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Become an Official

By Justin Hotop jhotop@perryvillenews.com Jul 19, 2019

A trio of referees measure for a first down during a Perryville football game in Fredericktown in September last season. Amid a shortage of football referees for Missouri high school sports, there was an influx of nine new referees.

Influx of referees slows shortage

It is a problem that no longer can be ignored. In years past the Southeast Missouri Football Officials Association (SEMOFOA) has been able to recruit new, younger referees to officiate high school football games on Friday night. The problem is that flow of younger people has slowed considerably.


Football referees stand up in the center of the football field during the National Anthem before the game between El Cerrito and Oakland Tech at El Cerrito High School in El Cerrito, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

High school football teams face officiating dilemma

Schools asked to move games to Thursday, Saturdays to deal with lack of referees

CLICK THE RED BUTTON > REGISTER NOW-ALL OFFICIALS-OLD and NEW

PSI seeks experienced and new officials. It is not difficult to join. 

  1. learn and apply rules of the sport 
  2. show confidence and composure in decision-making
  3. work cooperatively with fellow officials
  4. manage players, coaches and the event

PSI provides on-going training to prepare for confidently facing challenging situations. Clients pay game fees using ArbiterPay.  Experienced officials work with teachable individuals who are eager to learn.  Our approach is be firm, fair, positive and cooperative with all involved participants: players, coaches, administrators and spectators.

CLICK THE BLUE BUTTON > KEEP CALM AND PAY YOUR DUES

The Annual Dues of $75 includes the NFHS Rule Books you need for each sport. Submit online payment with credit or debit card.

CLICK THE GREEN BUTTON > SIGN UP TODAY

New Officials who don't have an ArbiterPay account must create one. No account - No pay.


To be paid your game fees, you must have an account set up with ArbiterPay. Please have your Driver's License number, SSN, Bank Account and Routing number ready to enter when you register.

CLICK THE NASO LOGO BELOW TO JOIN OR RENEW MEMBERSHIP

Use the code: M2NASON to obtain a discount on membership in the National Association of Sports Officials. Now, more than ever before, you need to become a member. Members of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) enjoy a variety of benefits. Those benefits include insurance, educational and training materials, discounts and advocacy. NASO members get clear, concise information on rule changes and interpretations and the latest word on mechanics. NASO members get strong advocacy in support of legislation that protects them from assaults by fans, coaches and players. NASO members get the security of insurance that protects them against liability claims, medical costs associated with physical assaults, game call and assignor’s coverage, and optional game-fee protection.

Registration

Complete the  NFHS Registration Fee

Make  PSI Annual Dues Payment:  Pay $75  online...or by Check /Cash

If you chose to mail  dues, send it to: 

PSI ,1732 Fremont Boulevard, Suite #200B

Seaside, Ca 93955

IN SUMMARY - HERE ARE THE STEPS TO BECOME AN OFFICIAL:

  1. click the big red REGISTER NOW button. or (click on this hypertext link) to visit the Arbiter Sports Registration Dashboard . Complete the registration process, enroll in the sport or sports that you want to learn. The information entered will create your  ArbiterOne account where you get your game assignments. Acknowledge that you understand and agree to the terms of the Independent Contractor Agreement. This defines work status as  a Contractor and  NOT an employee of Peninsula Sports, Inc .  We like to know about your prior experience and about any association/connection you have with a school/organization. This creates a conflict of interest. we won't assign you do those specific games. to complete registration: make a $17 credit or debit card payment to NFHS. The fee covers insurance and access to the NFHS Central Hub - Learning Center in ArbiterOne.
  2. You will receive a welcome email that from ArbiterSports.com and connect with PSI Arbiter Group 101440. You should log-on and verify/update your profile.  Enter availability (the dates and times you are open to work games) and travel limits
  3.  The Blocking feature (left-hand side - Arbiter schedule page;  and the Support tab guides you with tutorials on blocking dates, teams, sites and where to find information get to your assigned games.
  4. There is a page for each sport on this website. The Trainer /Assigner contact phone and e-mail is there.
  5. The training meeting schedule for each sport is on the sport page. Attend the first meeting and every meeting. All officials receive necessary information for new officials and refresher info for returning officials.
  6. PSI Annual Dues covers all sports for the sports year from June 1st to May 31st of of next  year. Dues help to cover costs associated with training, meetings and assigning games to officials. The Annual Dues of  $75 includes rule books, is payable online here , or in cash or by check sent by mail or brought to a training meeting. .
  7. Acquire the uniform and accessories before a scrimmage and assigned games.  PSI provides a list of uniform/accesory items and a list of vendors  that sell the goods.
  8. Create an ArbiterPay account . Game fees can be transferred into any of your selected checking or savings accounts. You can obtain a debit card or get paid with a hard-copy check. If you already have an ArbiterPay account, make sure you are "connected" to Arbiter Group # 101440.

