Certification Programs

Judge Program

Levels of Judge Certification

  • Club Judge certification is for those individuals who seek to judge primarily at their own club and would like to have a stronger and more consistent rules knowledge.
  • Regional Judge certification is for those who seek to judge in a region of the country in addition to serving their club.
  • National Judge certification is for those who have the “Judge” certification level and seek to officiate at any event in the country.
  • International Judge certification is granted by World Sailing. US applicants for IJ certification must be nominated by the Judges Committee and the US Sailing Board of Directors.

Judge-in-Training Program

Although everyone who seeks to become a judge either at the club level or higher would be in training as an official, US Sailing considers that those who have attended a seminar and taken the test and completed SafeSport training to be truly Judges-in-Training (JIT). Anyone who is interested in this learning path should contact their RAJ for more information about the program. JIT names will be added to our data base to be available on the website’s “Find a Judge” report as persons actively working to become certified. Clubs seeking more experienced judges should use Find a Judge for JITs and Certified Judges.

US Sailing Judge Certification Requirements

Online Testing is a required part of all US Sailing judge courses.

Anyone who takes a Judge seminar will receive credentials to take the online test. Initial certification involves a seminar and a test on The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and hearing practices. A practice test is available online.

Judges renewing their certification may use Continuing Education Units in place of a seminar and take a re-certification test.

For more information, please see the Continuing Education section below. Links for the re-certification tests are below. Only certified judges who are due for re-certification in this calendar year will be able to take this test.

Online Certification Forms

Applications for Club Judge must be completed online using the Apply to Be a Judge form. Initial certification involves a seminar and a test on The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). Renewal applications should use the same form.

Judges Seminar Calendar

  • The Judge seminars below are listed in chronological order.
  • For more information about the offering, please click "Enroll Now" on the calendar below.
  • For information about scheduling a seminar, please visit Host a Seminar.
  • For further assistance, please contact your Regional Administrative Judge (RAJ) or the Race Administration office.


Attendance at a seminar and successful completion of the online test alone do not lead to certification. If you are interested in becoming a Judge, please review our Certification Program for the complete list of requirements. With the assistance of your RAJ, you will be guided through the certification process.

Participated in a seminar? Please complete our seminar evaluation.

Continuing Education

The Judges Committee has introduced Continuing Education (CE) as a means of renewing certification.

Judges in the past have been required to take a seminar and a test once every 4 years to stay certified. Now judges may receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attending a variety of Continuing Education Events (CEEs) during the 4 years of their certification period. Seminars, round tables, clinics and webinars will allow renewing officials multiple opportunities to earn CEUs. Judges can decide which path is best for them.

Click on the Continuing Education Guidelines listed below for more detail. Contact your Regional Administrative Judge (RAJ) for information on hosting a round table, clinic or seminar.

Judges who serve on Association Appeals Committees or the US Sailing Appeals Committee can receive Continuing Education credit (20 units per appeal) for appeals they participate in deciding. Please read about recording SOARS credit for AAC or AC service.


Recertifying Judges and National Judges must file an application by Nov 1st of their renewal year, confirming their commitment to being a judge and confirming that they meet the requirements for recertification.

  • Renewal of certification is required every 4 years and can be obtained by attending a seminar or a variety of Continuing Education events during the 4 year period leading up to recertification.
  • Passing a test at the appropriate level in the last year of certification is required.
  • The application for renewal is available online.
  • A copy is automatically sent to your RAJ.
  • Please refer to US Sailing Judge Certification Requirements for further details.

Judge Emeritus

The honorary designation Judge Emeritus recognizes a retired US Sailing judge for his or her long and distinguished service to the Judges Program and to sailboat racing across the United States, and in some cases, around the world.

This is an exceptional honor that is bestowed on a small number of judges.