UHSAA Officials Guidebook

UHSAA Officials - Articles

Registration Official's Responsibilities School Responsibility Mileage Contract Assignments Officials Rosters Officials Classification Policies & Procedures Phone Calls Insurance Playing Rules


SECTION A -  Dates
All officials must complete their online registration from July 1-July 31, 2017 in order to receive the $10.00 discount for each sport. Officials registering after July 31st will need to submit payment for the standard fee.

SECTION B - Registration
The registration process will be completed through ArbiterSports for each official's annual registration fee. Payment of the registration fee does not guarantee game assignments. There will be no refunds.

SECTION C – Background Checks

SECTION 1: Certified Officials Required
Only certified officials may be used in 9th grade, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity competition.

SECTION 2: Assignment of Officials for Region Play
Each Region Board of Managers is responsible for the appointment of certified officials to games within its Region or playing league. The Region Board of Managers may delegate such authority to a committee or individual.

Interps & Guidelines 6.2.1: Certified Officials
A.     Only certified officials, including adjudicators and judges, shall be used at high school varsity, junior varsity, sophomore, and freshmen contests, including festivals and performances. Any exceptions to this regulation should be reported promptly to the Executive Director and offenders will be subject to suspension and/or fine.
B.     To register as an official, including adjudicators and judges, one must be at least 18 years of age and cannot be a high school student.
C.     The UHSAA reserves the right to deny any application. Applicants convicted of felonies may apply after fiver years from the date of conviction. Applications of a sexual offense felony may not register with the UHSAA at any time.

Note: The above statement appears in the UHSAA Handbook and the following are guidelines that we use when determining eligibility of an official.

1.     We conduct background checks through PeopleTrail and the ArbiterSports.com system on an annual basis. The process is run at the beginning of each season.
2.     The screening process is looking for DUI, drug charges, sexual crimes, felonies, white-collar crime, bankruptcies, and other crimes not stated. We are not interested in minor misdemeanors.
3.     As stated in the handbook, preclusion from officiating happens when sexual crimes have occurred. Felonies exclude you for a period of time and then can be revisited on a case-by-case basis.
4.     After a completion of the check, the Director of Officials will review each case and determine which need to be reviewed and which can be approved.
a.     If an application review needs to occur, the Director of Officials will consult with the Director of the officiated sport and another Assistant Director/Executive Director to determine the eligibility and risk of approving the application. If a hearing is necessary then we will proceed with one.
5.     All Officials who we receive a hit on their file will receive a pre-adverse letter and given 14 days to reply before the final adverse letter is sent.

SECTION D - Physical Examinations
Physical examinations are not required, however, it is highly recommended that each official have a thorough physical examination annually.

SECTION E - Registration Fees                       

  Before July 31st After July 31st
Baseball, Volleyball, Wrestling $55 $65
Basketball & Football $60 $70
Soccer $65 $75

There will be a $20.00 charge for any returned check.

ARTICLE II - Official's Responsibilities

SECTION A - Attendance at meetings
The local officials association will decide the required number of meetings to be attended per sport. THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF MEETINGS MUST BE ATTENDED TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR POST SEASON ASSIGNMENTS.
NOTE:  The aforementioned requirements may be altered where distance, time and travel are involved, and any exceptions granted by the local board.

SECTION B - Clinics
Officials are expected to attend the pre-season new rules clinic or view the UHSAA on-line clinic (www.uhsaa.org).  Attendance at the pre-season clinic or viewing the UHSAA on-line clinic is REQUIRED to be a certified official.  The deadline to view the clinic online is posted on the UHSAA/ArbiterSports website.

1.  All officials must take and pass the Part 1 examination on the rules and regulations of each sport they are registered to work.  Information regarding the link to the test can be found on the UHSAA website (uhsaa.org). The test is open book and must be taken on-line.  Each official must create an account in order to take the test.  You must receive a score of 80% or higher in order to pass and become a certified official.  An official may take the test more than once; however, after two attempts a $15.00 charge per submitted test will be assessed by the UHSAA.  No games will be assigned until fees are paid.  An official must pass the Part I test to be certified to work UHSAA contests.

