PIAA approves junior officials program

Sara Fitzgerald

 The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association junior officials program was approved on October 11, 2022, by unanimous action. This program will allow 16 and 17 year old students to officiate 7th through 9th grade contests as long as they have met all of the requirements. Students must be 16 years or older, a NFHS/PIAA sports examination will be taken online or sent by mail. PIAA will be waiving the registration fee for any student belonging to this program. 

     Participating in the program allows for experience coaching younger individuals, community service, and being a more significant part of the community. Mr. Menapace believes that the concept is excellent as it helps to generate a larger pool of officials. “ In reality, most of the students who would want to officiate games at the MS level will be in their own seasons at the same time,” he comments. Mrs. Kelly gave her opinion on the matter, believing that it’s great to train kids to become officials and allow them to take the test for free. She believes this program should be expanded to include young adults through age 25. “PIAA is asking people to pay a fee to take the test, plus put out money to buy the official uniform, including black sneakers, a whistle, and any other pertinent items they will need prior to ever making a dime.  It’s a lot to ask, especially of young people who may not be settled into a career and bringing in a steady income.” She would love to assist any students who have an interest in the Junior Officials Program set up for any sport, and she can personally help train anyone interested in officiating field hockey and girl’s lacrosse.

     For more information go to http://www.piaa.org/officials/become/default.aspx