MIAA Fall 2 Season – MIAA Football Guidelines

You may read the entire document for Fall 2 2021 Guidelines at the MIAA website. Below are the Football Specific Modifications. Please read the entire list, guidelines that pertain to officiating are throughout the list, not just in the Game Officials section.

  • Competition/Game Management
  • Facial coverings worn at all times during play and on sidelines; Tube style “gaiters” are not permitted. Balaclava style face coverings that are multi-layered and are extended over the full head are permitted.
  • “Splash guards” are acceptable in addition to face masks
  • No pregame/postgame handshakes
  • Teams rosters for game day competition on the field cannot exceed 45 players and a maximum of 6 coaches. Teams are required to delineate with a physical marker (cone, spray paint etc.) the social distancing requirements (6 ft) for their players and coaches while on the sideline area.
  • In order to limit the total number of people in proximity to the field of play, game day personnel with an assigned responsibility are the only people permitted on the sidelines.
  • Teams must work to reduce the number of players on the sideline. Injured players with no ability to play in a contest are not permitted on the sidelines. Dressed players should be those with a potential opportunity or need to play. Coaches must not have players in uniform on the sideline for the sole benefit of dressing and being with the team.
  • It is recommended that swing players should be limited when possible.
  • Team Box: The Team Box is expanded to the 10 Yard Lines. Players must maintain proper social distancing of 6ft while on the sideline
  • Chains, pylons, and other field equipment should be sanitized after setup/before the contest and after the contest is over
  • Each team is responsible for their own:
    • Sanitizer
    • Face coverings
    • Towels, water, ice, med kit, footballs
  • According to EEA guidelines, no more than 25 players or participants can be on one half of the playing field at any one time. Teams that have more than 25 players can still allow additional players to wait on the sidelines or bleachers to substitute for players on the field. To ensure group separation, opposing teams must be spaced at least 14 feet apart while sharing the field.
  • Coin Toss/pregame/overtime
    • Limit attendees for the player/officials’ conference
      • Referee
      • 1 umpire
      • 1 player from each team
      • All conferences will be held at midfield with 6ft social distance between participants
  • Huddles
    • Spacing between players and facing the same direction
      • Consider hand signals/signage from sideline (wristbands)
      • Eliminate hand holding in huddles/during the anthem
      • Limit close contact and/or huddles when possible
  • Spectator limitations
    • Based upon current EEA/state guidelines for large crowd gatherings
  • Mandatory water breaks at the halfway point of each quarter signaled by the referee at first change of possession after the 6:00 mark in the quarter.
  • Hydration stations (water cows, water trough, water fountains, etc.) should NOT be utilized. If water coolers or other large volume water container is utilized, it can only be accessed by a “designated” refill person.
  • Team Time-outs are extended to 2 minutes.
  • The intermission between periods (first/second and third/fourth) as well as the time period following a try, successful field goal or safety and prior to the succeeding free kick will also be extended to a maximum of two minutes.
  • Authorized team time-out conferences will take place near the bottom of the field numbers between the 25-yard Lines.
  • To allow for 6’ social distancing for all game officials, the coaches’ area minimum of 2-yard belt between the front of team box and the sideline and becomes a restricted area when the ball is live. No player, non-player, or coach shall be in the restricted area when the ball is live. First offense warning, second 5-yard penalty and subsequent violations result in a 15-yard penalty.
  • Clock operators and all personnel in the press box must maintain 6’ social distancing from all other personnel as well as wear face coverings at all times.
  • Halftime is 10 minutes. Teams will be assigned an area to gather outside of locker room based upon EEA guidelines.
  • Game Officials
  • Positioning can be altered to maintain social distancing (i.e. line judges)
  • Officials shall use alternative whistles such as electronic whistles; air horns are permissible.
  • Water: Officials will need to bring their own water containers to the game.
  • The Mechanics for a U will be working the CJ Position with a Crew of 5 Officials this year.
  • When possible, schools should provide a designated area for officials to prepare and use restroom facilities before the game, break during halftime and at the end of the game.
  • Practices
  • No football team activities may take play indoors. Team planning should consider innovative coaching methods, with zoom meetings and film sessions in lieu of group/in-person meetings.
  • Practice or team activities are not permitted indoors. From EEA guidelines, “Sports and activities included in the Higher Risk category that require intermittent close proximity or moderate contact (basketball, lacrosse, ice-hockey, ultimate frisbee) or sports that require high contact but are only performed outdoors (football and rugby) can participate in Level 1, 2 and 3 type of play. For the avoidance of doubt, football and rugby must only engage in the permissible activities outdoors.”
  • Overall recommendations:
    • Athletes will follow school protocols for daily reporting of symptoms/illness
  • Before/After Practice:
    • Athletes will maintain social distancing on the sidelines (min. 6 feet apart)
    • Each athlete will have a designated area for their bag/water/personal belongings
    • Coaches must maintain social distancing when addressing the team (avoiding close huddles, etc.)
    • Athletes must bring their own water, masks, personal sanitizing materials (no sharing between athletes)o Avoid group contact among teammates (high fives, group huddles, etc.)
  • During practice:
    • A coach may only conduct full contact drills up to 30 minutes per week (45 minutes during a week without a scheduled game). The intent of this rule is to limit full contact participation of each student to 30 minutes during a week of practice (45 minutes during a week without a scheduled game). During this time, full contact is allowed in no more than 2 practices per week, no more than 15 minutes per day, and consideration should also be given to limiting full contact on consecutive days
    • According to EEA guidelines, no more than 25 players or participants can be on one half of the playing field at any one time. Teams that have more than 25 players can still allow additional players to wait on the sidelines or bleachers to substitute for players on the field. To ensure group separation, opposing teams must be spaced at least 14 feet apart while sharing the field.
  • Drill work with Footballs:
    • As per the EEA guidelines, all equipment (blocking pads, footballs, etc.) must be disinfected at the end of each practice.
    • Limit contact drills (tackling, blocking, etc.)
    • Modify group size – work with smaller groups where possible
  • Additional School Considerations
  • Predetermine area for shelter in case of inclement weather
    • Recommend a space for players/coaches/officials where social distancing can still take place
  • Assign a ball sanitizing person(s) for each team when possible
  • Establish seat markings in the bleachers for spectators to maintain social distancing
  • Maintain a record of all individuals present at team activities
  • Home team is responsible for sanitizing and prepping all facilities and equipment

