Getting Started

Weekly Meetings

  • Sunday nights at Randolph School on Garth Rd. in Huntsville
  • First meeting is usually the first Sunday that follows July 4th weekend
  • Meeting time is 7:00 p.m. and usually last an hour to an hour and a half


Training (provided at the meetings)

  • Rules - Alabama is a member of the National Federation and uses National Federation rules
    • First 4 weeks of training consists of reviewing the rule book in preparation for the state test.  Everyone must take the state test, rookies and veterans.  The registration test is an open book test and is taken online.
  • Mechanics - Positioning and responsibility before, during, and after each play.
    • After the test, new officials will concentrate on the mechanics of being a football official. 
  • District Camp (optional)
    • Held  at Arab High School.
    • Usually the first or second week in August
    • Classroom lectures and some on-field mechanics.
    • Fee of $40 includes lunch and usually another official related gift.  

Pre-season and post-season scrimmages

  • Schools that are under contract with the NAFOA will schedule games and we will assign a crew of new and old officials to work the scrimmage.  The new officials will work the majority of the game and the veteran officials will supervise and instruct.


The uniform consists of the following:

  • Striped shirt (AHSAA Approved shirt)
  • Black football officials pants
  • Black Socks
  • Shoes (mostly black)
  • Whistle
  • Flags
  • Beanbag
  • Information card
  • Down indicator (used to keep track of the down in a series)
  • Sports watch

Basic uniforms and other items will cost approximately $200.00.  A uniform can be purchased at several online/catalog companies that specialize in officials equipment. Usually current officials will have items for sale and will bring them to the meetings before the season starts.  These are mostly uniforms that shrunk while hanging in the closet during the off season.  They will normally give you a very good price on these items because we all know what it is like to be starting out.

Related Fees

  • Association Fees
    • $36.00 goes to the association for expenses used to operate our group
  • State Fees
    • $60.00 goes to the Alabama High School Athletic Associaton for your rule books, mechanics manuals, casebook (list of plays and their correct rulings), and your insurance.

Schools Under Contract

  • We currently have 19 high schools under contact.
  • We officiate middle school, freshman, junior varsity, and varsity football games
  • Season will last 10 weeks with an additional 5 weeks for playoffs
  • New officials are usually assigned to chain crews for varsity games or penalty stat officials.  They are usually on the field for middle school, freshman, and juinor varsity games during the week.
  • The level of football you officiate during the season depends on your ability to study and perform on the football field.  Normally first year officials do not work on the field for a varsity game but it has happened before based on the individual and his/her skill level.

Game Assignments

  • Assignments are assigned via an online system called Arbitersports.com and gone over each Sunday night after the training session
  • Assignments will cover that week, Monday through Saturday
  • Normally there are no games on Wednesday or Sunday
  • On average, each official works two nights a week.  The number of games you work depends on your availability.
  • Monday and Tuesday are our two busiest days.
  • We are flexible in scheduling your assignments
  • Officials are required to meet at a predetermined location between 4:00 and 5:00.  The location and time depends on the location of the game.  If it is an out of town game, usually the crew of officials will travel together

Payment for officiating

  • Officials are paid weekly at the Sunday night meeting
  • Officials average $500 to $700 for the season