Whatever the level of competition or the event, the presence of an official is always recommended. The role of the official is not to simply enforce the rules. Instead, it is to make sure that the competition is running smoothly so that competitors can focus on giving their best performance since the conditions of every competition are identical and the same for all athletes each and every time.
Rather than being a dictator, it is the official’s breadth of experience and knowledge of the rules that allow decisions to be clearly and unambiguously explained to coaches and athletes.
If you aspire to becoming an official, consider reviewing the Officials Pathway page to on how to get there. If you are already an official, or an athlete who wants to the axact and current rules, we suggest bookmarking the Reference documents page for easy access.