MIAA Registration


All Members must register with the MIAA for the season so you will be eligible for both regular season and playoff assignments.

Note: Registration alone is $10, registration plus background check is $45.  If you completed a background check in 2018 it is good for 3 years and you will only have to pay the $10 registration fee.

Dear MIAA Game Officials,

Thank you for participating with our 225,000 student-athletes who competed in MIAA interscholastic sports.  Your collaboration with our member schools and leagues is valued.

Registration for the 2021 – 22 school year will open on July 15th.  All officials will once again complete this process through the MIAA ArbiterSports page found here: http://miaa.arbitersports.com/front/110185/Site .

Information and instructions for both new and returning officials can be found on this main  page.

Your support and professionalism for this important initiative is appreciated.

Many thanks for your service,

Richard L. Pearson
Associate Director

MIAA Registration and Background Check Procedure

All officials should have gotten an email from the MIAA on or about June 12 with information regarding the new procedure for officials to register with the MIAA. Officiating boards will no longer be registering their members with the MIAA as a group.  This process will now be done by the individual officials through ArbiterSports.  The process includes the MIAA registration and Background Check.   The cost for a background check and to register in one sport will be $45; each additional sport registration will be $10.  You will continue to register with the MIAA personally each year, but you will only need to have a background check done every 3 years.

You may register beginning on June 15, 2015 and must register by July 31, 2015

Note: High School Assigners (Commissioners) have been instructed by their Leagues/Conferences to only use officials who have successfully completed the Background Check.  If you do not go through this procedure, you will not be able to officiate Middle or High School games at any level (Middle School, Freshman, JV or Varsity).

