1. I am interested in becoming an MMA official and want to take your course. What do I need to do next?
Please send an e-mail request to info@mmareferee.com.
You will be placed on our e-mail notification list for future course dates.

2. I'm interested in taking a referee and or judging certification class, when are your next available dates?
Because John McCarthy's and Jerin Valel's schedules are very busy and ever changing, unfortunately we are only able to announce course dates with a few weeks notice. Normally a new date is announced shortly after a class has been completed. We, on average, offer courses twice per year. 

3. Your course is already full, can I send my money in to secure a spot in the next course?
With John and Jerin’s schedules constantly changing, we are unable to announce future course dates until 4-5 weeks out. Due to this, we do not take registrations until we have definitive dates picked. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

4. I see that the next class is full.  Can I be placed on a list if someone cancels?
We do not have a cancellation list. Because the class is non-refundable, it is highly unusual for anyone to cancel with enough notice for us to fill the spot. If there was sufficient notice, an e-mail would be sent out to everyone on the notification list.

5. It seems like the dates are posted only a few weeks prior to the actual course. We are coming from a long distance and are trying to plan this seminar around a vacation to Nevada.
Jerin and John's schedules are very full. We try to schedule a course whenever John & Jerin have an available weekend. However, since that is not very often it unfortunately causes very short notice for the courses. We have people travel from all over the world to take the course and realize the inconvenience in having to wait until the last minute to schedule a trip. We apologize for the inconvenience.

6. Do you offer any package deal if I sign up for both a referee and judging course?
Our Hybrid course factors that in.

7. Is your course recognized by all state/province athletic commissions?
COMMAND is an ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions) nationally recognized training and certification schooling program for mixed martial arts referees and judges. While each State/Province has their own set of rules and standards, the COMMAND course is well known by most commissions and in some cases a mandatory course for their officials. Several commissions and associations have hosted COMMAND courses including the ABC, and jurisdictions such as California, Kansas, Missouri, Utah, Winnipeg, B.C., Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Brazil, and China.

8. If I pass the course, will this ensure I get a license with my athletic commission?
The simple answer is NO! A license from a state athletic commission is not a right, it is a privilege. Many state athletic commissions do not have very many fights going on in their jurisdiction and therefore give out few licenses based upon the infrequent use of the officials that they do have. Even if you are the best referee or judge available to your commission, it does not mean that you will be given a license when you apply. 

9. Do you hold any courses on the road in places other than Nevada?
The courses are very extensive and require a team of trained personnel to make it successful. The travel costs, along with all of the on-site logistics, make it cost prohibitive in relation to the fees that are collected because we limit each course to such a small number of students. For this reason, we can vary the course locations, but strictly to athletic commissions which are able to host the course and cover the travel related costs (we have done traveling courses all around the world).

10. How long is your certification good for?
The judging certification is a one-time certificate that is good indefinitely, but is recommended to be renewed every three years. The referee certification works similarly with a three-year renewal recommended and required by some commissions (some jurisdictions mandate every two years).  

11. After I take your course what steps should I take to get a license from my state/province athletic commission?
We always try to tell everyone that wants to be a part of MMA that they don’t necessarily need to start out in the position that they ultimately wish to end up in. The most important part is to get your foot in the door.  You may be able to start out as an inspector who stays with the athletes in the lockeroom, observes the taping of hands and walks the athlete to the ring or cage. Once you are part of the commission’s staff and you show them your knowledge and commitment to the sport, you will have an easier time moving into the job of a judge or referee. This doesn’t mean that you have to start out as an inspector, but you should be willing to start out doing anything you can to be around and prove to the commission that you are not only good for the sport, but also for your state commission.

12. What do I need to do to prepare myself for the course?
If you are not an active participant in some form of ground training (Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, wrestling), we strongly suggest you print up the MMA techniques that are listed on our site and take them to a local grappling facility to have them teach you each move, explaining how they work and what body part they affect. If you are unable to do this, extensive research on the internet, in book stores and/or videos should help. However, be aware that many times the moves are shown incorrectly so you should look at more than one source before assuming it is being done correctly. 

