It may seem like a daughnting proccess to get started, but it's really more simple than you would think. Below is a simple step-by-step guide to getting started.
The first step is applying to the chapter. You will need to fill out the chapter application form which can be found on our "Documents" page, or by clicking here. Once you have filled it out, you can either email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or bring it in person to one of chapter meetings. The local chapter dues for first-year officials are $10 and can be paid via PayPal through the link on our homepage. Along with reduced first year dues, the chapter will provide a voucher to first-year members that can be used towards the purchase of the uniform at our annual rules clinic.
The second step is to get registered with the Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO). TASO is an independent organization, providing support, resources and training for Texas high school sports officials. To register go to www.taso.org and click the "MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL/NEW APPLICANTS" link at the top right (available after the first of the year). Dues for first year officials are currently $40. We have you do this first because TASO will run a background check as part of the application process.
Visiting us at one of our regular scheduled chapter meetings is the next step, or if you prefer it can be your first step. We're a pretty welcoming bunch, so please join us and let us know that you are interested. We have regularly scheduled meetings throughout both the offseason and during the Texas high school football season. Meetings are posted on our website and Facebook pages. The calendar with our scheduled meeting times and dates can be found on our front page.
While you are doing all of this, it's a good idea that you get started on strengthening your knowledge of the rules and mechanics. Texas is the only state that uses NCAA rules (with some exceptions). You can download a copy of the NCAA Rules and Interpretation on our "Rules/Mechanics" page. Also on the page are the UIL exceptions to the rules and the TASO approved mechanics manuals. These mechanics manuals are our playbook. They explain where each official will line up, what they will be watching, and how to move. The 3-person mechanics manual is the starting point, as many of the games you cover through the week will have 3 officials. Thursday night JV games will often have 4 officials, and varsity games will usually have 5 officials.
Now it's time to get a uniform together. The TASO approved uniform must be worn at all games that you officiate. There are a few vendors that you can order pieces of the uniform from. A page with links to their websites can be found on our front page or by clicking here. Vendors will also be available during our annual rules clinic so that you can buy directly from them and not have to buy online. We also have a chapter member that will often set up at our regularly scheduled meetings through the season. Some of the vendors do offer package deals to help you get started. A list of what you will need follows:
Shirt - 2 1/4 inch stripes, a TASO logo and American flag (short sleeve)
Pants - For JV and middle school games black shorts with a 1 1/4 inch white stripe on the seam of the leg
Chain crews and Varsity officials will wear full length black pants with the white stripe.
Belt - Black
Shoes - Predominately black with black laces
Socks - Black
Hat - Brooklyn style solid black cap with narrow white piping. There should be no emblem or numbers other than a small manufacturer's logo visible.
Accessories - Gold foul marker; white or black beanbags, whistle and lanyard, and down indicator
Finally, before the season, you will be required to attend our annual rules clinic. Everyone that wishes to work during the upcoming season is required to attend. The date for that will be posted on our front page as soon as it is available. All you will have left to do after that is to take the TASO rules test. This test is required to be taken and passed by all officials in order to be eligible to work a varsity game, but even if you don't get to call a varsity game your first year, this test will go a long ways in helping you with the rules.
And that's it, you'll be ready to go. Once the season starts you will be assigned games by the Chapter Assigning Secretary via our assigning software www.horizonwebref.com. On Horizon you can designate dates or times you are or are not available. You will need to accept your assignment and then arrive at the game 20-30 minutes before start time, ready to work. If you are assigned to a chain crew or clock for varsity games, please arrive at least 45 minutes before kickoff so that you can talk with the crew. You will complete a paysheet at the game which is submitted to the school district and they then mail you a check for your work. Mileage is reimbursed for travel to and from game assignments.
We look forward to seeing you out there!