How to obtain an OHSAA Officiating Permit

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NOTE: Only residents of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia may become an OHSAA Licensed official

   Select the category below which applies to your situation
Beginning official with no experience

Wanting to officiate baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball or wrestling - (including USSF Grade 8 or higher)

Wanting to officiate gymnastics

Wanting to officiate any other sport

Experienced official

Living in a contiguous state

Previously licensed by another state association - (including USSF
         grade 7 or lower)

Previously licensed by another sports association

Previous OHSAA official wanting to reinstate (NOT suspended)

Suspended official

Failure to meet rules meeting requirements

   Find Classification of Officials
   Find Sports which permits are required

   Beginning Officials - Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer,
         Softball, Volleyball, and Wrestling
You must enroll and successfully complete an OHSAA Approved Officiating Class
  • Step 1:Take OHSAA Officiating Class
    Contact an approved OHSAA instructor, enroll and complete the officiating class. Class fees will vary and include the instructor's fee, application fee, rule books and testing.
    Click here to find an instructor in your area
  • Step 2: Take Officiating Exam
    The class concludes with the officiating exam.  Applicants must receive a passing score of 75% on the mechanics and rules exams and pass the proficiency portion in order to be a licensed OHSAA official. Officiating certificates will be given to students with passing grades on test day. These students may begin officiating interscholastic contests immediately.
  • Step 3: Receive Officiating Permit
    Applicants with a passing score will receive their officiating permit in the mail within three weeks from their test date. If you do not receive your permit within this time frame, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110).
    Note:
    Applicants receiving a grade of 65% - 74% on the mechanics or rules exam may request a retest.  Applicants who do not pass the subsequent officiating exam must wait one year to re-enroll in the officiating class and start the application process over.
  • Step 4: Contact your local officiating association
    Click here to find a local association in your area
  • Step 5: Annual Renewal of Permit
    Renew your officiating permit annually in the month of June.
Note: During the school year in which the official successfully completes the adult education class, all meeting requirements are waived.
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   Beginning Officials - Field Hockey, Ice Hockey, Swimming & Diving, and Track & Field
You must complete an OHSAA Officiating Application
  • Step 1: Obtain an Officiating Application
    Click here to Print the officiating application
  • Step 2: Mail application form and fee
    Mail completed application form and required $60.00 application fee ($60 per sport, check or money order payable to the OHSAA) to Officiating department, OHSAA, 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH, 43214.   Fall sport applications will only be accepted from June 15 through July 15, winter sport applications September 15 through October 15,  spring sport applications December 15 through  January 15.
  • Step 3: Receive officiating instruction books in mail
    You will receive all study material, the testing instructions, and the OHSAA handbook for officials within 14 days after we receive the application.  If you do not receive this material, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110)
  • Step 4: Prepare for Officiating Exam
    Study your rule books in preparation for the online test. 
  • Step 5: Take Officiating Exam
    You will take a rules test and a mechanics test.   Each test you will be able to take twice.  At the conclusion of the test you will receive your results.
  • Step 6: Receive Officiating Permit
    Applicants with a passing score of 80% or higher will receive their officiating permit in the mail. Allow three weeks from mailing date. If you do not receive your permit within this time frame, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110).
  • Note: Applicants who do not pass the officiating exam must wait one year to re-apply and start the application process over.
  • Step 7: Attend Required Rules Meetings
    All officials have annual meeting requirements, most sports require four local meetings.  A state rules meeting is also required after the year in which an individual initially becomes an official.  Begin local meeting attendance NOW!
    Click here to find a local and state rules meeting in your area
  • Step 8: Annual Renewal of Officiating Permit
    Renew your officiating permit annually in the month of June.
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   Beginning Officials - Gymnastics
You must first obtain a rating from the Joint Certification Committee (JCC) of U.S.A. Gymnastics Judging Program. Applicants with a minimum rating of Level 8 and an expiration date of 2009 may proceed to step 2.
  • Step 1: Take Joint Certification Exam for Women's Gymnastics with current rules.
    Contact a Joint Certification Test Administrator in your area to take Joint Certification Exam.  Applicants must receive a minimum rating of Level 8 with an expiration date of 2009 to continue the OHSAA application process.
  • Step 2: Obtain an OHSAA Officiating Application
    Click here to Print the officiating application
  • Step 3: Mail OHSAA Application Form, Fee and Photocopy of JCC Rating
    Mail completed application form, $60.00 application fee and a photocopy of your JCC rating card to Officiating department, OHSAA, 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH, 43214.  Applications will be accepted from September 1 through October 31.
  • Step 4: Receive Officiating Permit
    Applicants earning a JCC minimum rating of Level 9 will receive a Class 1 officiating permit in the mail. Applicants earning a JCC minimum rating of Level 8 will receive a Class 2 officiating permit in the mail.  Allow three week for delivery.   If you do not receive your permit within this time frame, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110).
  • Step 5: Attend State Rules Meetings
    Officials are required to attend one state rules meeting each school year and complete an annual rules review to maintain their officiating permit.
  • Step 6: Annual Renewal of Officiating Permit
    Renew your officiating permit annually in the month of June.
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Experienced Officials Living in a Contiguous State
An out-of state official living in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania or West Virginia may apply for an OHSAA Officiating permit.
  • Step 1: Obtain an Officiating Application
    Click here to Print the officiating application
  • Step 2: Mail application form and fee
    Mail completed application form, photocopy of valid state officiating permit and required $60.00 application fee ($60 per sport) to Officiating department, OHSAA, 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH, 43214. Fall sport applications will only be accepted from June 15 through July 15, winter sport applications September 15 through October 15, spring sport applications December 15 through  January 15.
  • Step 3: Receive officiating rule book packet in mail
    You will receive all study material, the testing instructions, and the OHSAA handbook for officials within 14 days after we receive the application.  If you do not receive this material, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110)
  • Step 4: Prepare for and take officiating exam
    Study the provided books in preparation for the online test. You will take a rules test and a mechanics test.  Each test you will be able to take twice.  At the conclusion of the test you will receive your results. 
  • Step 5: Receive Officiating Permit
    Applicants with a passing score of 80% or higher will receive their officiating permit in the mail. Allow three weeks from mailing date. If you do not receive your permit within this time frame, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110).

