Welcome prospective members of the Nobscot Valley Football Officials Association (NVFOA).We are always seeking new members with or without officiating experience.

What does it mean to be a member of the NVFOA?

If you have a passion for the game of football and would like to get involved or continue to be involved with this great game, we would like to extend an invitation to join the  NVFOA. Our association is one of the finest in the country and has produced NCAA college officials as well as numerous high school and youth officials.

We begin our meetings in August and you will receive training and instruction from some of the finest officials in the East. These dedicated officials will teach you at a pace you can easily understand. When your games start you will be assigned with experienced officials who will enhance your training experience. You will learn the fundamentals of officiating and will have the chance to progress at your own pace. We have many dedicated officials, who have vast years of experience, who are eager to share those experiences with you. Each week you will have the opportunity to discuss your games with the instructors and your fellow first year officials.

The NVFOA provides officials for various youth football organizations as well as all the high schools throughout Eastern and Central Massachusetts. The thrill of “Friday Night Lights” is a feeling that is difficult to put into words. You may be given the opportunity to work with the crew as a chain crew member on varsity level games. You are welcome to join in on the pre and post game discussions these are great experiences and will only enhance your growth as an official. These are excellent tools to help you in enhancing your own officiating skills.

Some of our members are NCAA certified and work various college games, from the Division III level all the way up to Division I. We hope that you decide to join us and share our passion for this great game of football and for the young athletes of Massachusetts.

Special announcement regarding our Spring 2017 Class:

Thursdays, May 18, May 25, June 1, June 8 (June 15; Flex-date if needed) at 7:00PM at the Ashland VFW Hall  (311 Pleasant Street, Ashland, 01721) rear parking lot entrance.

Please follow the directions outlined in the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

 NVFOA New Officials Application

2017 Training Class Schedule

Thursday 5/18/17     RULES 1,2 & 7

The Game, Field, Players and Equipment. Definitions. Snapping & Passing the Ball.

Thursday 5/25/17       Rules 3, 4 & 8

Periods, Time Factors and Subs. Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds. Scoring

Thursday 6/1/17     RULES 5 & 6

Series of Downs, Line to Gain. Kicks.

Thursday 6/8/17     RULES 9, 10 & Exam

Conduct of Players and Others Subject to Rules. Penalty Enforcement

Thursday 6/15/17

Flex Date if Needed 

How to Become a Football Official?

So you are interested in becoming a football official? We are excited for you to join the  NVFOA. Our hope is that you will take your passion and excitement for the game of football and strive to be the best football official possible! We want to help you along the way.

  • The New Candidates course consists of four, two hour, classroom training sessions.
  • The 2017 New Candidate Classes will begin on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Subsequent classes will be held on May 25th, June 1st, and June 15th. Thursday, June 15th will be held as a “flex/make-up” day.
  • Training Class Location: VFW Hall, 311 Pleasant Street, Ashland, MA 01721 (lower parking lot entrance)
  • Edward Roos (Division II NCAA Official) will coordinate the 2017 NVFOA New Candidate Classes. Edward can be reached at


Below is some general information to help you get you moving in the right direction.

Q: What does the NVFOA do for new officials?


  • Provide training for new officials.
  • Enlist new officials in the Mentor Program.
  • Provide officials to work in High School sub-varsity games and local youth football leagues.
  • Provide the NVFOA website that has a wealth of knowledge.

Q: What can I expect during my 1st year?

A: New officials will work High School JV, Freshman, and Youth Games. Sub-Varsity High School Games normally run on Monday Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Youth games are held all-day Saturdays and Sundays. Most High School games are played on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.

Q: What equipment do I need?


Officials shall purchase and maintain their uniforms and equipment. Officials will be required to wear the uniform as indicated. Uniform, including shoes, should appear clean.

  • Black football cap (sized) with white piping.
  • Black and white vertically striped (2 in.), short sleeve knit shirt with knit cuff and Byron collar.
  • All black belt
  • All black shorts or black shorts with white vertically striped (1 1/4″)
  • Black or white socks
  • Black football shoes with black shoelaces. (Shoes may have some white markings)
  • No jewelry. (Wedding rings and medical alert bracelets are an exception)
  • No watches. (Except as needed for timing purposes)


The following equipment is required to be carried by all game officials, unless noted by position.

