≡ Menu

Mentorship Program

MENTORSHIP: Helping new judges become comfortable and confident!

For Mentees:

Your mentor is your first resource for questions, whether technical, logistical, or just what the heck am I supposed to do next? Your mentor will help you to navigate the world of judging and help you become comfortable and confident in your new role.


Whether you are a new judge or planning on taking your Judging Exam, practice judging will be a huge asset to your preparation. Practice Judging, sometimes referred to as shadowing, consists of a new or potential judge sitting with the judging panel and practicing scripting and applying deductions. Your score will not count toward the average and you should not announce your score. You should get in 4-6 practice judging sessions prior to your first assignment. These can happen before and/or after you test.

When you find a meet you would like to practice judge, let your mentor know. Your mentor will contact the Meet Director and get approval that you may attend.

During the competition, you will not be able to ask questions or discuss routines with the judging panel. This regulation is in place because the judges must keep the pace of the meet moving along and any extra distractions or conversations will jeopardize that. However, please be sure to make notes of any questions that arise so that you can discuss with the judging panel at the completion of the competition. They will be happy to help you! You will, however, be able to hear or see the average score to compare with your own as well as hear any discussion between the judges should they find themselves out of range- all very interesting and educational stuff!

When shadowing, it is advisable that you choose a squad and rotate with them so that you can practice judge on all events. If you are doing more than 1 session and feel you need more practice on certain events, you are welcome to repeat events after your first all-around session. Many people feel they need more practice at UB which is totally normal!

Please note, you must be current with your NAWGJ and USAG professional memberships, safety certification and have an up-to-date background check to be allowed on the competition floor for practice judging. Please also note that there is no payment, travel reimbursement, or per diem for practice judging.

When shadowing, judges or potential judges are expected to learn and abide by all Rules and Policies, Codes of Conduct, and Cannons set forth by NAWGJ and NAWGJ CT. These include:

-dressing professionally (navy blue or black dress pants, white shirt, and blazer or sweater (local meets).

-arriving at the report time (if you are not practice judging the first session, you should arrive 20 minutes prior to the start of the session(s) you are practice judging) and remaining at the event you are stationed until the completion of the session.


It is encouraged that you “test  up” ASAP so that you can be assigned to more meets. Most local meets will consist of a wide range of levels, requiring judges with the rating applicable to the highest level athletes competing. Contact your mentor for help studying and guidance in regards to testing.


Communicate with your mentor when you put your availability into Arbiter (the assigning website). Try to find some coordinating dates so that you can try to “get on” the same meet as your mentor. In the notes, please put “first assignment, request to judge with mentor:_________.”

Happy Judging!


MENTORSHIP: Helping new judges become comfortable and confident!

For Mentors:

By becoming a mentor, you will:

  1. PRACTICE JUDGING: Help your mentee find opportunities to practice judge. It is NOT mandatory that mentees practice judge with their mentor every single time. However, it is the mentor’s responsibility to help facilitate the practice judging sessions:

-Call or email meet director to request permission for mentee to attend for practice judging. There will be a limit of 2 practice judges per session, so you may told that  your mentee cannot attend if it already has 2. Also, practice judging CAN occur during 1 or more sessions. The more practice, the better!

-Connect the meet ref with the mentee prior to the competition. Be sure the meet ref is aware that a new judge will be coming to shadow PRIOR to the meet.

2)  CHECK-IN: Email, text, or call regularly (bi-weekly would be great) to provide support, encouragement, and answer any questions. These check-ins are also a great opportunity to encourage and follow-up on practice judging sessions.

3)  BE AVAILABLE: You will be the first resource for your mentee when they need info on the what’s, why’s, where’s, and how’s.

4)  ENCOURAGE TO TEST UP: Please remind your mentee to test up as soon as they are comfortable so that they can get assigned to more meets!


6) PARTNER UP: On your mentee’s first official assignment, do your best to arrange so that you can judge with your mentee. This will require some coordination! Communicate about your schedules and assignments. If you can get assigned on the same meet as your mentee, please contact the Assignor to request that you are put on the same event and put in the notes “please assign with mentee________.”) If it is not possible to be on the same meet, please arrange a proxy.

Happy Mentoring!!