USAU Observer Clinic

Posted at Sep 1 2022 09:00 AM by Liz Anderson

USAU is hosting an Observer Clinic at Fall Brawl, a college tournament in Columbus over the weekend of October 8-9, 2022. 

What is an observer? 
One of the most unique and defining characteristics of ultimate is its reliance upon the players to officiate the game under the sport’s Spirit of the Game ethos. Unlike referees, umpires or judges in most sports, observers do not make active foul and violation calls of a subjective nature. Instead, that responsibility lies with the players on the field. Observers are permitted to resolve disputes – if requested to do so by the players – and may make active calls related to conduct issues or some objective rules such as time violations and boundary decisions.

Learn more about what being a USAU Observer entails!

This clinic will take place Saturday and Sunday, October 8-9, 2022. Attendees can expect to go over observing procedures and common situations in a classroom setting on Saturday morning before going out to the fields to practice observing in actual games. As the weekend goes on, you'll be given less and less supervision during your officiating, and if you pass certification on Sunday, you will officially be a USA Ultimate observer!

Keep in mind that this is not a clinic for learning the rules. Before the clinic, attendees should learn the rules to the extent that they can quickly assess the events of a play and determine the correct outcome (e.g., Does the disc go back to the thrower? Does the turnover stand? Where does the disc get put into play? Is the marker giving enough disc space by the definition of the rules?). 

Attendees will also have to pay for their own travel and lodging. This kind of stuff usually gets covered for certified observers working typical tournaments, but not for trainees. If money is an issue and do not have contacts in Columbus, we may be able to assist financially or assist in finding lodging with contacts in Columbus.

Reach out to for more information!