Training requirements:

1. read the rule book, casebook, and/or manual

2.  attend training meetings, on-court or on-field preseason scheduled scrimmages scheduled

3. take the rules test

4. View ArbiterOne assignments  via text or e-mail notices on your mobile app and accept or decline them asap.

 New officials are paired up with experienced members to provide guidance and instruction throughout your career. As you gain knowledge and experience, you will do the same for others. Successful officiating is always a team effort.

 

Other information:

  • RECRUITMENT: Officials who recruit newcomers into Peninsula Sports receive a recruitment bonus of $75. Details of this program can be obtained from Peninsula Sports staff. Use the Referee Referral Form to submit your referral to PSI Office. 
  • Additional information for referees can be found in Referee Magazine and on their website.

CCS RECRUITMENT PROGRAM

Women Are Largely Untapped Resource In Alleviating Youth Sports Referee Shortage

Bob Cook Contributor      Sports & Leisure

I write about youth sports under the title: Your Kid's Not Going Pro. Ever since the Journal News in Westchester County, N.Y., in May ran an excellent piece on the referee shortage in school sports, I've seen a lot of other pieces designed to localize the ongoing crisis in finding enough officials to staff youth games. These stories give reasons similar to what the Journal News reported as why there is a referee shortage (I've added the links):

And the second issue grows out of the first: that female referees stepping into male sports risk being on the receiving end of greater abuse than their male colleagues. (Just like what happens with female sportswriters.) In another story on the youth sports officials shortage, the Journal News made just that point:

The abuse can be worse for female officials, who are often the target of sexist comments from disgruntled fans.

“I’ve had a mix and heard everything. Sometimes it’s hurtful, and maybe that’s why some women don’t stick with it,” said Suzanne Gunn, 52, a Washingtonville-based official who has been calling soccer, basketball and lacrosse games for 14 years. “You just have to try your best to tune it out. I feel we’re part of a team as officials. Male or female, we all wear the stripes together.”

If I had the solution that would result in all men accepting and embracing women as necessary, non-threatening presences in, well, everything, I'd offer it here. But organizations, from state high school associations to the volunteers in the kiddie soccer league, need to think about how to ensure women feel welcomed in youth sports, in all jobs beyond buying the after-game snacks, if they want to stop scrambling to find officials.

The key culprits for the decline include:the culture of abuse aimed at officials across all sports.

the aging of the current crop of officials that many say is a harbinger of a looming disaster.

Like climate change, except less potentially fatal and floody, the youth sports officials shortage is something that has been warned about for years, with examples of its devastating effects there if you look, but with action to do something about it slow to come. I posted my first piece about it in 2010, and went back to this well in 2014 (the big idea at the time was waiving child-labor laws to get more teens to serve as officials) and 2015. Actually, I wrote about one solution to this crisis as far back as 2009: massive unemployment in all other sectors of the economy.

There is one idea to alleviate the officials' shortage that I haven't covered: finding a way to get more women involved in officiating, and not just for girls' sports. Here is an example from the Bend (Ore.) Bulletin on how that's making a difference in boys basketball in Oregon:

Over the past five years, the number of high school sports officials in Oregon has decreased by 16 percent, according to a joint release by the Oregon School Activities Association and the Oregon Athletic Officials Association. Games have been canceled for lack of officials, more so at the subvarsity levels.

In Central Oregon, a welcome rise in the number of female basketball officials, ranging in age from 19 to 65, has resulted in a significant uptick in the overall availability of referees.

As longtime [Central Oregon Basketball Officials Association] commissioner Bob Reichert puts it: “We felt like we kind of hit the mother lode this year with our female officials.”

“When we got some of these gals in, I really felt like we were blessed,” says Reichert, whose association currently boasts 10 women referees, by far the most ever for the COBOA. “They have playing experience in college, and some of them have progressed so quickly that it’s been really heartwarming to see.”

Why has it taken so long to see the value in women as referees in all youth sports events? A theory proffered in this GoErie.com story about female officials is that many drop out when they have families. However, there are two issues that are more pernicious.