2.  A Part 2 exam must also be passed to qualify for post-season assignments. While retakes are allowed for the Part 1 exam, there is NO RETAKES ALLOWED for the Part 2 exam.  Officials must pass the Part 2 exam with a minimum score of 90% to be eligible to work post-season contests.  Part 2 exams are open book and will be taken online.  There are no exceptions with regard to the deadline for the Part 2 examsDEADLINE TO TAKE PART 2 IS 14 DAYS FROM THE BEGINNING TEST DATE.

SECTION D - Turn Backs/Closed Dates
A list of "closed dates" must be entered into the ArbiterSports.com as soon as available, but before the first contracts are issued.  It shall be the official's responsibility to inform the arbiter of any changes in availability immediately.  If the arbiter does not receive this information, he will assume there are no "closed dates" for the official and all games subsequently not accepted will be considered "turn backs.”  Closed dates must be entered into ArbiterSports.com before contracts are sent out (no later than 15 days before the first game) or they will be considered "turn backs.”  Any official with more than two (2) turn backs in any contract period may be in jeopardy of losing future games and consideration to officiate post-season games.

SECTION E - Personal Appearance
Officials shall have a professional appearance at all times.  Hair shall be kept clean and presentable and not impair vision.  Neatly trimmed mustaches/beards are permissible.  Officials shall also be required to maintain uniforms and equipment.  Any exceptions must be approved by the association board or UHSAA office.

Patches will not be permitted, unless prior approval from the UHSAA executive staff.  The use of association patches is often a sign of pride and unity.  Association presidents should address the UHSAA in writing with formal request and design specifics in order to gain permission to wear a uniform patch.

SECTION G - Ratings
To aid the officials associations in its responsibilities, and from time to time at the discretion of the UHSAA staff, the following ratings among others may be made and/or requested.
* Rating of officials by fellow officials
* Rating of officials by approved observers
* Rating of officials by school personnel i.e. coaches and administrators
* Rating of officials by the arbiter
* Evaluations by UHSAA staff or board members

SECTION H - Contact By Head Official
It is highly recommended for the head official/referee to contact the school and other officials in the crew at least 72 hours prior to the contest.  The head official shall also be responsible for travel arrangements. Lack of pre-contest communication should be brought to the attention of association representatives, the arbiter and the UHSAA executive staff.

SECTION I - Inclement Weather

            If there is any doubt that a contest might not be played due to inclement weather or some other reason, the officials should call the host school or the arbiter.  (See Article VII for policy.)

SECTION J - Replacement Procedure
If an official cannot work a game that was originally accepted on the contract, the arbiter must be notified immediately. The arbiter will be responsible to replace the official.  Officials will not be      permitted to find their own replacements unless assigned to do so by the arbiter.  Officials not using this procedure may be subject to penalties and fines.  In a case where an official is not replaced due to a last minute change or emergency, the affected school should retain a JV official to work the varsity game.

SECTION K - Independent Contractor
All officials registered with the UHSAA are independent contractors and must treat their officiating income accordingly.  Registered officials are not guaranteed contracted games at any level. 

SECTION L - Address Changes
It is the responsibility of the official to notify the UHSAA and the local assigner of any change in registration information (i.e. address, phone number, email address, etc.).  Personal information must be updated by the official on the ArbiterSports.com website.


SECTION A - Protection of Officials
A school shall have the moral responsibility to protect the officials and their belongings and furnish dressing facilities that provide adequate privacy. School personnel shall not invade the privacy of the officials' dressing facilities.  It is not appropriate at any time for coaches or fans to enter the officials’ locker facilities.  All violations of this nature should be reported to appropriate UHSAA staff for inquiry.  Rules are now in place that could penalize offenders with at least a one game suspension for their behavior toward officials after games.

SECTION B - Notifying Official
A school is responsible for notifying the arbiter and the assigned official(s) if a contest has been canceled. It is recommended the schools should notify the arbiter and officials by noon the day of the game, or a reasonable time prior to the game, if weather or other circumstances require the cancellation or postponement of the game. Any extenuating cases may be submitted to the arbiter for his decision. 

