Commissaire Training

Commissaires are the sports officials that supervise bicycle races in each cycling discipline. Their responsibilities at bike races are similar to those of the referees or umpires in other sports.

All races at the provincial and regional level in BC are supervised by one or more Commissaires, who generally have the following responsibilities:

  • Supervise the behavior of the riders,
  • Apply penalties (such as warnings, fines, relegation, or disqualification) if appropriate for infractions of the rules,
  • Judge the start and finish of each race, and
  • Perform backup timekeeping.

Cycling BC Trains Commissaires annually. If you are interested in becoming a Commissaire contact Tara Mowat (tara@cyclingbc.net) for more details.

Commissaires are semi-professional volunteers who when appointed to provincial and regional level races not held by their own club, are paid an honorarium of between $110 and $130 / race day, plus travel expenses.

Upcoming Courses (Updated March 19 2013)

  • Road Commissaire Mentorship Program (PDF)
  • BMX Commissaire Mentorship Program (PDF)
  • Mountain Bike Commissaire Mentorship Program (to come)

Self Study Courses (PDF will open in a new tab)

Click Here to download the Self Study Guide for the Mountain Bike ‘C’ Course.

Click Here to download the Self Study Guide for the BMX ‘C’ Course.

Click Here to download the Self Study Guide for the Road/Track/Cyclo-cross ‘C’ Course – Note: This Document still has ‘draft’ status and is undergoing review.

Commissaire Certification Process and Levels

Provincial ‘C’ Commissaire

  • Take ‘C’ level Commissaire Course, either with the self study manual or in a classroom setting
  • Gain experience at a number of events under supervision
  • Certified as a ‘C’ level Commissaire

Provincial ‘B’ Commissaire

  • Be certified as a ‘C’ level Commissaire in the discipline
  • Take ‘B’ level Commissaire Course, in a classroom setting
  • Gain experience at a number of events in the specific roles covered in the ‘B’ course
  • Certified as a ‘B’ level Commissaire

Provincial ‘A’ Commissaire

  • Be certified as a ‘B’ level Commissaire in the discipline
  • Take the ‘A’ level Commissaire Course, in a classroom setting
  • Job shadow the Chief Commissaire at 2 provincial events
  • Pass a practical evaluation as Chief Commissaire at a provincial event
  • Certified as an ‘A’ level Commissaire

National Commissaire

  • Be certified as an ‘A’ level Commissaire in the discipline (or a National Commissaire in another discipline)
  • Attend the National Commissaire course for the discipline
  • Pass a written examination
  • Pass a practical examination at a national or international event

International Commissaire

  • Be certified as a National Commissaire in the discipline for at least 2 years
  • Successfully complete the requirements specified in the UCI Regulations concerning the training of International Commissaires

Commissaire Training – General Process

Provincial ‘C’ Level Commissaire

  • Take ‘C’ level Commissaire Course, either with the self study manual or in a classroom setting
  • Gain experience at a number of events under supervision
  • Certified as a ‘C’ level Commissaire

Provincial ‘B’ Commissaire

  • Be certified as a ‘C’ level Commissaire in the discipline
  • Take ‘B’ level Commissaire Course, in a classroom setting
  • Gain experience at a number of events in the specific roles covered in the ‘B’ course
  • Certified as a ‘B’ level Commissaire

Provincial ‘A’ Commissaire

  • Be certified as a ‘B’ level Commissaire in the discipline
  • Take the ‘A’ level Commissaire Course, in a classroom setting
  • Job shadow the Chief Commissaire at 2 provincial events
  • Pass a practical evaluation as Chief Commissaire at a provincial event
  • Certified as an ‘A’ level Commissaire

National Commissaire

  • Be certified as an ‘A’ level Commissaire in the discipline (or a National Commissaire in another discipline)
  • Attend the National Commissaire course for the discipline
  • Pass a written examination
  • Pass a practical examination at a national or international event

International Commissaire

  • Be certified as a National Commissaire in the discipline for at least 2 years
  • Successfully complete the requirements specified in the UCI Regulations concerning the training of International Commissaires

