Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the country. It's easy to see why, kids love playing and it's an exciting sport for spectators. But with the explosive growth of the sport, the need for knowledgeable and experienced officials is greater than ever. If you or someone you know is interested in officiating, this page will provide you with the necessary steps you will need to take to become an official.
Richland Lacrosse is also offering a reimbursement program to help offset the expenses of getting started with officiating. If you can can become a certified official and referee at least 5 games, RLC will reimburse you up $200.00, all you will need to do is provide receipts for purchases made. This reimbursement is intended to cover your US Lacrosse membership, your WALOA membership, and expenses for your uniform.
For boys lacrosse, WALOA (WAshington Lacrosse Officials Association) is the governing body of lacrosse officials in Washington State. Here is a link to their website where they provide a checklist of items that need to be done to become a youth boys or high school boys official http://www.waloa.info/training/new-official-checklist
For girls lacrosse, WWLOA (Washington Womens Lacrosse Officials Association) is the governing body of lacrosse officials in Washington State. Here is a link to their website where they provide a checklist of items that need to be done to become a youth girls or high school girls official http://wwloa.org/Officials/Steps_to_Become_an_Official
Below we will go over the items on the checklist to help you better understand what it all entails.
Step 1: You Will Need a US Lacrosse Membership
Most of you have purchased a US Lacrosse membership for your child, you know that when you purchase the membership they ask you to specify who you're purchasing the membership for, parent/coach/player. They do not allow you to purchase an officials membership online, you will have to call the US Lacrosse customer service phone number at 1-410-235-6882. If you already have a membership as a parent or coach, the customer service reps will be able to convert your membership into an officials membership. Please check out https://www.uslacrosse.org/officials for more information.
Step 2: You Will Need to Purchase a WALOA or WWLOA Membership
For high school and youth boys lacrosse, go to http://waloa.arbitersports.com/front/106941/Registration to sign up for your WALOA membership. Fees are $55 for youth and $75 for high school. *You do not have to pay both fees, paying the high school fee will cover both. If you are not sure that you want to officiate high school you can start with just the youth fee, if you later decide that you would like to officiate high school games then you would only have to pay the additional $20.
For high school and youth girls lacrosse, go to http://wwluaorg000.web806.discountasp.net/Forms/Umpire_Agreement to sign up for your WWLOA membership.
Step 3: Pass the US Lacrosse Officials Exams
Both boys and girls have a youth and high school course/exam that you will need to take to become certified. If you are only interested in officiating youth, you will only need to take the youth course and pass the youth exam. If you would like to officiate high school, you will need to take the high school course and pass the the high school exam. Taking and passing the high school course does not certify you to officiate youth games. The rules between high school and youth lacrosse are very different, you will need to take both courses to become certified on both levels. All exams and courses are included with your US Lacrosse membership, there are no fees for these courses. Please visit https://www.uslacrosse.org/officials for more information.
Step 4: Attend Mandatory Training Sessions
US Lacrosse requires all WALOA and WWLOA officials to attend mandatory training sessions. Times and locations will be made available when we find out about them. Please contact Bonnie Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about upcoming training sessions. You can also let Bonnie know that you're interested in officiating and she can get you added to an email list for upcoming sessions.
Step 5: Get Your Stripes and Equipment
You will need to purchase an official's uniform and equipment. The required items for an official are as follows:
- A lacrosse officials shirt. Black and white stripes, pretty basic. Shirts are available in long and short sleeve.
- Solid black pants or shorts.
- A black hat with white piping, girls officials are allowed to wear visors.
- Black shoes and socks, if wearing shorts please wear black ankle socks.
- A whistle, FOX 40 whistles are highly recommended, you can find them on Amazon for about $5.
- A timer, you will need a timer that has a 20 second function and 120 second function. The Ready Ref lacrosse timer is also highly recommended. Visit their website at https://ready-ref.com/store_timers/ and look up the 1150 model.
- Two yellow flags, also readily avaialble online.
Honig's is a website that has a lot of gear available https://honigs.com/sport/lacrosse.html
Smitteez is another website that has a lot of gear https://www.smitteez.com/index.php/categories/Lacrosse-Referee-Officials-Uniforms-Gear
*If you're going to referee, try and purchase your gear/equipment during the winter. If you wait until the beginning of lacrosse season everything is backordered and you might not get your gear on time.
Step 5: Sign Up For Arbiter Sports and Arbiter Pay
It's important to do this last, you will need ID numbers that you get from US Lacrosse and WALOA/WWLOA to sign up for these. Arbiter Sports is the website that handles your schedule and Arbiter Pay is the website that deposits your pay into your bank account, both have mobile apps that you can download to your phone.
Arbiter Sports https://www.arbitersports.com/
Arbiter Pay https://www.refpay.com/
That's It! You're Ready To Go!
You've checked off everything on your list and you're ready to hit the field! Have fun and enjoy the games!
One last thing worth mentioning is that once you get certified there will be several opportunities for you to shadow more experienced referees in games. These shadowing opportunities will be available at all age levels, and will sort of give you a chance to get your feet wet before taking the plunge.
Please contact Bonnie with any additional questions.