Frequently Asked Questions

Why Become A Football Official?
The Western Washington Football Officials Association (WWFOA) is a member of the Washington Officials Association.

Your love of football brought you to this website. You need not be an ex-player or coach to become a great official and have a memorable officiating career. Working around student athletes at all levels of football is gratifying plus you will develop life-long friendships with other officials who share your passion for the game.

Prior officiating experience is good but not required. Our training program will prepare you for an enjoyable and successful officiating career. Officiating football is also a great way to get and stay in shape, be a positive role model for student athletes, retain your competitive edge, and earn additional income.

How do I enroll in the training program?
Join our group by sending your information via   If you have questions about the registration process you can e-mail our assigning secretary,Keith MacFie at

WWFOA dues run about $60.00/year. Once you submit the completed application and pay your membership dues you’ll be enrolled in the training class and gain access to Arbiter-- the software system used to schedule game assignments.  If you are interested in becoming an official and still have questions you can attend the first training meeting of the season and join at that time. The first training meeting is held in early July on a Tuesday and runs from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Subsequent training meetings are held on Tuesday evenings, 6:00-8:00 pm, from mid July through late October.

What type of training will I receive?
Training classes meet on Tuesday nights (July through October) and include classroom as well as on-field instruction and are taught by veteran officials. New officials should make plans to attend training sessions each Tuesday night for on-field scrimmage/manipulative skills sessions designed specifically for new officials.

What time commitment must I make to officiate football?
As a first-year official you’ll be expected to attend Tuesday night training meetings and study and discuss rules related to the game during classroom discussions. Youth level games are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays and begin as early as 8:00 am. Middle and Jr. High School games occur on weekdays and generally begin around 3:30 pm. Each game will be 1-1/2 to 2 hours in length. As a first-year official you will have the opportunity to work games as soon as the youth football season starts. Your schedule is limited only by your availability and the number of game assignments that are available. During the season you will be asked to work games in a variety of stadiums and at schools throughout Pierce, South King counties. This distribution of games will help you become familiar with, and receive training from, many of our veteran officials.

How will I be paid to officiate games?
Local schools, school districts and youth football leagues hire football officials as independent contractors. You will receive payment for each game assignment and we recommend you keep accurate records because your earnings are taxable income. As a new official you will start working youth level and Jr. High games which pay from $35.00 to $50.00 per game. Varsity officials are paid about $70.00 per game. 

What costs are involved in officiating football?
Your start-up uniform will cost approximately $200.00. A number of online vendors sell officiating equipment and a couple of local sporting goods suppliers also provide football officiating uniforms and supplies. A complete list of required uniforms and accessories will be provided at your first meeting. During the first few training meetings, you also will have an opportunity to obtain previously worn uniforms donated by members. 

How do I gain experience and start working varsity games? How are varsity officials chosen?
WWFOA members advance through the ranks based on attending the required number of officiating and training meetings, successful completion of written examinations, and successful completion of Level I and Level II training.  On-field evaluations also will affect rankings. During your first couple of seasons, you should attempt to get as much experience as possible by officiating as many scrimmages and freshman and JV games as you have been assigned (as well as youth level games). On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights you may have the opportunity to work on the chain crews at selected varsity games. You also will be able to observe and learn from the sidelines at varsity level games.

How do I become a collegiate and/or NFL official?
This is the place to start if you want to officiate college or pro football. All of the officials you see working Saturdays and Sundays began in a local association working youth, freshman, JV and varsity games. Several members of the WWFOA are college officials and some of our former members are on current NFL crews.