In addition to the techniques, you should familiarize yourself with the Unified Rules listed on our site. While each state has its own adaptations to the rules, our course is based on the current Unified Rules and it is up to you to find out if your state has made any changes to them for their jurisdiction.

13. If I do not pass the first time, is there any discount to come back a second time?
Because there are limited spaces available for each course, it is not possible for us to give any discounts for students wishing to take the course more than once. Due to the number of people involved in putting on the course, the overall cost of each one is significant. We do not teach these courses for the money, but rather for the betterment of the sport and to help ensure a safer future for the fighters. We thank you for your understanding in this matter. We also have a 2 attempt max for the course, you can take the full course and test no more than two times total. After that you can take the course for education, but we will not allow you to test until at least 6 years has gone by and you've shown effort to learn more about the sport. 

14. What type of pay does an MMA official make?
The pay scales vary for each state/province athletic commission. Smaller shows can pay as little as $25.00 while larger PPV shows may pay upwards of $1,200.00 for the entire night/event. Remember, in all states with an athletic commission, you work for the state, not the promoter. Some commissions will not even allow you to ask ahead of time what you are getting paid.

15. Would you guys be able to help me in anyway or is there anyone that you could refer me to?
We get hundreds of e-mails a month from people asking questions such as this and the simple truth is, it is impossible to personally answer every one of them. This course is our best way to reach out to the public and help both you and the sport. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to research individual training/teaching facilities in a certain area.

16. Okay, I am ready to sign up for the next course. What do I do to secure my spot?
Once a class has been announced, registration is accepted on a first received, first secured/paid basis. To register please visit our course section. Your spot will be reserved as soon as payment is received via our secure electronic payment system this is non-refundalbe. (the particiapnts are responsible for all travel, accommodation and any meals).

17. I'm interested in becoming certified as an official in MMA.  However, in order to prepare myself with proper knowledge (verbiage and technique), do you offer any books, online info or videos that are helpful in preparing oneself for such examinations?
Unfortunately we do not have any type of pre-study materials, mainly because the course is so hands-on.  You must be very familiar with all of the techniques as listed on our website. We always suggest going to a local jiu-jitsu school and either participate, take private lessons where you can, and ask them to teach you each technique or at least watch what is going on and ask lots of questions.  You can also download the Unified Rules and study them, as they are a big part of the course.

18. The information on your website says we should be familiar with all the takedowns and holds and there is a huge list of all those techniques. Do you have any link to any videos that demonstrate those techniques in order for me to study in preparation for the next class?
Unfortunately there is no video at the present time that demonstrates all the moves. We stress to everyone that we are not here to teach people about grappling, we are strictly here to teach you how to be a proficient official... The knowledge base needed to become a proficient official can only come from getting yourself into a local grappling school and either watching or participating in it yourself so you can understand how the holds and positions work.

19. What if I'm an MMA super FAN that wants to get involved?  
For those avid MMA fans that are interested in the sport, you are welcome to participate with a goal of a participation certificate via a MMA Fantasy camp-like experience.   The goal for you will be to learn and experience situations and live simulations as refs and judges with live feedback and real professional fighters.

20. Do MMA Coaches, Trainers, and Corners take these courses?  
Yes, every year we have coaches that learn how the unfied MMA critera is applied to fights, and then they gameplan around those findings with their athealtes or camps.  Our most positive feedback comes from MMA Media and MMA Coaches once the course is over. Often its indicated what an eye-opening experience the course is, and that it is creating a new perssertive and adavantage for them and MMA industry experts. 

21. What is the Course Schduele?  
The first day starts at 8:30am goes until aprox 7pm, the final days starts at 9am and concludes at aprox 5pm.