A referee’s primary duty is to provide for safe and fair play during a match.  It is USHA policy to provide a referee for every match, with the exception of consolation events.  Tournament directors are expected to make every reasonable effort to procure referees.

    In addition to safe and fair play, the referee’s duties include the following:

•    To arbitrate factual events, such as fault serves or bad bounces;
•    To arbitrate judgment situations, such as hinders;
•    To ensure application of safety rules, such as dry clothing or eye guards;
•    To manage the pace of a match, such as employing the 10-second rule (Rule 4.1.E Time);
•    To manage fairness and manipulation, whether by design or ignorance, such as time outs, avoidable hinders, assessment of technical fouls;
•    To take the referee burden off players, so that players can concentrate on their play rather than refereeing;
•    To help mitigate altercations and ill will;
•    To provide the match with a sense of dignity and formality;
•    To allow spectators to track the score of the match;
•    To address more easily special circumstances that arise, such as the need for a towel on the court, a ball replacement, or medical attention;
•    To meet USHA constituents’ expectations to have referees.

    It is USHA policy that losers shall have the obligation to referee, or provide a suitable replacement.  This has been deemed the fairest policy, since the referee obligation is spread among all players, and each player must referee only once in each event.

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