SECTION C - Game-Contest Management
1.  A Game-Contest Management Director shall be appointed for each contest. His duties shall be to:
a) Establish pre-game lines of communication that provide knowledge of facility locations, time of access, verification of pre-game meetings and contest times.
b) Arrange for officials and teams to be met and provide access to dressing facilities at prescribed times.  It is recommended that contest officials arrive as a group.
c) Supervise or be responsible for the timely administration of pre-game activities, ensure that contests begin on time and make adjustments in pre-game programs if necessary.

2.  Adequate sideline and crowd control shall be maintained throughout the contest. Only authorized personnel shall be permitted along the sideline or playing area; spectators will not be permitted in that area. Preferably, sideline access credentials should be issued and strictly adhered to.

3.  Officials shall be escorted from the area of play to the dressing facilities or meeting site at halftime and at the conclusion of the contest. Coaches and media are not permitted in the dressing facility.  (For further guidelines, consult the UHSAA Sportsmanship Handbook.)

4.  If needed, officials shall be provided with an escort to their means of transportation after the contest. It is recommended that officials leave as a group.

ARTICLE IV - Mileage

SECTION A - Assigning
Whenever possible, the arbiter will assign officials so they travel a common route by shared transportation to contest sites. The arbiter will assign officials placing the proximity of schools and availability of officials as first consideration. Rotation of officials to schools is secondary.  Officials should not, however, work the same school twice within a 14-day period prior to the state tournament.

SECTION B - Mileage
1.  Mileage expense fees shall be paid at the rate of:
$0.46 per mile for round trip miles over 50 (paid to one driver only).
$0..11 per mile for round trip miles over 50 for all riders
Mileage will be paid along with payment for working the game. 

2.  If a common route is followed, driver's mileage shall be paid to the official coming from the most distant point in relation to the contest site. The remaining officials shall receive riders' mileage rates.  In the event all officials working the contest cannot follow a common route, the driver's mileage rate should be paid to officials coming from different directions in relation to the contest site.

Officials' driver and rider mileage shall be compiled from the ArbiterSports mileage system at the close of each tournament. Any changes or substitutions not received by the UHSAA office before the close of business on game day may result in non-payment of fees.  It shall be the official's responsibility to correct any problems that may occur as a result of failure to submit the proper mileage. Please contact the director of officials to solve any payment issues.

ARTICLE V - Contract Assignments

SECTION A - Regular Season Contract Assignments
The arbiter or assigner for each school or region shall determine the procedure of regular season assignments.  The crew concept may be used in some sports only with the approval of the UHSAA.

Per new policy, the UHSAA has updated their designee assigning procedure. Passed on July 5, 2016

1. All assigning is the sole responsibility of the UHSAA, however, from time to time the UHSAA may designate assigner's to assign contests under the purview of the UHSAA and are solely required to report to the UHSAA office.

2.  The UHSAA may ask an officials association for their recommendation for a designee assigner.  When applicable, this process should be done under the direction of the official's association by-laws. Final selection will be made by the UHSAA.

3.  Assigner's will be compensated directly by the UHSAA and payments will be made via ArbiterPay.com to the individual assigner's and not their associations. Funds paid to assigners are funds received by the UHSAA from its member's schools. The UHSAA Executive Boards sets the assigning fees. Additional fees may be collected directly by assigner's for the assignment of tournaments and/or special events. These additional charges will need to be approved through the UHSAA office. Additional compensation may be received by assigner's directly from an association and shall be handled directly between the association and the assigner.

4. Training sessions and discussion of assigning procedures will occur as needed. This process is necessary to ensure that all assigner's within the UHSAA approach his or her responsibilities with the same regard.


SECTION B - Selection Criteria for State Tournaments/Post Season Assignments

            The method used for selection of officials to work tournaments leading to and including state championship playoffs shall be:

  • Recommendations from local area officials’ organizations.
  • Should not have more than two turn backs in any contract period.
  • A Part 2 exam must be passed with a score of 90% to qualify for the selection procedure. If the test is failed there will be no make-up.
  • Required attendance at pre-season UHSAA rules clinic or completed online by required date (not valid after first date of Part II test).
  • Required attendance at local officials associations meetings.
  • UHSAA staff shall make final tabulation.
  • Must be a registered and a certified UHSAA official.

