Become a Licensed Sports Official: Easy to Apply, Easy to Learn

The need for licensed sports officials has never been stronger, and the process to get certified has been streamlined and simplified for those looking to get back into the game.

The WIAA offers the following information on how to get licensed:


  • Licensing for the 2020-21 school year opened May 1, 2020.
  • Submit the online licensing application and pay fees. To access the online application, go under Officials and select Online Licensing. Note: If you will be a high school student for the 2020-21 school year, you do not have to pay any licensing fees but you must license through your high school athletic director.
  • Once the application is received you will receive an email from the WIAA indicating that,if you you need to complete the Authorization Form for a Background Check (there will be a link in the email to this form). If you completed the background check during the 2018-19 or 2019-20 school year, you will not be required to completed one for 2020-21.A s High school students are not required to completed the background check.
  • If a background check is needed, once the WIAA receives the background check results, the application will be processed. If no background check is needed, your application will be processed immediately.
  • Rules books and exam/video information will be sent about 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the season.
  • Online rules exams and videos will be available on the WIAA website about 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the season.  In order to advance in classification, officials need to complete the exam by indicated date (and score the required percentage) and watch the rules video by indicated deadline date every year. In order to advance to L5 and Master officials need to have the required amount of varsity contests listed in their profile.
  • A detailed description of all classification advancement requirements can be found in the Guide for Officials – click here to access the Guide.
  • An officials license is good from August 1 to July 31.  The renewal period for the next year starts May 1.
  • The WIAA does not assign officials to regular season contests; that is done by either the high school athletic director or the conference commissioner.  Contact your local high school athletic director to let them know you are licensed and ready for assignments.
  • If there is an official’s association in your area, it is highly recommended you join the association. Being a member of an association is very beneficial as they oftentimes provide additional training and can help in getting you game assignments.
  • Officials are independent contractors and not employees of the WIAA or its member schools.





Guide for Officials
Supplemental Publications Order Form
Insurance Information

Training Resources
The National Association of Sports Officials –
NASO Referee Training Center – Click Here
NASO Association Advance Training Information for Officials Association – Click Here
National Federation of State High School Associations – – Click Here

Note:  L0, L1, L2 and L3 officials will be allowed to advance two levels in classification per sport, per year, when credited for by completing a NFHS officials training video for the sport(s) official is licensed in. Official must meet all the criteria for the new level (maximum one clinic or video per sport/year). Note: Training video viewing does not eliminate the WIAA rules video requirement. L4, L5 and Master officials viewing a NFHS training video will be given credit for one varsity contest on their Schedule of Games. ALL criteria for advanced classification must be met.  See Pages 3-4 of the Guide for Officials (found on the Officials Center) for details regarding classification advancement requirement.

Organization Listings
Officials Advisory Committee
Officials Associations
Conference Commissioners

Area Officials Associations Contact Information

941 Wisconsin Valley Officials Association
Arden Geisler
2070 5th Street South – Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
715-421-2575 [email protected]
BA – BK – FB – SB – VB


973 North Central Soccer Referee Unit
Vernon Schroth
3313 Linwood Springs. – Stevens Point, WI 54481
[email protected]
715-341-7528 715-498-0887

1004 North Central Officials Association
Ross Hackbarth
N2875 Whispering Pines Lane
Medford, WI 54451
[email protected]

503 Fox Cities Soccer Referee Unit
Mike Jones
1611 Pond View Ct. – Neenah, WI 54956
920-209-7899 or [email protected]

953 Central WI Hockey Officials Assn.
Jim T. Brown
1505 Golden Meadow St. – Wausau, WI 5

 We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!

David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]