How to become a judge...

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Now is a great time to begin judging.  A compulsory rating obtained now will be valid through 2021, and optional ratings will be valid through 2022. 


Judging is a lot of fun; it allows you to take part in a fantastic sport without needing heating pads, ice or large bottles of ibuprofen.  To become an active judge, there are a few steps you'll need to do: obtain testing materials, study, register for test, take test, pass your test.

There are a couple of people you should contact to let them know of your intent to become a judge.  They are  Kathleen McIntire, State Education Coordinator and Co State Judging Directors Kathleen Edwards and Tina Snyder. All of these ladies will be a great resource for walking you through the steps to become a judge.


There a several study aids available; many have links on the "Practice Videos & Tests" section of this website.  



Some basics:

  • Level 4-5 is 50 multiple choice questions and you need 70% to Pass (i.e., you need to get at least 35 answers right).  There is no video with this exam. View some sample questions.

    • This rating permits you to judge any compulsory levels 1-5.  

    • It is valid until 2021.  

  • Level 8 has two testing components:

    • The written test is 50 multiple choice questions – 10 general questions, and 10 on each event.  Half of the questions in each sections are for Level 7, half for Level 8. You need to achieve a 70% score to pass.

    • The practical test is a series of videos that you will judge.  You will see 6 routines on each event. All the routines are to be judged using Level 8 rules.  The first one is a "baseline" routine. You will score it and the moderator will tell you the score and start value that the panel determined - so you can get a sense of how close you are to the base.  The other 5 routines you will score and record on the test sheet. You need to achieve a 70% score to pass.

    • This rating will permit you to judge Levels 6, 7 and 8 and Xcel Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

    • It is valid until 2022.


Next steps: 

  • Step 1: Obtain the materials 

There are 4 main sources of information you will need to obtain to study for tests.

NOTE - all of these items can be purchased on the USA Gymnastics website.

  • Step 2: Get some study aids:

To help you study, there are several tools that may help.   There are practice written tests available, there are online flashcards options, Google Classrooms and there are practice judging videos.  Check the “education corner” on this website and also on the NAWGJ site.

If you have any trouble finding these, please contact Kathleen McIntire

  • Step 3: Sign up to take the exam

You will need to register for the exam online at the USAG website.  You must register 2 weeks prior to the exam date. 



  • Step 4: Pass the exam there are several next steps.  You’ll get more information about that later,  but here are the highlights:

  1. Practice Judge: You will have at least 2 opportunities to practice judge.  This will be arranged with your assigner.  

  2. GymJas:  This is the online assigning system used in Ohio.  You will be set up in the system and assigned a username and password.  You will need to log in to the system, complete your profile information and enter your availability.  

  3. Uniform:  Obtain  the official uniform from Lands End.  

  4. Memberships: 

    1. Join NAWGJ (National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges)  Cost is $60 per year.

    2. Join USAG Professional Membership.    The membership link is:  The fee is $89 per year.  

      1. You will also be required to do a background check which you can apply for and submit through the membership link.  The cost is typically $25 but can vary among individuals.

      2. You will also be required to complete the Safety Certification U101 Safety/Risk Management Course. This online course takes a few hours.  The cost is $65 for professional members.

      3. You will also need to complete the USAG SafeSport course online.  This is currently free and takes a few hours.