As you know, I started my process of becoming a USAT Official in May, starting with the Columbia Triathlon as my first race. Additionally, I've officiated at 2 other races since, which has resulted in my promotion to a Cat 3 Official. Woo hoo!
For those of you unfamiliar with the USAT Officiating hierarchy, there are 5 levels of USAT Officials.
Cat 5 - Following completion of USAT exam and certification clinic, during your first race (also known as your practicum), you are considered a Cat 5
Cat 4 - You become a Cat 4 after a successful Cat 5 race and based on the recommendation from the clinic instructor. You serve a probationary Official (and unpaid) and are supervised by Cat 1, 2 or 3 Officials. You must complete 2 additional races as a Cat 4, before being considered for promotion to Cat 3.
Cat 3 - You become a Cat 3 after you have successfully officiated 2 races as a Cat 4 and after the Regional Coordinator has received your promotion package (which is basically your Referee Record of what races you have worked and your request to be promoted). And most importantly, it is now pay day, woo hoo! Cat 3 is where it really starts (hence - me being officially an official).
Cat 2 - You become a Cat 2 after you have been a Cat 3 for at least 1 year, worked a minimum of 6 events, including 2 as a Head Referee, provide a letter of recommendation from another Cat 3 or higher, and submit your promotion package for Cat 2.
Cat 1 - You become at Cat 1 after you have served as a Cat 2 for at least 1 year, worked 8 events (4 of which must be as a Head Referee as a Cat 2), provide a letter of recommendation from another Cat 2 or Cat 1, and submit your promotion package for Cat 1.
So there you have it, the USAT Officials hierarchy and where I fit into all of this. To keep my status, I simply need to officiate at least 1 race a year and attend a certification clinic every 2 years to stay current, though I hope to do much more than that. What could be better than being able to watch a race and get paid to do it?
I leave you with this photo of me at the Montclair Triathlon while on a Harley trying to nab cheaters on the bike course, which by the way, is difficult to do because of the loud engine!