  • Note: Applicants who do not pass the officiating exam must wait one year to re-apply and start the application process over.

  • Step 6: Attend Required Rules Meetings
    All officials have annual meeting requirements, most sports require four local meetings.  A state rules meeting is also required after the year in which an individual initially becomes an official.  Begin local meeting attendance NOW!
    Click here to find a local and state rules meeting in your area.
  • Step 7: Annual Renewal of Officiating Permit
    Renew your officiating permit annually in the month of June.
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Experienced officials holding another state association's officiating permit and becomes an Ohio resident - Reciprocity
  • Step 1: Obtain an Officiating Application
    Click here to Print the officiating application
  • Step 2: Mail application form and fee
    Mail completed application form, photocopy of valid state officiating permit and required $60 application fee for one sport and $30 per additional sports to  Officiating department, OHSAA,4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH, 43214.
  • Step 3: Receive officiating rule book packet in mail
    You will receive your rule books, instruction sheet, test information when required, and the OHSAA handbook for officials within 14 days after we receive the application.  If you do not receive this material, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110)
  • Step 4: Attend Required Rules Meetings
    All officials have annual meeting requirements, most sports require four local meetings.  A state rules meeting is also required after the year in which an individual initially becomes an official.  Begin local meeting attendance NOW!
    Click here to find a local and state rules meeting in your area.
  • Step 5: Annual Renewal of Officiating Permit
    Renew your officiating permit annually in the month of June.
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Experienced Officials certified by another sport association officiating program
  • Step 1: Obtain an Officiating Application
    Click here to Print the officiating application
  • Step 2: Mail application form and fee
    Mail completed application form, photocopies of officiating permits from the last three years and required $60.00 application fee ($60 per sport) to Officiating department, OHSAA, 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH, 43214.  Fall sport applications will only be accepted from June 15 through July 15, winter sport applications September 15 through October 15, spring sport applications December 15 through  January 15.
  • Step 3: Receive officiating rule book packet in mail
    You will receive all study material, the testing instructions, and the OHSAA handbook for officials within 14 days after we receive your application.  If you do not receive this material, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110)
  • Step 4: Prepare for and take officiating exam
    Study the provided books in preparation for the online test. You will take a rules test and a mechanics test.  Each test you will be able to take twice.  At the conclusion of the test you will receive your results. 
  • Step 5: Receive Officiating Permit
    Applicants with a passing score of 80% or higher will receive their officiating permit in the mail. Allow three weeks from mailing date. If you do not receive your permit within this time frame, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110).
  • Note: Applicants who do not pass the officiating exam must wait one year to re-apply and start the application process over.
  • Step 6: Attend Required Rules Meetings
    All officials have annual meeting requirements, most sports require four local meetings.  A state rules meeting is also required after the year in which an individual initially becomes an official.  Begin local meeting attendance NOW!
    Click here to find a local and state rules meeting in your area
  • Step 7: Annual Renewal of Officiating Permit
    Renew your officiating permit annually in the month of June.
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Inactive Officials in good standing wanting to return to active status
  • Step 1: Obtain an Officiating Application
    Click here to Print the officiating application
  • Step 2: Mail application form and fee
    Mail completed application form and required $60.00 application fee ($60 per sport) to Officiating department, OHSAA, 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH, 43214.  Fall sport applications will only be accepted from June 15 through July 15, winter sport applications September 15 through October 15, spring sport applications December 15 through  January 15.
