Judging is one of the best ways that a person can volunteer with the OCF because you are part of the action, and always get a really good view of some very exciting climbing.
Judging at a bouldering competition is a little different than judging routes (we call it difficulty), and each of those is different than being an official at a speed competition. That is why we have separate training material for each discipline, although each training process will be very similar.
Overview of Boulder Judge Training
New judges should complete the first three steps on their own before their first competition. This should take about about an hour total, which is quite a bit less time than our old clinics.
Step 1 – Read the OCF Bouldering Rules Summary.
This step should take about 15 minutes.
Step 2 – Watch the OCF Bouldering Rules Video.
This step should take about 15 minutes. You can watch the video as many times as you think you need to.
Step 3 – Review our new Rules.
The entire rule book is 24 pages, but the good news is that new boulder judges only need to review Sections 3 and 10 and closely read Section 11, which is the actual bouldering rules. This step should take 20 – 25 minutes.
Once the new judge completes the first three steps they are ready to get some practical experience at an OCF competition.
Step 4 – Work with an Experienced Judge at one or more OCF competitions.
At this step, the new judge is paired with a more experienced judge for one or more competitions. The new judge will get to watch the experienced judge do the work, and then they will get to do the work themselves, with the support of the experienced judge.
The amount of time a new judge spends at this step depends on how quickly the new judge learns to consistently apply the rules and how quickly they become comfortable working without a mentor. Our goal is to help every new judge progress as rapidly as possible, but we never rush anyone beyond their own comfort level.
After completing this step, a newer judge would become what we call an Intermediate Judge.
Step 5 – Work with another Intermediate Judge at one or more competitions.
At this step, the two Intermediate Judges would work together as a team.
The amount of time someone spends at this stage depends on how quickly each person learns to judge without support, feels comfortable judging without support, and also feels comfortable managing those odd situations that don’t happen very often. Many volunteers are content to stay at this level and always work with a partner. Others want to progress as quickly as they can.
After completing this step, an Intermediate Judge would become what we call an Experienced Judge.
Step 6 – Work as an Experienced Judge at one or more competitions.
At this step, the judge works on their own, gaining experience, and being exposed to those odd situations that don’t happen very often like appeals, technicals, or someone wearing a metal strainer on their head like a hat!
A more detailed explanation of this process as well as the advanced steps will be posted at a later date.
Also, the Difficulty Judge Training will be posted here in late December or maybe early in the new year.
Anyone with questions about Judging should contact the OCF at firstname.lastname@example.org