How to Become a Gymnastics Judge

how-to-be-a-gymnastics-judge

Have you ever wondered what it took to become a judge for gymnastics? Their jobs may seem quite easy, but believe me when I say there is a lot to it!

You see judges most during meets, obviously. There are a few judges sitting at a table at each event: bars, beam, vault, and floor. These judges have gone through training to do what they do, and they have to keep an extra eye out when it comes to deciding the scores of the gymnasts.

If you are an individual that is interested in gymnastics but do not qualify to be an actual gymnast or a coach, becoming a judge is another option to become interactive in the gymnastics community.

How to become a Judge

So, you want to become a judge and you’re reading this post to understand the steps that you have to take in order for this to happen, right? Luckily for you, I am here to help explain this process so please bear with me!

To become an official gymnastics judge, you have to mentally prepare yourself to know that you will have to complete a lot of exams. The exams are issued by USA Gymnastics from the Accreditation Program. The exams that you will be taking consist of video as well as written parts.

To be quite honest it is highly suggested that you attend training clinics or Regional Congresses to gain knowledge on judging and what things you have to learn. You can try searching local clinics near you, that is definitely a start! Another way is to contact your state’s National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges because they will be able to tell you where clinics are offered and when the exams are so you can get a better idea of a timeline.



It is extremely important to know and understand the rules and regulations.

Just like any profession that you want to take on you have to educate yourself on the actual topic. There are mandatory books in which you will have to read which are listed below:

  • USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Compulsory Book
  • USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Code of Points
  • Current USA Gymnastics Women’s Rules and Policies
  • USA Gymnastics Technique Magazine

If you are interested in becoming a judge for International or Elite competitions (also known as FIG Brevet judges) you will have to read these books as well:

  • FIG Code of Points
  • FIG updates published by the FIG Technical Committee
  • Current FIG Technical Regulations (for International Competition)

What are the requirements for certification?

You have to pass a criminal background check if you are 18 years old (and older) as well as being a Professional Member of USA Gymnastics. You can still become a judge if you are under the age of 18, but instead, it is required that you are a Junior Professional Member of USA Gymnastics. You also have to have a current safety certification regardless if you are under the age of 18 or over.

Can you please give me more information on the exams?

Certainly! Like I mentioned earlier in the post, you can contact your state’s USA Gymnastics Judging Accreditation Program where they will provide you with a list of exam dates and locations as well as how to register for the exams.

If you feel that you did not do great the first time you take the exams just know that it is OK! You are able to take the exams for a specific level up to a maximum of four times a year (from August 1st – July 31st is considered their year).

How old do I have to be to become a judge for each level and what are the requirements?

Level 4/5 Judge

In order to become a level 4/5 judge, you have to be the age of 16 or above. You also have to score a 70 percent on the written part of the exam by answering 50 questions. If you achieve a 70 percent (or higher) you will be able to judge levels one through five.

You will have to meet all of the CPE requirements, which is 12 hours (minimum of six clinic hours)

Level 7/8 Judge

In order to become a level 7/8 judge, you have to be the age of 16 or above. You also have to pass the level 4/5 testing, score a 70 percent on the written part of the exam by answering 50 questions, and you have to score 70 percent on the video part of the exam. If you achieve a 70 percent (or above) on both sections of the exam, you will be able to judge levels six through eight.

You will have to meet all of the CPE requirements, which is 12 hours (minimum of six clinic hours)

What is great about this is that you do not have to take the video section and the written section the same time or day. This will give you time to really be able to prepare.

Level 9 Judge

In order to become a level 9 judge, you have to be the age of 18 or above. Before you even consider becoming a level 9 judge, you have to have your level 7/8 certification for a year before you can test into level 9 judging. You have to score a 76 percent on the written part of the exam by answering 50 questions and you have to score a 75 percent on the video portion.

Another thing that you have to do is meet all of the CPE requirements, which is 16 hours (minimum of eight clinic hours.

Level 10 Judge

In order to become a level 10 judge, you have to be the age of 20 or above. Just like to become a level 9 judge, in order to become a level 10 judge you have to have your level 9 certification for a year before testing into level 10. You have to score an 80 percent on both the written and video exams.

You also have to meet the CPE requirements, which is bumped up to 20 hours (10 clinic hours).

Brevet or National Judge

If you want to become a Brevet or National judge  (or even both) you have to be certified in levels six through 10. So I suggest working piece by piece before jumping into becoming a Brevet or National judge. I promise you with time this can happen!

This is a different situation as well because in order to become a Brevet or National judge you have to be invited and will have to attend a Brevet or National Judges’ Course. You have to be the age of 20 or older and will need to complete 20 CPE hours (10 clinic hours).

Please note that it is key to keep track of your own CPE hours. You have to include documentation (attendance and experience) along with anything else that is given. You will submit this information to your USA Gymnastics CPE Coordinator who will then put it on an Excel sheet to report back to USA Gymnastics. It is important to give all organized documentation to your CPE Coordinator by May 31st of each year.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any advice, feedback or information to share with the gymnastics community on how to become a judge!

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