The Best Seat in the House

Become a USA Ultimate certified observer and take the field alongside the sport’s top athletes. Observing is a challenging and fulfilling way to be active in the ultimate community and gives you a front row seat to the most competitive and prestigious tournaments.

3 Simple Steps to Becoming a USA Ultimate Certified Observer


Attend a USA Ultimate Observer Certification Clinic

These two-day clinics include discussion of the Observer Code of Conduct, officiating philosophies, mechanics, skills and drills and the game-day experience.


Pass a Pair of Tests

Following the clinic, attendees will be tested on the clinic’s content and take a rules exam.


Pass a Practical Performance Evaluation

After passing the tests, the final step to becoming a certified observer is a practical exam that puts you on the field in a real-game situation.

Certification Clinics

Attend a Clinic in Your Area

USA Ultimate offers observer certification clinics across the country, often in conjunction with sanctioned tournaments. Clinics are taught by certified observer program trainers and cost just $25. The cost is fully refundable after a newly certified observer works their fifth game. Check back often as the clinic calendar is updated throughout the year.

2023 Clinic Calendar


10/7 – 10/8
No Wisconsequences Observer Clinic
Hartland, WI


11/4 – 11/5
Coconut Classic Observer Clinic
Freehold, NJ


As Easy as 1-2-3…

Recertification is a snap. Initial certification lasts two years and is easily renewed by:

  1. Working 10 games in a two-year span
  2. Passing a renewal test.
  3. Receiving approval from a certified observer program trainer.

Observer Program Contacts

Region Name Position
Byron Hicks Observer Certification Manager
Mitch Dengler National Observer Director
Atlantic Coast Brad Tinney Regional Observer Coordinator
Great Lakes Ben Murphy Regional Observer Coordinator
Metro East Linda Kudo Regional Observer Coordinator
New England Shiellah Quintos Regional Observer Coordinator
North Central Carl Nelson Regional Observer Coordinator
Northwest Wally Kwong Regional Observer Coordinator
Ohio Valley Jake Rathjens Regional Observer Coordinator
South Central Marvin Vuong Regional Observer Coordinator
Southeast Randall Bugg Regional Observer Coordinator
Southwest Brian Bradburn Regional Observer Coordinator

Observer Resources


The Official Rules of Ultimate, 2022-23 edition.

Last Modified: 2022-01-21 22:45:12

A comprehensive guide outlining the roles and responsibilities of an observer.

Last Modified: 2023-01-26 16:09:02

USA Ultimate’s policy on observers and referees. Approved August 2003.

Last Modified: 2020-12-14 21:58:08