by Al Myers
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!