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Observers

I’m wondering if anyone in the Indy area has been certified to be an observer. I have heard that the midwest currently has the lowest per-capita level of observers. If you are an observer, please let panozzaj@gmail.com know and we can let you know about any events that could use some observer help.

For anyone looking for more information, check out:
http://www.usaultimate.org/resources/officiating/observers/default.aspx
http://www.usaultimate.org/resources/officiating/observer_policy.aspx

For a quick overview, here’s a good excerpt (emphases mine):

What are Observers?

Observers are game officials that help facilitate one or more aspects of Ultimate competition. For the vast majority of Ultimate play, players are the only officials, taking on responsibility for all aspects of the game. In some settings, Observers are used to help manage aspects of the game that players are less able to manage, from keeping score or tracking time limits to helping quickly resolve player disputes and dealing with conduct issues. An important distinction between the role of Observers in Ultimate and officials in many other sports is that the primary responsibility for making almost all calls during a game remains with the players. This hybrid approach to officiating, where players officiate with the assistance of Observers, delivers the best of both self-officiated and third-party officiated competition, where player responsibility, integrity, and fair play can be showcased in a fast-paced, exciting environment.

What do Observers do?

The role of Observers in Ultimate has evolved a great deal since they were first used in the 1980’s. It has gone from a passive role to a much more active one in many ways. Initially, a small group of Observers with varying levels of experience worked a small number of games in USA Ultimate championships, usually as a response or deterrent to player misconduct. Now, a growing number of Observers have gone through a formalized training process and take part in multiple USA Ultimate and non-USA Ultimate events throughout the year, helping to not only handle conduct issues, but to speed up the game and make it more enjoyable for players and spectators.

Along the way, it has become clear to players, coaches, and organizers that Observers, or game officials in some capacity, can serve to improve the game in many ways other than arbitrating on disputed calls and handling conduct issues. Whether by keeping time, keeping score, serving as an adult “supervisor” at youth games, acting as an official source for reporting information to/from a game, or by helping inform players about how the game is expected to be played, there are many roles that players can’t or don’t take on that an official can, while still leaving the game, and its most important aspects itself largely in the players’ hands.