Unaffiliated Referees


I remember reading somewhere last season that RECF recommended that events try and make sure that the referees were unaffiliated with any of the competing school. I am trying to find this guideline now, but I can’t. Is in longer a recommendation or can I just not find it anywhere?

there is no such requirement.

I stand corrected - from the Commitment to Event Excellence affirmation when setting up an event:

  1. Endeavor to staff the event with referees and judges who are not affiliated with teams at the event to ensure unbiased decisions.

The challenge is having enough judges to show up to an event, a lot of challenges to meet the numbers need to review all notebooks and interview all teams. Still endeavoring to get those numbers up. Head referees another challenge - seasoned referees are hard to reengage after pandemic.

To be sure, optics are important, but the alternative is to cancel event if it is required. It is not like you can call the RECF Referee Association to assign referees.

I expect as things open up more, we will have a lot more people re-engaged with robotics competition there will be more qualified volunteers available. However, globally all youth sports have also lost their pool of qualified officials.

We will get there.

If you have issue with an event, do approach the Event Partner, assume they are doing their best to make this season work. Reaching out now early season is very helpful and appreciated. Do loop in the RECF TEM and EEM because they will do their best to make sure everyone brings their very best to competition.


Judges need to declare the affiliation on check in sheet. Judge Advisor handles who looks at what books and interviews.


After a lot more digging around, I found the same thing on the EP guide on page 39:

A few positions like Judges and Referees require that there is a level of impartiality, so outside non-affiliated volunteers are critical to the integrity of the event. If finding non-affiliated volunteers isn’t possible, endeavor to provide Judges and Referees represent multiple organizations from the event.

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thanks - as you can well imagine this season is a struggle on so many fronts. Venues that will not allow HS athletes to compete with spectators present. Clearly we want teams to be able to show their very best and their accomplishments to be celebrated in person.

baby steps.

First event yesterday and I wish to thank RECF for doing their best whilst we do our best… More importantly, when issues arise, Event Engagement Manager answers and we problem solve. All are heard and path forward is resolved collaboratively.

Best to all this season - we are all rising to be our best.

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