YOU must be a registered official in good standing with the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) in order to accept and officiate games. Please do not officiate or take games if you are not in compliance with MHSAA.


High School officiating in the United States is typically done under the auspices of state high school associations, which are affiliated with the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). In Michigan, the state association is the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).  The NFHS publishes a high school rule book, which the MHSAA adds an insert to.  Rules are similar to USSF, put there are numerous differences.  Note that high school teams are not affiliated with USSF in any way and High School games do not count towards advancement in USSF.

While the NFHS Rulebook is not yet available online, they do have other information available, including rules changes, history and interpretations.

Officiating in High School
The MHSAA does no training of any kind for officials.  To become a High School official you need only take an open book, written test, and send in your application and a fee.  As a practical matter, you should take the USSF Level 8 class and ideally should be a USSF Level 7 official to do more challenging games.  The local high school assignors take your experience and training into account when considering assignments.

Information on registering as a High School Official is available at

Note that in high school play, a two man system (two referees) is typically used in Western Michigan, and Varsity and JV are usually played and officiated back-to-back, while Freshman games take place separately. WMSOA does not assign any Junior or Middle School games.

WMSOA Mentors
In an effort to attract more officials to the High School ranks, and to help less experienced officials, WMSOA has started a Mentoring program. Leading this program is Tom Walters, a former MHSAA official from the WMSOA organization. If you are interested in participating please contact Tom Walters directly by email for more information.

WMSOA is recognized by the MHSAA as a recognized Local Chapter.  Part of the requirement is that we have at least five meetings a year:  The meetings involve information for new officials, mechanics, and other points of interest. In order to be a member in good standing you must attend at least three (3) meetings a year.

  • These include:  MHSAA Rules Meeting(now completed on line), WMSOA Pre-Season meeting, Fall/Spring Cracker Barrels, AGM, Mechanics Clinics, USSF Clinics, NISOA Camp and meetings of other recognized Local Chapters (e.g. GLASRA meetings in East Lansing).
  • Membership in a recognized local chapter will be necessary to officiate the in High School post-season tournament.  In addition you will need to submit a list of your Varsity Game assignments to MHSAA, complete the on line High School Rules Meeting, and do at least 10 varsity games in the season you are being considered for MHSAA tournament assignments.

Meeting Attendance
In order to remain a member in good standing (for MHSAA) you must attend three (3) WMSOA meetings every year.  Members who are not in good standing cannot officiate any MHSAA tournament games.

To verify if you are a member in good standing please go to If you have any questions please go to and contact the WMSOA board secretary.

MHSAA Ratings
High School Ratings (if you care what coaches think of you) are now available on-line (click on “Officials”, then “MHSAA Officials Services” then login (your ID is your MHSAA number – if you do not have a password or have forgotten it they have a number on the website to call).  Three years of data is available.

This form is now available on-line from the MHSAA and sent electronically. These reports must be filed when a player or coach is ejected in a High School game, but may also be used if there was any problem (e.g. missing field markings, spectators, poor sportsmanship) or if you wish to praise an individual or team.  This is your way of giving feedback to a school. Remember all ejections still require a phone call to the Principle or AD of the school involved within 24 hours after the contest.

Helpful resource sites:
Weather, Delays, Tornado Policy

Officials MHSAA Guidebook

 Officials Report (you must have your ID and Password)

  1. Go to
  2. Login
  3. Click “Official Services”
  4. Click “Official Report”
  5. Complete all required information (be sure to use “add” when required)
  6. All reports are saved in your file for future reference

Rules Meeting (you must have your ID and Password)

  1. Go to
  2. Login
  3. Click “Rules Meeting” on the left column

2014-15 Rule Changes – 2014-15 MHSAA Rules Supplement


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