What are these different levels of referees/judges in the APF/WPC? How can I become a referee? What should I wear as a referee?
The APF/WPC has two levels of referee/judges. The first is simply being an APF National Referee. To become a certified APF National Referee, you must first be an APF/AAPF member in good standing, and then must take a test and pay a $10 processing fee to the APF Office. Contact Amy Jackson if you are interested in starting the process. Assuming you pass, you will be issued an APF referee card and referee patch. Your certification as an APF Referee is good for two years, although you must keep up your APF/AAPF membership. After two years, it is an additional $10 to renew your referee certification.
The second level of referee in the APF/WPC is the WPC World Referee. To become a WPC World Referee, you, again, must be an APF/AAPF member in good standing, and then must take another, more extensive test, and pass a “practical” test at a National or World Meet. The test for becoming a WPC referee is much long and more involved than the APF referee test, especially in that it involves a number of real situation essay questions that must be answered. The “practical” part of the test involves actually judging at a National and World meet while being watched by current WPC referee(s). Again, you must pay a $10 processing fee, and you will be issued a WPC referee card and patch.
Once you have become a referee, the standard attire for local/state meets is nice pants (or a skirt for women), and a white shirt with the referee patch on the left breast or breast pocket of the shirt. For National or World Meets, a dark blue blazer or coat is usually expected with the referee patch again on the left breast or breast pocket, and for men a tie with the white shirt. It is just important that the lifters can identify you as a referee/judge, and that you look professional on the platform.
The APF is always looking for more referees to help at APF competitions. It is often a difficult job, and sometimes even a thankless job (although a good meet director should always thank his/her judges), but it is a completely necessary job for competitions to occur. Most of the time meet directors will feed you when you are working the competition. If you must travel a good distance to the meet, a meet director also may comp a hotel room for you for the duration of the competition, especially at National or World meets. We could always use new, quality referees. Please give back to the sport you love.