The WFTDA and MRDA have decided that one certification process for officials is better than two. In a joint announcement, the skater memberships of the two governing bodies have “approved the concept” of combining their respective officiating certification tracks into a single program.
This is the latest step in a long-term plan between the WFTDA and MRDA to collaborate, an effort that has been ongoing since 2014.
“The WFTDA has been reviewing its certification process for some time,” says Grace Killy, Ex Officio member of the WFTDA Board of Directors. “Collaborating with our partners in the MRDA offers a perfect opportunity to update the program and strengthen the working relationship between the organizations.”
Miss Trial, MRDA Director of Officiating, agrees.
“This felt like an inevitable positive next step in the evolution of the partnership between MRDA and WFTDA, and will serve to help recruit, develop, certify and advance our collective officiating population,” she said.
The WFTDA and MRDA abide by the exact same set of rules, rely on the same pool of officials from the community, and have certification requirements that are more or less identical. Despite this, the two associations have kept their officiating programs separate from the very beginning. This has quickly become a major redundancy in the sport, especially as the need for quality officiating grows.
Soon, there will be one certification oversight panel to oversee one certification process, rather than two panels for two processes as it stands now. It is hoped that the joint program will streamline things for referees and NSOs that work men’s and women’s games, and improve consistency in officiating across the board.
The specifics of certification unification do not yet exist, since development is only just beginning. The WFTDA and MRDA are currently in the process of electing oversight panel members, which will of course have representation from both groups.
More details will become available as things move along. No timeline was given for how long the process would take, but it would make sense if things got finalized before the 2016 WFTDA tournament season begins this August.