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Orange County Football Officials Association
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Why Become A Football Official?
Your love of football brought you to this website. You do not need to be an ex-player or coach to become a great official and have a memorable officiating career. Working around student-athletes at all levels of football is gratifying, plus you will develop life-long friendships with other officials who share your passion for the game.
Prior officiating experience is good but not required. Our training program will prepare you for an enjoyable and successful officiating career. Officiating football is also a great way to get and stay in shape, be a positive role model for student-athletes, retain your competitive edge, and earn additional income.
How do I enroll in the training program?
First, you join by completing the online registration process at http://ocfoa.org/new/online-registration-2017/ . If you have questions about the online registration process you can e-mail us at email@example.com. Once you submit the completed application and paid your membership dues, you’ll be enrolled in the training class and gain access to Arbiter, the software system used to schedule our game assignments. If you are interested in becoming an official and still have questions, you can attend one of the summer passing league games or the first instructional meeting of the season and join at that time. The first training meeting is held in early August on a Saturday and goes from about 8:00 AM to about 3:00 PM, subsequent training meetings are held on Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9:00 pm, from late August through late October.
What type of training will I receive?
The Orange County Football Officials Association (OCFOA), as a unit member of the California Football Officials Association (CFOA), provides a training program for new and returning members. Training classes meet on (6) Wednesday nights. We generally have 1 meeting in July, 2 in August, 1 in September and 2 in October. There are also 4 non-mandatory Spring meetings held in April and May. Training includes classroom as well as on-field instruction. Both classroom and on field training are taught by veteran officials. Along with the Wednesday night training, there will be several on field scrimmages specifically for new officials. We will have veteran officials at these scrimmages to work with you one on one to develop your on field mechanics.
What time commitment must I make to officiate football?
As a first-year official, you’ll be expected to attend Wednesday night training meetings and study rules related to classroom discussions. Freshman & JV Level games are scheduled Thursday through Saturday. The freshman and JV games begin around 3:00 pm and each game will be 1-1/2 to 2 hours. As a first-year official, you have the opportunity to work games, and you’ll decide how much you want to work depending on your desire and availability and the number of game assignments that are available. During the season, you will be asked to work games in a variety of stadiums and schools throughout Orange County. This distribution of games will help you become familiar with and receive training from many of our veteran officials.
How will I be paid to officiate games?
Local schools and school districts hire football officials as independent contractors. Accordingly, you’ll receive payment for each game assignment you work; we recommend you keep accurate records, as your earnings are taxable reportable income. As a new official, you’ll start working freshman and JV games, which paid $74.00 per game in 2016. Varsity officials were paid $80.00 per game. The California Interscholastic Federation – Southern Section (CIF-SS), sets the game fees you receive as an official.
What costs are involved in officiating football?
Your start-up uniform and equipment (flags, whistle, hat etc) will cost approximately $97. A number of online vendors sell officiating equipment, and a couple of local sporting goods suppliers also provide football officiating uniforms and supplies. A complete list of required uniforms and accessories will be provided at your first meeting. During the first few training meetings, you’ll have an opportunity to obtain previously worn uniforms, too. OCFOA dues run about $75.00/year for new members (first officials).
Where are the games officiated by the Orange County Football Officials Association?
OCFOA football officials work both public and private school games throughout Orange County. Pop Warner and Junior All-American games are not directly associated with our association but are assigned by members of our chapter who work with local youth leagues. These games, typically on Saturdays, provide great training for new officials; the youth football leagues pay the game fee which in 2016 was $50/game. You will also have the opportunity to work flag football games during the week that are run by several organizations in Orange County.
How do I gain experience and start working varsity games? How are varsity officials chosen?
OCFOA members advance based on attending officiating instructional meetings and examination scores as well as camps, clinics, and passing league participation. Additionally, on-field evaluations affect rankings, too. During your first couple of seasons, attempt to work as many scrimmages and freshman and JV games as you are assigned as well as youth level games. You are encouraged to join varsity crews as an observer on the field and participate in pregame and post game meetings.
How do I become a collegiate and/or NFL official?
If you want to officiate college or pro football, this is the place to start. All of the officials you see working Saturdays and Sundays began in a local association working youth, freshman, JV and varsity games. Many of our members are also members of SCFA and officiate junior college football in So Cal. Several members of OCFOA are PAC 12 , Big West and SCIACC college officials, and three former members are on the current NFL officiating staff.
What’s the most common complaint of football officials?
Almost every OCFOA member regrets waiting to start training to become a football official. Don’t make their mistake and wait another season to start the process of becoming an Orange County high school football official.
If you have questions about the training program email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text your message to 714 553-6093