SECTION C - Assigning Procedure for State Tournaments
The UHSAA executive staff and arbiter shall use the following procedures for assigning officials to work tournaments leading to and including state championship playoffs in all sports.

1.  Schools shall be divided into groups: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A.

2.  A list of qualified officials will be requested from each local officials association representative.  Those qualified must meet the criteria listed above in Article V, Section B.

3.  Information and ratings from officials associations, independent evaluations, coaches’ recommendations, etc.

Note:  It is the philosophy of the UHSAA that the most competent and qualified officials be awarded post-season assignments.  Consideration with regard to geographical location and affiliation will be a secondary consideration to the responsibility to provide qualified and competent officials at contests.


The officials' list available online at ArbiterSports.com shall contain the following information for officials who have registered at the time the packets are mailed:
* Name           * Phone Number(s)                 * Address                    * Email Address


SECTION A - Classifications and Requirements
Officials will be classified by position (referee, umpire, linesman, etc.) and given a numerical ranking or rating determined by the local officials association.  Those rated a 100 will receive more assignments than those rated a 200 or lower.  UHSAA staff for review may question officials’ rankings by the officials association.  The rating system is a tool to assist the arbiter and UHSAA office in assigning regular season and post-season contests.  The UHSAA staff may assign any official to work a contest as long as they meet the requirements listed in Articles II and V of this guidebook.

The State Officials Board for that sport shall determine the classification of an official registered with the UHSAA.   Such recommendations, as well as the final decision on classification, shall be based on, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, the criteria stated above.

SECTION B - Out-Of-State Officials
An official moving into Utah with a minimum of two years out-of -state officiating experience in a state high school association or college conference will be required to have a letter of recommendation mailed directly from such association or conference to the UHSAA. The official's past experience will be taken into consideration, along with their Utah test score and floor, field and/or mat observation, in determining what classification/ranking shall be established.  The local association and the UHSAA will determine the classification/ranking.

SECTION C - Reinstatement - Inactive Officials
Upon recommendation from the arbiter and agreement of the officials association, an official who has been dismissed may be given the opportunity to be reinstated as a J.V./sophomore official.

            An official voluntarily inactive for a period of one year may be reinstated at the classification held prior to becoming inactive. An official voluntarily inactive for two or more years must return as a J.V./sophomore official (classification 4).  Past experience, test score and field, floor and/or mat observation will be taken into consideration when determining classification for the following season.  Officials wishing to be classified inactive for one year should forward written request to the association president and UHSAA office.

SECTION D - Demotion - Suspension - Dismissal
The State Officials Board, upon recommendation of the arbiter, may demote, suspend, and/or dismiss an official based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:

1.  Returning two assignments without sufficient cause; failure to appear for assigned contests without sufficient cause; late arrival at game sites without sufficient cause; use of tobacco (smoking or chewing) on school grounds; use of profane language on school grounds; and use of drugs or alcoholic beverages on school grounds or in such a manner as to affect one's ability to perform official duties.

2.  Failure to perform in accordance with the recognized standards found in the National Federation Officiating Manuals, including knowledge and interpretation of the rules, mechanics, personal appearance and physical conditioning.

3.  Conviction or admission of any felony, misdemeanor, public offense involving moral turpitude or being connected with any illegal gambling interests involving any high school sports competition.

4.  Charges or allegations of any felony, misdemeanor, public offense involving moral turpitude or being connected with any illegal gambling interests involving any high school sports competition. 

5.  Failure to cooperate with the UHSAA or its policies. An official shall not pursue a course of action, which, in the opinion of the State Officials Board, is detrimental to the welfare, reputation or interests of the UHSAA or its member schools.  This may include inappropriate comments in the media or any action that discredits fellow officials, its association or the UHSAA.

6.  Failure to attain a minimum score on the Part 1 examination.

Any demotion in rating or standing within an association should be declared in writing to the official, the arbiter and the UHSAA staff.

SECTION E - Interstate Reciprocity
An official residing in a state bordering Utah may qualify to officiate in Utah provided the following criteria are met:
*Registered with their particular state association.
*Passed and achieved a grade ranking required by UHSAA by-laws on the written test on the National Federation of State High School Associations for that sport.
*Paid the current $10 fee per sport in Utah.


