Here are some first steps you should take in your journey to becoming a football official:
- Almost every area or school district has a local official’s association which meets during the football season to network, discuss rules, field mechanics and philosophy. To find out about football official associations in your area, call your school district office and they can give you more information. Also check your local youth leagues and recreational football leagues for information.
- Attend games in your area and talk to the officials after the game and find out how they got started and who to contact for more information.
- Volunteer to help with pre season scrimmages and/or junior high level games. There is always a need for officials at that level and the games can provide you with valuable experience as well as a chance to get to know the local coaches and other officials.
- Ask if your association has a formal or informal mentoring program. These programs are designed specifically to provide new refs an opportunity to learn from veteran officials. Likewise, if you are a veteran official be sure to extend your hand to new refs to answer questions and welcome them to the group.
- Remember, everyone had to start at the beginning when becoming an official, so don’t be concerned about being the “new guy”. If you love football, this is a great way to get involved!