  • Step 3: Receive officiating rule book packet in mail
    You will receive all study material, the testing instructions, and the OHSAA handbook for officials within 14 days after we receive your application.  If you do not receive this material, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110)
  • Step 4: Prepare for and take officiating exam
    Study the provided books in preparation for the online test. You will take a rules test and a mechanics test.  Each test you will be able to take twice.  At the conclusion of the test you will receive your results. 
  • Step 5: Receive Officiating Permit
    Applicants with a passing score of 80% or higher will receive their officiating permit in the mail. Allow three weeks from mailing date. If you do not receive your permit within this time frame, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110).
    Note: Applicants who do not pass the officiating exam must wait one year to re-apply and start the application process over.
  • Step 7: Attend Required Rules Meetings
    All officials have annual meeting requirements, most sports require four local meetings.  A state rules meeting is also required after the year in which an individual initially becomes an official.  Begin local meeting attendance NOW!
    Click here to find local and state rules meeting in your area
  • Step 8: Annual Renewal of Officiating Permit
    Renew your officiating permit annually in the month of June.
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Suspended Officials wanting to return to Active Status
  • Step 1: Obtain an Officiating Application
    Click here to Print the officiating application
  • Step 2: Mail application form and fee
    Mail completed application form and required $85.00 application fee ($85 per sport) to Officiating department, OHSAA, 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH, 43214.  Fall sport applications will only be accepted from June 15 through July 15, winter sport applications September 15 through October 15, spring sport applications December 15 through  January 15.
  • Step 3: Receive officiating instruction books in mail
    You will receive all study material, the testing instructions, and the OHSAA handbook for officials within 14 days after we receive your application.  If you do not receive this material, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110)
  • Step 4: Prepare for Officiating Exam
    Study your books in preparation for the online test.
  • Step 5: Take Officiating Exam
    You will take a rules test and a mechanics test.   Each test you will be able to take twice.  At the conclusion of the test you will receive your results. 
  • Step 6: Receive Officiating Permit
    Applicants with a passing score of 80% or higher will receive their officiating permit in the mail. Allow three weeks from mailing date. If you do not receive your permit within this time frame, contact Officiating department at the OHSAA office (614-267-2502, ext. 110).
    Note: Applicants who do not pass the officiating exam must wait one year to re-apply and start the application process over.
  • Step 7: Attend Required Rules Meetings
    All officials have annual meeting requirements, most sports require four local meetings.  A state rules meeting is also required after the year in which an individual initially becomes an official.  Begin local meeting attendance now!
    Click here to find local and state rules meeting in your area.
  • Step 8: Annual Renewal of Officiating Permit
    Renew your officiating permit annually in the month of June.

Note: Individuals are not eligible for OHSAA tournament assignments in that sport.

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Classification of Officials
  • Class 1 Eligible to officiate all levels.
  • Class 2 Eligible to officiate all levels of contests except varsity high school contest in football, basketball and the Referee position in volleyball
  • Class 3 Restricted to 7-8-9th grade and non-school officiating.
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Sports for Which Officiating Permits may be Issued
1. FALL Field Hockey Class 1
Football Class 1,2,3
Soccer Class 1,2,3
Volleyball Class 1,2,3
2. WINTER Basketball Class 1,2,3
Girls Gymnastics Class 1,2
Ice Hockey Class 1
Swimming and Diving Class 1,3
Wrestling Class 1,2,3
3. SPRING Baseball Class 1,2,3
Softball Class 1,2,3
Track and Field Class 1,3
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Revised: 09/22/11