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Judge: Requirements for Qualification 

RYA qualifications for race officers are RYA Judge and National Judge. The International Judge qualification is awarded by World Sailing

The Rules Advisor is the club judging equivalent to the Club Race Officer qualification in race management.  It is not an RYA qualification but one belonging to the clubs themselves, using materials provided by the RYA.

Details of training, courses and seminars for judges and other race officials can be found at Training Courses.

All RYA qualifications are held for four years (two years for those over 75 years of age) after which time an application for renewal must be made. Applicants must be:

  • members of the RYA
  • age 18 or over for National Judge; 16 or over for Regional Judge
  • an experienced racing sailor
  • an email user with internet access
  • UK passport holder (or have principal residence in the UK)

The qualification requirements, which must be achieved within the 4 years prior to 1st November of the year of application, for Regional and National Judges at initial and renewed appointments are:

Requirement RYA Initial RYA Renewal National Initial National Renewal
Course (previously known as Seminar) Yes Not required Yes Not required
Examination RJ Not required NJ Not required
Performance Assessment Not required Not required Not required Not required
Minimum Experience 4 Protest Committees 4 Protest Committees 4 Major Events 4 Major Events
References# 1 Not required 2 Not required
VHF Certificate Nor required Not required Yes Yes
Powerboat Qualification Not required Not required PBL2 PBL2
Manuals Not required Not required World Sailing  J & Case Book World Sailing J & Case Book
Conference Not required Yes^ Not required Yes^

# References must be from the events given on the application form.

^ Attendance at a Course of the same grade is an acceptable alternative.

Application and Reference forms for these qualifications can be found at Application and Reference Forms.

World Sailing International Judge
Suitably qualified National Race Officials may wish to become an World Sailing International Race Official.  Recommendation by the RYA is a pre-requisite of such an application (World Sailing Regulation 31) for GBR race officials.  A recommendation can only be granted by compliance with the following procedure:

  • the RYA Race Officials Senior Administrator must receive a completed 'Request for Recommendation by the RYA' application form before 1st August in the year of the intended application.  Forms can be found at Application and Reference Forms.
  • all requirements of World Sailing Regulation 31 for the discipline concerned must have been met within the period from 1st January four years preceding the application (for example, an application to World Sailing in 2025 requires Regulation 31 to be met between 1/1/2022 and 1/6/2025).  The requirements include attendance at the relevant course, a pass in the associated examination and the appropriate number of 'Principal Events' satisfactorily completed.

A CV demonstrating strong supporting events and activity is also required by the RYA.  

Please note: Course attendance, examinations and events not completed before the application is submitted to the RYA cannot be taken into consideration. 

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