Last year I asked if FIDE were going to extend the rules around inactivity for new players, players and arbiters. They did so for players but not arbiters. Now they have made radical changes to the rules for arbiters. What are they?
It's probably worth giving a quick summary of the types of arbiters and the previous rules.
National Arbiter (NA)
This is the lowest level of arbiter. Think of them as trainees. The only FIDE requirement is that their national federation registers them with FIDE and pays a 20 euro fee. Some federations have additional requirements. Mine, for instance, required me to attend the FIDE arbiters seminar and pass the associated exam and then qualify as a federation national arbiter first.
NAs can be chief arbiters in the lowest level of FIDE rated tournaments.
NAs never become inactive.
FIDE Arbiter (FA)
This is the lowest level of qualified FIDE arbiter. They are required to attend the arbiters' seminar, pass the exam and achieve 3 arbiter norms at the FA level. These are spelt out in article 3 of B.06.1 – FIDE Regulations for the Titles of Arbiters on the FIDE website. Additionally there is a 80 euro registration fee.
FAs can be chief arbiters in tournaments up to norm event level. They can be deputy chief arbiters in strong international events and ordinary arbiters in all events.
Pre-covid FAs became inactive after 2 years of inactivity (not being any kind of arbiter in any FIDE rated event). To become active again all that was necessary was for the arbiter's federation to tell FIDE and pay the registration fee again.
International Arbiter (IA)
This is the main level of qualified FIDE arbiter. They are required to first qualify as FAs and then achieve an additional 3 arbiter norms at a higher level than FAs. Whereas FAs can achieve a norm in any FIDE rated event norms for the IA title must be in events where title norms are available. These are spelt out in the same document as for FAs.
The pre-covid rules for inactivity are the same as for FAs, just that the re-registration fees are higher.