First, there is not exactly wide societal acceptance of, or familiarity with, female referees in male sports -- only three have ever worked in the NBA, only one is in the NFL, and none are in Major League Baseball. Of course, when few are in the lower reaches of the sport, few are going to be at the pro level. New York City had its first all-female referee crew at a boys basketball game in... December 2016. (You might have done a double-take when the Oregon commissioner referred to adult woman officials as "gals.")

Characteristics of a Good Sports Official

From a US Lacrosse Official

Officiating: The Ultimate Professional Development

August 23, 2016 - I am a sophomore in college and this upcoming season marks my fourth year officiating. I absolutely love it. Officiating provides a perfect transition for players who are not going to continue their career in high school, college, or beyond; allowing you to stay in the game (and get paid for doing so). 

Here are some of the reasons why I think officiating is ideal for high school and college (and beyond) students:

1. If you were a player, you already know the game and officiating just lets you stay in the game longer

I played girls lacrosse for five years in high school, but I became a men’s lacrosse official which puts me into an unusual situation of being completely new to the sport I officiate. While I love the men’s game and have had mentors push me to excel in the game, I lack a players experience on the field which can be a huge advantage. But now that I am in the game, I have endless opportunities to stay a part of it. I had the opportunity to officiate with a gentleman from Minnesota this past season who said he had been officiating for 41 years. 41 YEARS. If you truly love officiating and you stay in shape, there is no reason to abandon the game you love.

2. It teaches you how to operate in high pressure situations

My least favorite thing is getting yelled at. When coaches, parents, and fans critique your every move, the field can become a very uncomfortable place. This might be the championship game or the cross town rivalry. The tensions run high and the pressure mounts as you are forced to operate at the very best of your ability. As uncomfortable as it is, I know that the field is the most stressful workplace I will ever experience. If I can excel on the field, I can do anything. Dealing with pressure to excel on the field translates easily to dealing with stressful situations in the professional world.

3. You are forced to learn how to communicate effectively

All of my mentors have stressed and reiterated that calm communication is vital to effectively managing the game. Coaches have run off the sidelines to yell and scream at the officials. As an official, you can’t just run and hide, you need to step up and learn how to deal with the noise and chaos and still remain in control. Clear communication often diffuses tense situations and keeps everyone calm. But even if no one is yelling, learning how to both connect with the players and coaches but maintain professional distance is critical to managing the game. In the professional world, communication and interpersonal skills consistently rank on the top 10 skills employers look for in a candidate. If you can capitalize on your on-field experience and learn how to communicate effectively while officiating, you are well on your way to professional success. 

4. Networking

Most officials don’t officiate full time, instead they are doctors, lawyers, business men and women – anyone can be an official (with the proper training and certification). As a college student who is constantly on the lookout for ways to transition smoothly from the academic world to the professional one, I see my fellow officials as valuable resources and connections. If I have made a good impression as a hardworking partner or trainee, that speaks volumes to my partner and establishes my reputation on and off the field. I consider every game I officiate to be an opportunity to build my reputation and to make connections.

5. Officiating requires quick, on-your-feet thinking.

As an official, you do not have the luxury of time. Everything is happening at once and in a split second, you need to recognize fouls, identify the rule, correctly administer the penalty, and get the game going again. I have dealt with plays involving multiple penalties and changes in possession and I don’t have the opportunity to stand there, count on my fingers and figure out what happened. It is one of the biggest moments in a game where everyone is watching the official instead of the players. You must learn how to act and react in the moment and stay professional while doing so. The ability to adapt in an ever fluctuating environment is not limited to officiating, but it is essential for operating in the professional world as well.

6. Officiating provides applicable experience to any job type

Leadership skills? Check. 

Communication? Check. 

Ability to handle responsibility? Detail oriented? Ability to react quickly? Check, check, check. 

I have gone through multiple interviews in which the interviewer was more interested in my officiating experience than my seemingly more applicable professional experience. It doesn’t matter what profession you want to pursue when you graduate, officiating perfects so many different skills that you would be hard pressed to find a field in which your experiences were not relevant. 

7. You get to schedule your own hours and the pay is good

In the organizations I have worked for, I get to pick the days I am available and my travel limits, allowing me to focus on my academic schedule first. And I definitely don’t complain about the pay. Being an official is hard work, but the pay certainly beats whatever you would get at the restaurant down the road busing tables. 

I am immensely thankful for the opportunities that officiating has provided and I look forward to many more years as an official. I would encourage anyone who is interested in officiating to contact their local officials organization to learn more. Stand tall and wear your stripes with pride. 

Written by: Rachael Overland