Becoming A High School Official


There’s a shortage of high school officials in almost every sport. In some communities the shortage is critical and high school games are being either postponed or cancelled.


Becoming a high school official is the easiest call you’ll ever make. High school officials protect the integrity of the games our kids love to play by demonstrating qualities like honesty, objectivity, consistency, courage and common sense. They have the opportunity to help teenagers learn life lessons that will benefit them for a lifetime. As veteran officials continue to retire, new officials have an opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of young people every year.

Consider the many benefits of becoming a high school official:

  • You’ll be a role model for the youth in your community
  • It’s a great way to stay in good physical condition
  • Hours are flexible
  • You’ll earn extra income
  • You’ll expand your network of friends and have fun

Here are some commonly asked questions with the answers, along with the contact information on upcoming classes!


  1. What is the EMAIFO?  The Eastern Massachusetts Association of Interscholastic Football Officials is an organization dedicated to educate and train football officials.  Officials work throughout the South Shore, Cape and Islands, and South Coast of Eastern Massachusetts. 
  • Who joins the EMAIFO? Men and women with a love for the game of football and interscholastic sports.  Many of our members have played the game or officiate other sports.  Some of our members have coached football or other sports.  All our members provide the best on field experience for the game participants.  We believe that interscholastic sports are an extension of the classroom.  Life lessons learned on the field will be carried throughout a lifetime.
  • Why join the EMAIFO?  You will receive the training to be successful on the field.  You will receive the support to advance your officiating career as far as you want.  You will make great friends. You will ensure the game continues to be played according to rules that ensures the safety of participants.  In order to work high school games in Massachusetts you must be a member in good standing of an official’s association.
  • How can I join the EMAIFO?  You need to complete a registration form, complete the training program, pass a test, purchase uniform and equipment, register with the MIAA and pay registration fees. Click here to fill out the registration form.
  • When is the next training program?  Our training program will be scheduled to start in late spring.  The 2022 dates will be announced soon.
  • How does the training program work?  Our program combines online, self-paced instruction with in person instruction.  Throughout ten weeks you will be introduced to the rules of the game as well as the mechanics necessary to officiate.  In late August you will attend high school scrimmages to get on field experience.  You will be assigned a mentor to assist with your training.  The goal is to support you to be successful.
  • What is the cost?  You will incur costs from $300 to $350.00.  EMAIFO Dues, $100.00, covers training costs.  You will receive Rule and Case Books.  In order to work high school games, you will need to register with the MIAA.  The cost for first year officials is $45.00 ($35.00 background check and $10.00 for football.)   Equipment and uniform costs will run around $150.00 to $200.00.   Assigner fees can run $25.00.
  • What will my income total?  Your income will depend on your availability to work games.  High school varsity games pay $100.00, sub varsity games pay $75.00, varsity clock operators  earn $75.00.  Youth game fees range from $65 to $70.00 a game.                   
  • How far can I advance my career?  This is entirely up to you and your personal goals. Many of our members remain at the high school level.  Some of our members advance to College Divisions 2 and 3.  Several of our members have graduated to College Division 1.  They are assigned to work in the Big10, Mid America Conference (MAC), and the ACC.
  1.  How can I get started?  Complete the attached registration form and forward to  We will keep you informed about training dates. 

One of the “perks” of being a high school official is “comradery”. Check out this video!