Pacific Northwest Football Officials Association

Interested in Officiating ?

The Pacific Northwest Football Officials Association
is always looking for talented individuals to join our group.

Why Become a Football Official?

You Love Football

Officiating is the best way to stay involved in the game. As an official you are on the field, instead of watching from the sidelines.

Stay in Shape

Officiating gets you out of the house two or three times a week to participate in an enjoyable and rewarding physical activity.

Make Lifelong Friends

A tremendous bond is developed between officials that can only be fully explained after you've experienced it.

Personal Growth

Officiating builds skills in resolving conflicts, making instantaneous decisions, and dealing with stress and pressure.

Earn Some Cash

Unlike most other hobbies today, the time spent officiating football will put some money back in your pocket.

Positive Role Model

Officiating provides a unique opportunity to guide our youth by enforcing the concepts of fair play and good sportsmanship.

Get on the field in 4 easy steps


Contact Us


Attend Training


Study & Prepare


Work Games

FrequentLy Asked Questions

What experience do I need?

You do not need to be an ex-player or coach to become a great football official. Prior officiating experience in football or other sports helps but is not required. We provide a comprehensive training program that gets you from ZERO to ONFIELD in 6 weeks!

What type of training will I receive?

We conduct weekly meetings prior to the main high school football season to ensure you know the rules and proper mechanics. Training includes both classroom and on-field instruction taught by our veteran officials. Classes start in mid-July and are held on Wednesday nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm with several Saturday scrimmage opportunities to practice your skills on the field.

How do I enroll in the training program?

Join our group by completing our contact form below.   If you have questions about the registration process you can e-mail our recruitment chair at

What kind of games could I expect to work my first year?

As a newer official you will primarily work youth, junior high, and high school sub-varsity games your first year.  Most youth games occur on Saturday and high school games occur Monday and Wednesday evenings.  Some newer officials with great potential may even get a varsity high school game or two their first year.

What time commitment must I make to officiate football?

As a first-year official in the PNFOA, you’ll be expected to attend Wednesday night training meetings during the summer, study, and be prepared to discuss rules during classroom sessions.  We also ask that you attend one of our scrimmages for new and transfer officials.

During the season you will have the opportunity to work most days of the week if desired.  During the week, junior high and sub-varsity games occur on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons with games starting between 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Saturdays are filled with youth games and additional junior high and sub-varsity games throughout the day from 9:00 am all the way through to 7:00 pm. Each game will last approximately 2 hours in length. 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 King county. This distribution of games will help you become familiar with, and receive training from, many of our veteran officials.

How much money can I make?

In 2022, the WIAA and WOA approved game fee increases phased in over 3 years for all sub-varsity and varsity games.

In 2022, our officials are due to be paid $43.00 (youth), $45.00 (junior), $67.75 (sub-varsity), and $84.00 (varsity) per game. Our officials also receive a $18.00 per site mileage reimbursement for school games.

New officials also have the opportunity to work on the chain crew at select stadiums. Our officials earn $20 per game for working on the chain crew. In all, some new officials can make over $3,000 their first year if they are available most weeknights and weekends during the season.

When and how will I be paid?

The PNFOA uses ArbiterPay to manage the collection and distribution of game fees to our officials.  This allows our officials to be paid within 48 hours after a working a WIAA sponsored football game!  All officials will need to connect a bank account to ArbiterPay to facilitate the electronic transfer of funds.  You will receive payment for each game assignment and we recommend you keep accurate records because earnings are taxable income.

What costs are involved?

Dues for the PNFOA are $35/year. PNFOA officials are also members of the Washington Officials Association (WOA) which charges $120/year.  The WOA collects the their dues out of game fees to limit the up-front costs to our new officials.  PNFOA dues can also be paid using earning from games via Arbiter.

A basic start-up uniform will cost approximately $200. We run an online store that allows officials to purchase gear at discounted rates directly from the PNFOA to help officials save even more money.  Several online vendors also sell officiating equipment 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?

PNFOA members advance through the ranks based upon on-field experience, attending the required number of meetings and trainings, and successful completion of written tests.  On-field observations and evaluations also affect rankings. During your first couple of seasons, you should attempt to get as much experience as possible by officiating games and scrimmages, working on chain crews, and attending varsity level games to shadow the crew.

How do I become a collegiate and/or NFL official?

This is the place to start if you live in the Seattle area and want to officiate college or pro football. All of the officials you see working Saturdays and Sundays began in a local association like the PNFOA working youth and high school football games.

Several current members of the PNFOA are NCAA Division II and Division III college officials.  Some of our recent alumni are currently working for NCAA Division I conferences including the Big Sky and Pac-12.  We even have one alumni working as a current referee and one as a replay official in the NFL!

What is it like to be a football official?

Have you ever wondered what it is like being a football official in the Pacific Northwest?  Our fellow officials over in Spokane made an excellent video to show you what Friday night football is all about.  Get a behind the scenes look at what drives so many people to join the ranks of high school football officials in our state. 


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