by Al Myers
Congrats to Ruth Jackson for becoming the latest new USAWA Official. RJ was the first one to undergo the more strenuous requirements to become an official. A couple of years ago the USAWA began requiring practical training after passing the written rules test in order to become a certified official. Ruth just completed her practical training at the USAWA Grip Championships/Dino Gym Record Day earlier this month. She is now listed on the Official’s List, and will receive a 3 year officials card.
by Al Myers
Bob Geib lifting under the watch of 3 Level 2 USAWA Officials at the 2013 USAWA National Championships: Chad Ullom (left), Scott Schmidt (center), and Joe Ciavattone (right).
It’s always exciting news when a new USAWA certified official reaches LEVEL 2 officiating status. Congratulations goes to Scott Schmidt for becoming the most recent Level 2 official. Scott went about reaching Level 2 status in an unorthodox manner. Let me explain.
The typical process of becoming a USAWA official involves taking the Rule Test first. This consists of an open book exam of 100 questions covering the rules in the USAWA Rulebook. There is no time limit for taking the test, and to pass it you must score over 90%. After passing the Rules Test, an aspiring official must then perform the Practical Training Sessions, which consists of attending 3 meets and judging alongside a Level 2 official. After this has been completed successfully, a person becomes a Level 1 Test Qualified Official. The “other” category of Level 1 officials is the Level 1 Experience Qualified. This was created to allow those very experienced USAWA officials to be “grandfathered in” as officials when the USAWA Officials Program began in 2009. To be eligible to become a Level 1 Experience Qualified Official, one must have officiated in over 25 prior USAWA competitions and/or events. Once a Level 1 Test Qualified official has officiated over 25 competitions they can apply for Level 2 status.
Scott has been an official in the USAWA for over 20 years. He has officiated 100’s of events, and often serves as the head official in big competitions. He spent 2 days sitting in the HEAD CHAIR at this past National Championships, and is regarded as one of the best officials in the USAWA by the lifters. He was formally listed as a Level 1 Experience Official, and now since he has passed the USAWA Rules Test, he has “officially” joined the Level 2 group of elite USAWA officials. Since Scott grandfathered in, he went about this entire process in reverse order by taking the rules test last! I have hoped that all of the Level 1 Experience Qualified officials would take the rules test and become Level 2 officials to show support to the USAWA Officials Program. It is next to impossible to become a Level 2 Experience Qualified official now as the initial grant of Certified Official status without taking the rules test is not allowed anymore.
Again, Congrats to Scott!
by Al Myers
Thom Van Vleck (right) is joined by fellow USAWA officials LaVerne Myers (left) and Denny Habecker (middle) at the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in York in 2011. As you can see, these three took their judging duties very serious as they are getting "down and dirty" to get a good view of the lifting!
Thom Van Vleck has just been promoted to the highest level of officiating status in the USAWA. He is now a Level 2 Official, and joins a very short list of the most qualified officials within the USAWA. Since the development of the USAWA Officials Program in 2009, officials must NOW be certified to judge any USAWA competition/event. I would like to review a bit of this as it pertains to USAWA Rulebook:
10. There will be two levels of classification for Certified USAWA officials.
- Level 1 Test Qualified – The official has passed the USAWA Rules Test and completed the practical training sessions.
- Level 1 Experience Qualified – The official has the experience of officiating in 25 or more competitions or events.
- Level 2 – The official has passed the USAWA Rules Test and has completed the practical training sessions, and has the experience of officiating in 25 or more competitions or events.
Thom has been officiating in the USAWA for close to 10 years and has officiated at some “BIG” meets. He has officiated numerous championships events, including the 2006, 2009, and 2011 National Championships. He also officiated at the 2012 IAWA World Championships. He earned the Level 2 classification for officiating in over 25 events (as well as passing the USAWA Rules Test). He is now awarded a LIFETIME OFFICIALS CARD in the USAWA and will have the ability to approve new officials that undergo the Practical Training Sessions. Congrats Thom!!!
by Al Myers
Chad Ullom has just been promoted to a LEVEL 2 USAWA official. Chad has been one of the "top three" most active USAWA officials in IAWA competions over the past 5 years. In this picture, Chad (on left) is officiating at the 2012 Gold Cup in Glasgow, Scotland.
One thing that has happened over the past three years has been the development of an USAWA Officials Program. The program started in mid-2009 with the initial guidelines. Since then the program has been improved with rule amendments requiring additional criteria. I finally feel that we now have a TOP NOTCH officials program, and that is something to be proud of. Before 2009 several programs had TRIED to be initiated, but failed. Anyone at that time could be an official in an USAWA meet, without any qualifications. The previous rulebooks had NO guidelines established for becoming an official, other than a couple vague lines such as these, “all officials must be approved by the USAWA”, and “the general secretary shall maintain a list of the national officials”. That’s it. There’s no point in having rules/laws if they’re ambiguous, and are not enforced. Now if you want your lifts to count you MUST be officiated by a certified USAWA official that is listed on the Officials List. If this does not happen – the lift/meet was not official, and all invalid results will not be reported in the meet results on the website as well as no records being established. That’s “the bite” for not following the USAWA rules.
I’m VERY EXCITED to report a couple of “firsts” that have just occurred within the Officials Programs. Ruth Jackson has just successfully passed the USAWA Rules Test and will become the first USAWA member to undergo the Practical Training Session in becoming an USAWA official. This change was just passed at the past USAWA meeting as further development of the Officials Program. She will have one year to accomplish this training. The development of the Officials Program has been a gradual plan to allow for it’s success, with additional requirements being added yearly. I have felt that the reason the previous official programs have failed were because of a couple factors, 1. requiring “too much” to begin with that NO ONE wanted to abide by, and 2. No penalties/ramifications for not participating in the program (afterall, before you could STILL be an official in all meets with the SAME privileges as someone certified ). The IAWA(UK) has ALWAYS been WAY AHEAD of us with their officials program, and have required practical training for years before an IAWA(UK) official could be certified. Now I feel our officials program is as good (if not better!) than theirs.
The second “first” is that Chad Ullom has become the first member to apply and be granted Level 2 certification. Congrats Chad! This requires an official to be qualified in TWO CATAGORIES , thus the name Level 2. Level 2 officials are required to have passed the testing requirements, AND the experience requirements. Level 2 USAWA officials are considered the TOP TIER of USAWA Officials, and have Lifetime Certification.
All the details of the USAWA Officials Program are outlined in the USAWA Rulebook and on this website under “Officials List and Rules Test”