SECTION A - Protests
            All protests concerning the outcome of a game or contest must be made and concluded by appropriate officials and school leaders prior to the end of the protested game or contest. After a game or contest has been completed, protests regarding the outcome are not allowed.  No protest shall be considered if the protest is based upon a judgment call of an official.

            In essence, a protest by a coach or school must be made and concluded at the game site.  Officials involved in a protested game should conference with their partner, and on the basis of National Federation rules and UHSAA guidelines, conclude with a ruling that shall be binding and final.  Officials should involve school administrators and coaches and refer to the UHSAA staff for further discussion if necessary.  An inquiry may be made as to the outcome of an official protest; however, all protests must be concluded before the conclusion of the contest. 

            Officials are advised to be patient and thorough in games that are protested.  Take the time necessary to sort out the conflict and get it correct before moving on with the game.

SECTION B - Certified Officials
Only certified officials shall be used in all levels of high school competition. Any exceptions to this regulation should be reported promptly to the UHSAA Supervisor of Officials and offenders will be subject to suspension and/or fine. The requirements to be certified are: registration with the UHSAA, complete and pass Part I test with the required score and view in person the rules clinic or view it online by the required dates.

SECTION C - Officials Committees
At the discretion of the UHSAA staff, there may be an officials committee or organization for each sport. No officials committee or association shall censure a school or coach. All censures of coaches will come through the UHSAA only.

SECTION D - School Violations
When reporting a violation or unusual situation involving a school, a written report must be sent to the UHSAA office immediately following the contest. All unsportsmanlike ejections must be called or emailed to the arbiter within 24 hours of the contest.  Failure to comply may result in loss of game assignments. Upon receipt of the report, the UHSAA may investigate.  The UHSAA office will handle any appeal from a member school.  The calling official is responsible to report.

SECTION E - Performance - Conduct
Officials will be expected to perform in accordance with the recognized standards and criteria developed for officiating; included therein -- knowledge and interpretation of the rules, mechanics, personal appearance and physical conditioning. The conduct of an official shall at all times be in a professional manner both on and off the field, court or mat. All criticisms of an official’s performance or ability must be in writing, signed by a principal or school administrator and submitted to the UHSAA.  If deemed necessary, the UHSAA will investigate and report his or her findings to the Officials Association for necessary action, if any.

The official in question may be requested to submit a written report to the UHSAA executive staff for review and disciplinary action if necessary.

SECTION F - Breach of Contract/Fines
An official or replacement that does not honor a contract assignment or follow the replacement procedure outlined in Article II Section J will be fined $25.00 to be paid to the UHSAA. Such fine shall be paid within 10 days from the breach of contract.  No further games will be assigned until the fine is paid. Officials are required to work all games that are accepted on the arbiter. In the event an official is more than 1/4 late to a contest, the paying school has the right to deduct the $25.00 from the game fee check.  Officials failing to show up for any of the game will lose one game fee and will not be assigned further games until the fee is paid to the UHSAA.

SECTION G - Change of Policy Procedure
            Any request for a change in policy shall be submitted to the UHSAA in writing.  A meeting with the UHSAA executive staff may be arranged if it is deemed necessary and appropriate.

SECTION H - Grievance Procedure
            Officials’ grievances shall be submitted in writing to the local association or chapter president.  The president shall arrange a meeting with the State Officials Board if he/she deems further discussion is necessary.  If the official filing the grievance is not satisfied with the State Board ruling, he/she may appeal to the UHSAA staff, whose decision is final.

SECTION I - UHSAA Sportsmanship Policy

1.  Unsportsmanlike Ejections

            If the actions of a coach or participant become unsportsmanlike, the official should warn the coach or player that a continuation of unsportsmanlike conduct will result in ejection from the contest.

            An official shall not be hasty in his decision and should allow the coach time to correct his conduct. After ejection from a contest, a coach shall be permitted no more than one (1) minute to vacate the premises.  Players ejected shall be restricted to the bench and become the coach’s responsibility. 

            Football, baseball and soccer premises include the entire fields and seating area. The coach shall not be allowed to remain inside the park to watch the game. In basketball, volleyball and wrestling, the premises include the entire area of the contestants and spectators.  The principle of "out of sight, out of mind", shall guide officials in what limits the ejected coach is entitled to.