  • Whistle (Fox 40) with all black lanyard and/or Fox40 finger whistle
  • Game card and pencil
  • Down indicator
  • Penalty flag
  • Chain Clip (Head Linesman)
  • Beanbag (Blue, Black, or White)

Q: What if I am an experienced football official transferring from another state / board:

A: Contact Edward Roos (NVFOA President; or Don Perry (NVFOA Secretary; to discuss transfer procedures.

Q: Who can become an NVFOA official?

A: Any individual who is 18 years old and not in high school may register with the NVFOA and officiate youth and high school contests.

 Q: I have participated in my sport, but I wasn’t a star athlete. Should I bother trying to officiate?

A: It helps to have participated in the given sport you wish to officiate in, however, it is certainly not necessary to have been an outstanding performer.

 Q: What does it take to become a good official?

A: It takes a lot of things, but most certainly a very thorough knowledge of the rules of your sport, a love of athletics and kids, physical ability, self-confidence, the dedications and determinations necessary to work hard, and above all, personal integrity. The athletes and coaches look upon each contest as being the most important thing happening in their lives at that moment, and the official must look upon each contest the same way and react accordingly. This avocation is not for everyone, but if you have the interest and the attributes described above, you may find this to be some of the most rewarding work you will ever be involved in.

 Q: What are the benefits of officiating?

A: Individuals may look at this in different ways, but officials will generally tell you they:

  • Want to give something back to the sport they enjoy.
  • Want to stay involved in the sport(s).
  • Enjoy the challenge of being in a pressure-packed situation.
  • Want the physical exercise.
  • Enjoy working with the kids.
  • Want some extra money.

 Q: How does a new official get games?

A: This can vary somewhat from sport-to-sport, however, there are some basics you should know. First of all, the official is an independent contractor who enters into an agreement with the youth and High School assignors. In football, It is important to understand that in some sports it will take considerably longer to get to the level of working varsity competition than in others.

 Q: Will officiating take up much of my time?

A: This obviously varies from person to person, however, it must be understood that to become a good official, one must be prepared to devote considerable time and energy. You have seen the officials at contest, however, you may not be aware that they probably had a meeting before that contest to discuss specific things, had many group meetings with other officials during the course of the year, have written required rules examinations, have attended a required rules interpretation meeting, etc. The list could go on and on, however, basically, as in most things, you improve according to your efforts.

Q: What will I get paid?

A: The pay schedule for regular season games is established by the AIA. Varsity contests obviously pay more than contests below the varsity level. You will find fees ranging from $58.00 for a non-varsity level contest to $90.00 for a varsity contest. Youth games pay starts at $50/game. Expect to spend some money on uniforms and equipment.

 Q: What’s the biggest adjustment I may need to make?

A: It is always difficult to go from being an athlete, perhaps one that is looked up to by other students and fans, to an official whom some people seem to believe can do nothing right. It is important to understand that the basic ingredient of officiating is that of being a decision maker, and sometimes the decisions won’t please everybody. Once you clear this hurdle and realize that people will criticize you because you make necessary decisions rather than because you are a bad person and you can accept this fact, you are on your way. It is not easy.

 Q: What is the typical football season?

A: High School passing leagues start in early July. The High School pre-season and regular season runs from late August through Thanksgiving. Youth leagues run from August through early November.

 Q: How are the high schools and officials in the state served?

A: They are served by various league commissioners. They are the individuals that assign all games.

 Q: What do I do now?

A: Contact Edward Roos (NVFOA President or Don Perry (NVFOA Secretary; for additional information.

In conclusion, let us congratulate you on your interest in officiating. Officials play a very significant role in the success of youth and interscholastic athletic programs. If you are ready to accept the challenge and move into this realm, we welcome you. If not, perhaps you now have a better understanding and appreciation of the official. If you can’t join our ranks now, perhaps you will be able to sometime in the future. It’s your call to make.