Prospective/New officials

Prospective Officials Congratulations on deciding to become a high school official. Officiating high school athletics can be a very rewarding experience.

Here are the steps you should take in order to officiate high school games in Illinois:

Get an IHSA Officiating License. [MANDATORY]

Getting Your First IHSA License Before you can officiate high school games in Illinois, you need to be licensed by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The IHSA is the governing body for high school athletics in the State.

There are a few steps:

  • Request an application. The easiest way is on-line at the IHSA’s Officials Department. After you return the application they will contact your references to see if your references feel you are capable of officiating. The IHSA will also do a background check to make sure you have no egregious convictions or pending legal problems.
  • You will then get a Part 1 Official Rules Test along with the current Rules Book and Case Book. The test is an open-book, true/false, 100-questions test. You need to get 80% correct to pass. There are some tricky questions and some poorly-written questions, but you should be able to pass if you read the rules carefully.
  • After passing the exam, you will receive patches from the IHSA. You are now licensed.
  • Attend a rules meeting for the current school year. A list of dates and times can be found at IHSA Rules Meetings on the IHSA’s web site. [MANDATORY]
  • Attend a clinic. You can always find a clinic listing at IHSA Clinics on the IHSA’s web site. [OPTIONAL -- required once every three years]
  • Join an officials association. You’ve already found SSOA’s web site. Consider joining us. Click here to learn more about SSOA - about the SSOA. Other organizations can be found on the IHSA’s Official Department’s web site. [OPTIONAL]
  • Contact one of the local assignors to get assignments. You will most likely start with freshman matches. You can find a list of assignors under Assignments on the SSOA web site. [OPTIONAL]