            Immediately following the contest (no later than 24 hours), the calling official must notify the UHSAA office of any unsportsmanlike ejection.  Under the officials tab on the UHSAA.org website is the link to complete the online ejection report. This report is disseminated to the UHSAA, offending school principal and director of athletics. Should further investigation be necessary, an inquiry will be conducted by the UHSAA. 

            All ejections must be reported to the UHSAA office.  Failure to do so may result in regular season game suspension or loss of post-season privileges.  This rule applies to all levels of participation (freshman, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity competition).

            All unsportsmanlike ejections carry a one game suspension from playing or coaching.  There is no distinction anymore with regard to fighting, however, a fighting ejection does carry a minimum two (2) game suspension.     All sports are now subject to this policy unilaterally.  It is your responsibility as an official to follow this procedure.  Officials are NOT given the authority to act as administrators in making decisions regarding the enforcement of the sportsmanship policy.  Coaches or players berating officials at the conclusion of a game are under the same restrictions as within the game, and those incidents should be reported to the UHSAA, as it may necessitate a one game suspension.

2.  Unusual Situations

                 In addition to unsportsmanlike ejections, anything deemed unusual regarding behavior or actions of a school administrator, coach or player, should be communicated to the UHSAA in writing.  If necessary, an inquiry will be made by the UHSAA executive staff.

SECTION J - Suspended Game Procedure
DEFINITION: A suspended game is a contest where the game/contest is stopped because of weather, mechanical or facility problems.

PROCEDURE:  The point of suspension will be marked in the scorebook for future reference.  A tentative date for resumption of play will be decided at that time and the officials will be notified.  (The same officials should complete the game when possible.)  If there is more than one suspension, they will be made up in the same order as they were suspended (i.e. a Tuesday suspension will be made up before a Wednesday suspension in the same week).

All games/contests will continue from the point of suspension until the game is completed.  Lineups will remain the same as they were at the time of suspension.  Pitching restrictions will remain in effect for baseball (14 innings per calendar week:  Sunday 12:01 am through Saturday 12:00 midnight).  In baseball and softball, if five innings are completed and suspension occurs, the game is considered complete unless the game is tied.  At that time the suspended game rule will apply.

METHOD OF PAYMENT FOR OFFICIALS:  See "General Payment Information" #6 on page 4.


1.  UHSAA will not accept collect calls under any circumstances.

2.  If it is necessary to contact the UHSAA office, please state your business to the secretary and she will connect you with someone who can answer your questions.


All UHSAA officials are covered by a secondary liability insurance policy, which is included in the registration fee.

            Primary coverage for injury and liability insurance will be the personal responsibility of the official. If the official does not have any insurance the UHSAA insurance through NFHS will be in effect. This plan includes $1,000,000.00 liability protection, and limited coverage in Accident Medical.

            In the event of an injury while officiating or a possible liable suit, contact the UHSAA for directions. 



SECTION A - General
            All sports, with the exception of wrestling, soccer and baseball, follow all the rules and regulations as written in the National Federation Rule Books.

SECTION B - Baseball and Softball Speed-up Rules:  Adopted by guidelines in NFHS rulebooks.

Run Rule:  Games shall be called after five or more innings when either team is behind ten or more runs.

            Tie Game: In a tie game, the international tiebreaker rule begins in the 8th inning or after the time limit expires.  At the start of the 8th inning before the first batter begins her turn at bat, the last batter who hit in that teams half of the last inning will assume a position at second base. This means that the first batter in the top of the 8th inning will hit with a runner on 2nd base and no one out. The same procedure will continue in each half of the inning until a winner is determined.

            Time Limit:  There are no time limits in any classification varsity games, however, there is a one and one half hour time limit in all classification games at the sub-varsity level.

SECTION C - Communicable Disease Precautions
A player or coach who is bleeding, who has an open wound or who has blood on his/her uniform shall be prohibited from participating further in the game until appropriate treatment has been administered. If medical care or treatment can be administered in a reasonable amount of time, the individual would not have to leave the game. The length of time that is considered reasonable is the judgment of the referee/umpire.