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Officiating Dues - How They Work For You

How Your OHSAA Officiating Dues Work For You!

Every year, about the time the annual officials’ renewals go out we receive calls and letters questioning how those dues are spent. The OHSAA staff is sensitive to dues sent by officials and expends great effort to provide the biggest “bang” for the buck.

In 1990, there were approximately 10,000 officials who contributed $270,000 in dues. The OHSAA income for that year was approximately $2.7 million. Contrast that to the OHSAA present annual income of $19.5 million and an annual contribution in officials dues of slightly under $1.1 million and you’ll see that the officials’ share of the annual operating budget decreased from 10% to 5.6% over the period 1990 to 2018. Because there has been a 50% growth in the number of officials over that same period, the OHSAA has been able to keep the officials dues well below the annual cost of living increases. In addition, the OHSAA has been able to expand its officiating program – especially in the area of education – while reducing the percentage of income generated by officials’ dues. 

So how is the income generated by officials’ dues spent? The largest portion of the dues money is spent on delivering educational and training materials for officials. Every official is enrolled in the National Federation Officials Association. Benefits of NFOA membership include the Officials Quarterly, awards and recognition programs.  Additionally, as a 100% enrolled state within the NFHS, we receive materials thorough NFHS partners, such as Referee Enterprises, which provide many materials such as the annual preseason guides for many sports.  This is in addition to the rule and case books as well as officiating manuals, where applicable, to help Ohio’s sports officials call the game in a safe and fair way for all participants.
From a risk minimization standpoint, officials are provided with several insurance products, including excess medical and general liability insurance, as part of the officiating program.  . Officials are provided with a maximum of $25,000 of excess medical insurance, with included accidental death and cardiac death insurance, to bring added piece of mind while officiating contests.
After insurance coverage, the second largest benefit provided through an officiating permit is officiating technology, including both access to Arbiter and A portion of the annual permit fee is used to pay for access to the Arbiter account for each official and assigner in the state.  Nearly 16% of the annual expenses are made up through both Arbiter access for officials and assigners, to improve access to games, and ZOOOM video technology and provide feedback and reviews for officials to continuously improve their craft.

Education of local association officers and instructors is funded, in part, through official’s dues.   A critical component of the educational and training structure is the Directors of Officiating Development and District Administrative Assistants for Officiating that provide critical support, by sport, for officials in all parts of the state.  Representing just 10% of the annual expenditures for officiating, the DOD/DAA program has developed course materials and real time officiating communications and has improved the officiating profession across the state.

There is no question that officials are important to students and schools in Ohio!  One need look no further than the annual investment in improving officiating across the state to see the importance the OHSAA places in making sure trained officials are guiding the experience of students in Ohio’s schools.  We appreciate the effort that each of the 15,000 officials put forth every day for their communities and this state.