Making it Official

Staff reports

Do you remember when basketball shorts stopped above the knee or when cheerleader skirts stopped about mid calf? If you were an athlete during these golden days, your time in the athletic spotlight has probably come and gone. Gone are the days of toe punting footballs and wooden baseball bats, but just because your fondest sporting memories are decades old, it doesn’t mean you can’t relive the glory days.

It’s a sad time for an athlete when his or her fame days have come and gone. The itch to get back in the game is always there, but unfortunately, those old knees and aching joints just won’t let us do what we used to. But don’t fret; there’s still time for you to get back in the game by becoming an official. You may have given up your favorite jersey number, but there is still plenty of time for you to get back on the field, and becoming an official is an easy, stress-free process. 

The first step in becoming an official is to contact your local assignment secretary at the officials’ associations for the sport you are interested in officiating.  After your initial contact, you will attend clinics where you can learn about rules and regulations of being an official and what to enforce on the field or court. Next, candidates take an online test to ensure complete comprehension of the sport, rules and regulations. After completing and passing the exam, you’re ready to get back in the game.

There are numerous officials’ associations throughout the state, and they are located in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, Ruston, Shreveport, Thibodaux, West Central and Winnsboro. The sports which have officials’ representation include baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling.

If you want to get a head start on what you’ll learn during clinic sessions, visit the LHSAA website at www.LHSAA.org and download reading material regarding officiating and various sports’ rules. There, you may also find out more about testing dates, clinic schedules and contact information for the officials’ associations. 

You may not be able to dunk a basketball or dash around four bases like you used to, but you can still find your spot on the field. So don’t toss your tennis shoes just yet because we need you to get back in the game and become an official.