Step-by-Step Process:  (this should only take 10-15 minutes to complete)

  1. Click on this link:  MIAA Arbiter Page
  2. Sign in with your normal Arbiter Account, the same one you use when you get your games.
  3. Click the Registration Tab
  4. Click on all the sports you will officiate in High School during the 2015-2016 school year.
  5. Click Register.
  6. Welcome Page: Read the Welcome screen and click Next.
  7. Personal Information Page: If you signed in with your Arbiter account, your Personal Information should have been imported into the Personal Information Page.  Check to make sure all information is correct and Click Next.  Note: this is the only information that you have to provide for the background check, the rest of the process is to confirm that you consent to the background check and to make your payment.
  8. Photo Page: Upload a photo if you haven’t already done so.  I believe this is optional, if you haven’t got one, you can do it later under the My Account Tab when you’re logged in.  After you upload the photo or choose not to, Click Next.
  9. Chapter Selection Page:  Choose our chapter “Eastern Mass. – EMAIFO (Football)” and Click Next.
  10. Background Consent Page: Read the Consent information, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the consent text  and Select “I Agree” from the drop down list where it says “Please Select” (yellow filled box with red border)
  11. Then more text will be revealed when you select “I agree” from step 10, continue to read and scroll regarding the Disclosure of the Background Investigation.  At the bottom of this new test, you will need to select “Yes” from the drop down list where it says “Please Select” (again yellow filled box with red border).  Click Next.
  12. 2015 Payment Page: Make sure your billing information is correct, enter your credit card information below that and Click Make Payment. It will show up as “ProPay USA” on your statement.
  13. Print the Payment Confirmation for your records.  Click Finish.

You will now have a new Organization on your list, “MIAA State Office”, with you log in, the Central Hub account type means that it acts as a web site where information about the organization can be found.


Bill Leanues

It is with a heavy heart that we regret to inform you that Bill Leanues has passed away.

Bill had been battling cancer for some months and passed away on Thursday evening (May 15).

For many of us Bill was a friend, mentor and brother in the EMAIFO football officials fraternity.

He started officiating football in 1967 and never stopped.  He was full of energy and always hustling from one game and sport to the next. 

Bill worked football, baseball, soccer and basketball.

He rose through the ranks and became the assigning commissioner for the Old Colony,
Atlantic Coast, Patriot, South Shore, Mayflower and Cape Leagues. 

In that role he flourished and many of us owe him for his faith and trust in our ability to deliver outstanding officiating in a game we all love.

We respectfully request you refrain from contacting Susan Leanues until the family has completed the arrangements.

 When more information becomes available, it will be posted.

Abington vs. Whitman-Hanson – 100th Game

Abington vs. Whitman-Hanson 100th Game Officials

Jon Hall (B), Rob Cibotti (L), Mike Goldman (R), Dan Dearden (H), Peter Huska (Clock), Mike Gaffney (U)

EMAIFO officials Mike Goldman, Mike Gaffney, Dan Dearden, Rob Cibotti, Jon Hall,  and Peter Huska worked the 100th Abington vs. Whitman-Hanson Thanksgiving Day Game on November 25, 2010 at Whitman-Hanson High School.

What’s Here


Members can click on the members link to get members only information (please use the username and password that you have been provided with). If you are a member and do not know the username and password to access the members page, it was provided in the e-mail regarding the 2008 season, if you have misplaced the e-mail contact the webmaster through the feedback page and it will be sent to you.

Prospective officials

Prospective officials (new to officiating) please visit the About EMAIFO link to find out what area we service and when the classes will take place.


Officials interested in transferring to the EMAIFO please visit the About EMAIFO link to find out what area we service, and navigate to How to Join.


Please take a look around, hopefully there is something here for you, as well. The Resources/Links section will be populated with many helpful items.

NOTE: Several links on this site will open a new window/tab in your browser. If you click on a link and nothing happens or you get the message that a pop-up was blocked, hold the Ctrl key while clicking on the link and it should work.


Give us feedback on what you wish to find here.