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JCI (Judges' Certification, Inc.)

For years judges were tested and certified through the Judges’ Certification, Inc. (JCI)
JCI began in 1966. USAG informed NAWGJ in 2004 that the services of JCI were no longer needed.

2,034 Certified judges in 1990

1,851 Certified judges in 1998

2,383 Certified judges in 1999

2,684 Certified judges in 2001

Jan 1, 1995, René Niccollai became the new Certification Coordinator. Exams were scheduled through Sue Ammermon. Rene took over for Varina French who was seriously injured in a car accident in September of 1994.


JCI - Varina French, Certification Coordinator wrote "A Brief Historical Outline" of JCI.
Here are some of Varina's insights: (You may read the complete article - A Brief Historical Outline (around 1989)

JCI began in 1966 - created by a group of ladies, representing NAGWS/USGF, who recognized the need to have a credential for those who judge women's gymnastics. To give the gymnastics judge credibility when performing a job that could lead to verbal and mental abuse by coaches, parents, and even some gymnasts. Abuse, in some cases, just short of being physical. The dream was to put the judge on a professional plane.

The committee was financially supported in its first year by the USGF. The NAGWS (National Association for Girls and Women's Sports) assisted by publishing gymnastics officiating guides and other publications.


JCI Insights
by Varina French
(From 1991 Winter newsletter)

Many of you have a misconception about the role of Judges Certification Inc. (JCI) and where it fits in the total picture of judging. One of our roles is to provide a vehicle to certify judges and to identify ways for judges to remain in good status. This process is simple and precise. Adding complexity to this process is not a part of the JCI program. Rather, changes result from the state, regional, and/or national policies designed by NAWGJ, USGF, or both to enhance the gymnastics program. The purpose of JCI is to implement new policies in as uncomplicated and simple manner as possible to meet the objective.

We have found that some states misinterpret the process to permit politics, subjectivity, favoritism, selfishness, and lack of vision to interrupt what was originally an uncomplicated, humanistic goal of improving the judging of gymnastics. The goal of JCI is always to reach out and capture the spirit it takes to be a member of a unique group of women and men who contribute in a positive way to the sport of gymnastics, to their community, and perhaps, most of all, to themselves.

JCI endorses a rotation of all judges. I will address this topic in the next newsletter.


JCI Responsibilities (From 1991 Winter newsletter)

The task of JCI is to certify judging officials for the sport of womens gymnastics for a designated period of time (usually a four-year period or one Olympiad). Certification involves two procedures:

  • Certification is designated by passing written and practical examinations at various levels in an orderly manner as pre-determined by JCI in cooperation with USGF.

  • All certified judges are required to meet active status requirements each certification year (with the exception of the provisional judge who is exempt). The final determination of active status for each judge is the responsibility of JCI.

In order to meet active status requirement, a rated judge must, within a single certification year, complete 10 credit hours of clinic/workshop or designated credit work. Only 4 credit hours of the ten hours required are by attending a clinic or workshop. Six hours credit may be earned by 3 credit hours of volunteer work or 3 credit hours of practical experiences (see the back of your active status card). “Coaching” will be added to the new cards when they arrive from the printers as another way of meeting practical experience credit.

In addition to the credit hour requirement, officials must judge three meets in each certification year in which USGF rules are in effect. Practice judging of two meets is required only when the judge is going to test at the next highest level. This requirement must be fulfilled each year until the rating is earned and must be completed prior to the testing at the next highest level.

Before a judge can test at the next highest level, Parts I, II and III on the Active Status Card must be completed. When an Active Status Card is completed, it should be sent to the State Active Status Coordinator (ASC) for approval. The Coordinator will sign and send the original card to the JCI Coordinator.

All Active Status Coordinators are appointed by JCI. In many cases, the ASC is also the NAWGJ State Judging Director. The ASC has a supply of Active Status Cards. It is recommended that all judges send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the ASC when they send in their completed cards. All judges should keep a copy of their card on file in case a question arises on their active status.

Those who do not complete active status requirements are to be placed at the bottom of the judging rotation list and should be assigned only when no other judge is available. No judge "loses" a rating. All ratings are valid until December 31, 1993, unless changes in the competition program take place by USGF and then precise procedures on recertification will be announced. JCI endorses a rotation of all judges.

Lee Bjella 2015