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PIAA Junior officials program


The number of officials for high school and youth sports continues to decline, forcing schedule changes and even game cancellations. Piaa.org states, “Pennsylvania has been experiencing a decline in high school sports officials for eight years now.” The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has started a junior official program to address the problem.

     Junior officials work junior varsity, middle school and youth games. The junior official program is statewide and includes all sports. 

     Students must be 16 years or older and a NFHS/PIAA sports examination will be taken online or sent by mail. Participating in the program allows for experience coaching younger individuals, community service, and being a more significant part of the community.

     Officials who graduate from the program are able to ref games that are played by seventh through ninth graders. The program consists of passing a written test either online or in person for each individual sport. There is a $40.00 non-refundable application fee which will cover the application and the first year’s dues for each sport a student wants to test.

     Previously, all officials had to be 18 years old and/or a high school graduate. Now with the junior officials programs 16 and 17-year-olds can officiate sub-varsity contests for 7th, 8th and 9th grade sports.

     For more information or to apply, go to piaa.org.

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