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Become an Official

TCAOA – Train, Recruit & Retain

TCAOA is dedicated to Train, Recruit and Retain individuals who not only desire to become excellent TCAOA sports officials within their respective sports, but also assist those who want to get started in a rich and rewarding avocation; officiating TCAOA high school sporting events. With the gradual decreases of TCAOA registered officials year over year, the need for knowledgeable, experienced and qualified officials is greater than ever.

Becoming a TCAOA Sports Official

Whether you are new to officiating, getting back into it, or coming from a different part of the state or country, this page will guide you to becoming a TCAOA sports official and acclimated with getting assignments. If you are new or getting back into officiating, it is best to start with STEP ONE and progress sequentially through the STEPS to get to where you need to be. Otherwise, follow whatever steps are right for your situation to help guide you through the local channels to getting assignments.


Before you can receive game assignments, you must be a registered MHSAA official in the sport(s) you wish to officiate in. But before we talk about registration (STEP THREE), you should be aware of two timing influences if your expectation is to receive game assignments after registering with the MHSAA.

MHSAA registration year (not the officiating year) extends from August through June of the following year. Registration begins in June and technically ends July 31, however you may still register afterwards so long as before the deadline for a sport (refer to the Officials Guidebook, page 3 under Specific Registration Periods section for dates of each sport).

Sports assigners begin assigning games weeks in advance for the start of a season due to competition for game officials, the assigners will attempt to book their officials as soon as possible. You will want to be registered ideally by the following dates for each sport:

NOTE: Every assigner is different in how and when they assign games, the list below is a general timeline

• Football: Season starts late August, games assigned usually by June

• Basketball: Season starts late November, games assigned usually by September

• Baseball: Season starts late March, games assigned usually by December

• Softball: Season starts late March, games assigned usually by December

If you are concerned about registering too late, talk with an official or recruiter who is recruiting you. Otherwise contact one of the TCAOA Board Members, Officers, and/or Trainers who can put you in touch with the sports assigner(s) to determine if they will be able to assign you games for the current or upcoming season.


Before registering with the MHSAA, minimally read pages 2-5 of the MHSAA Officials Guidebook to fully understand the registration process and expectations of becoming an MHSAA sports official.

Read through the steps of the BECOME AN OFFICIAL page of this site to be sure you are still willing to continue forward in your journey.

And finally, if you are fortunate enough to know any TCAOA officials, board of directors, officers, and/or trainers, most definitely reach out to them before you register with MHSAA. They can help you get started by introducing you to the assigner or assigners, help with what to expect, guide you through the process, and even get you started with apparel and gear.


This step is not required to complete your journey to becoming an MHSAA sports official. However, if you are fortunate enough to know one or more sports officials registered with the MHSAA, consult them to help navigate you through the various processes to getting assigned contests. Otherwise, this page will help you locate individuals who may be able to provide you with guidance and put you in touch with the right people to get you started.

Beginning with 2018, the MHSAA is creating a mentorship/recruiting program that is to be provided by each local association. TCAOA board of directors and officers are continuing to discuss this topic and will address in the coming months. Until such time, here are alternatives to reaching individuals who may be able to direct and guide you to others who are willing to help.

Volleyball – Cindy Linton is our Coordinator of Volleyball.

Basketball – Scott Helmka is our Coordinator of Basketball.

Football – Jerry Haines is our Coordinator of Football.

Softball – Brad Crampton is our Coordinator of Softball.

Baseball – Jerry Haines is our Coordinator of Baseball.

Lacrosse – Lee Morgan is our Coordinator of Lacrosse.


When registering as a new official, please be aware MHSAA assesses a small registration fee that is to be paid annually upon renewal. You can expect to pay a processing fee of $35 and $15 per sport. Liability insurance and Rulebooks are covered with your registration fees. The fees noted here are as of 2018-19 school year and is subject to change, although MHSAA has not raised fees in many years. To register, click here and it will take you to the Officials page of the MHSAA website. Register online by clicking the REGISTER NOW button. You will be given detailed registration instructions and can complete your registration in a matter of minutes. You will be presented with four options, click the one that best describes your status. Below is an explanation of those options.

New Official Registration is for individuals that have NEVER officiated with the MHSAA (or those that have not registered the previous school year). New officials will be required to take the Officials Guidebook Exam as well as complete a Mechanics Exam if registering for football and/or basketball. The Exams are open book and may be taken online, along with viewing the online Football Mechanics Manual and the Basketball Mechanics Manual, once you begin registration. Once your registration requirements have been completed, you will receive your MHSAA Officials ID Number and Sports Rule Books from the MHSAA. New officials must also complete the MHSAA Principles of Officiating which can be found on the MHSAA website under the Officials tab. The Guidebook and Mechanics Manuals also can be found on the MHSAA website or TCAOA.

Legacy Official Registration is for any high school junior or senior enrolled in an MHSAA member high school that wish to apply for registration as an MHSAA official for sub-varsity contests with a mentor official. To learn more about the MHSAA Legacy program, vist the MHSAA Legacy Student Officials page. MHSAA will waive the registration processing fee but will still assess a sports fee for High school student officials. Registration must be done by mail.

Renewal Registration is for individuals registered with the MHSAA the previous school year registration period. All officials must register annually with the MHSAA if they wish to continue officiating MHSAA member schools’ contests for the upcoming school year. The annual registration period typically begins around third week in June through end of July. After July, officials renewing will be expected to pay a late fee in addition to the annual registration fees.

Reciprocal Official Registration is for individuals currently registered as an official in another state and wish to apply for registration with the MHSAA. Registration is by mail only. To learn more about the registration process and the policies govern reciprocal officials, please visit the MHSAA Reciprocal Official Program page.


After registering with the MHSAA, you should contact the President of the association and let he/she know you have registered in the sport(s) TCAOA supports. Contact information can be found on this site under About Us.

If you wish to work MHSAA post-season tournament in your respective sport, you must be a member of a locally approved association and a member in good standing (pay dues, attend required number of meetings). While possible, it is rare for a new official to receive an MHSAA post tournament invitation. Generally, the MHSAA requires a minimum of three years of service before eligible for post-season. Even if you are not eligible or care to work an MHSAA post-season tournament, you should still become a member of the TCAOA. Your small annual dues provides for the following:

• Training and information throughout the season

• Sponsors clinics and camps for new/upcoming officials

• TCAOA Website and email distribution

• Hudl – Video of your games officiated

• Awards and Recognitions of hard-working officials

• Annual Banquet

• Training equipment, supplies

• Code of Conduct Representation if needed

• TCAOA has a proud reputation and tradition of outstanding officials

• TCAOA Dues

You may pay your $40 membership dues using a Paypal account, credit card, or send a check to the TCAOA Treasurer (refer to About Us tab of this home page for the address. To pay using your PayPal account or with credit card, click the PAY NOW button located on the home page and the sidebar of the TCAOA website.

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