Commissaire Training Revision Project

Cycling BC is in the process of re-writing its provincial Commissaire training courses and Commissaire training scheme for each discipline. This is being done in order to address the following problems:

  • The time commitment required by the first level Commissaire course presents a barrier to recruitment, as does the inflexibility of the course format. Candidates are asked to give up a weekend for an activity that they don’t even know that they will enjoy. They are then thrown into a race situation to “sink or swim” without much help or guidance; this is not a good way to retain new volunteers
  • Currently, the only time Commissaires receive formal training is the first level Commissaire course; the next opportunity for training and evaluation is the national course
  • There is no objective method for promotion which is based on ability. Commissaires are currently promoted subjectively based upon experience and tenure, but not necessarily performance
  • There isn’t a standard curriculum for Provincial Commissaires in most disciplines
  • The abilities and level of skill mastery of Commissaires at each level of certification varies greatly

The Solution

The revised courses and training scheme address these problems as follows:

  • The first level course in each discipline is formatted as a self-study manual; this allows new Commissaires to review the material and relevant rules at home on their own time. Once they have reviewed the material, they must complete and pass a take-home written examination composed of a number of questions drawn at random from a question bank
  • Once a Commissaire recruit has passed the written examination, they have “trained” status as a Commissaire. They must then gain practical experience under the supervision of experienced Commissaires at several events. Once they have completed the practical experience requirement, they are certified at the Provincial “C” level
  • The Provincial “B” and Provincial A” level Commissaire courses are done in a class-room setting, and also feature an examination and a supervised practical experience requirement before certification is awarded
  • As officiating is a skill-based activity, the courses concentrate on the fundamental skills needed to officiate effectively. Theoretical and ethical content is introduced where needed, but is mostly left to the Provincial “A” and eventually the National level courses

Over time, this course delivery model will produce a pool of Commissaires who are trained in the same skills in a consistent manner. Also, it will eventually increase the quality of Canada’s National and International Commissaires, as officials trained under this scheme are continuously evaluated and must demonstrate that they can successfully perform the required skills before being promoted.

The revised courses are as follows:

Mountain Bike

Provincial C: Starter, Timekeeper and Finish Judge Course (Self Study Manual or Classroom)
Provincial B: Race Secretary & Race Supervision (Classroom)
Provincial A: Event Chief Commissaire Course (Classroom)

BMX

Provincial C: Staging and Finish Judge Course (Self Study Manual or Classroom)
Provincial B: Race Administrator & Track Judge (Classroom)
Provincial A: Event Chief Commissaire Course (Classroom)

Road / Track / Cyclo-cross*

Provincial C Part A (Road / Track / Cyclo-cross): Timekeeper (Self Study Manual or Classroom)
Provincial C Part B (Road / Track / Cyclo-cross): Finish Judge (Self Study Manual or Classroom)
Provincial B (Road / Track / Cyclo-cross): Starter & Referee (Classroom)

Road

Provincial A: Event Chief Commissaire Course (Classroom)

Track

Provincial A: Event Chief Commissaire Course (Classroom)

Cyclo-cross

Provincial A: Event Chief Commissaire Course (Classroom)

*Note: The Provincial C and B courses are common for the Road, Track, and Cyclo-cross disciplines. Since these disciplines are closely related, it is desirable that Commissaires are initially trained to work at races in all 3 disciplines. Officials then specialize in one or more disciplines when they are ready to take the Provincial “A” level courses.

Project Status

The Provincial “C” BMX Course Manual is complete.

The Provincial “C” Mountain Bike Course Manual is complete.

The Timekeeper Course Manual of the Road / Track / Cyclo-cross Provincial “C” Level is complete.

The Finish Judge Course Manual of the Road / Track / Cyclo-cross Provincial “C” Level will be completed by March 31, 2011

The Finish Judge Course Manual of the Road / Track / Cyclo-cross Provincial “C” Level will be completed by March 31, 2011

Documentation work on the “B” and “A” level courses for each discipline will begin in spring 2011; completion is expected by Winter 2012.

Documentation work on the “B” and “A” level courses for each discipline will begin in spring 2011; completion is expected by Winter 2012.