Becoming an Official

Welcome to the San Diego County Football Officials Association and your desire to become a football official. Our association is credited with some of the finest officials at the youth, High School, College and NFL levels. Membership shall be available to any person interested in football officiating provided he/she fulfills the requirements of membership and has complied with the ethical standards of the Association. No athletic background or football experience is needed. You must be 18 years old or older by August 1st of application year. While it will help if you have some general knowledge of the game, you will receive training throughout the year.

The association is comprised over 200 individuals throughout San Diego County, businessmen, school administrators, professionals, civil service, retired/active military and more. They come together for:

  • Love of the game!

If you love football, officiating is the greatest way to stay involved in the game. Each official is actively involved in every play of the game. It is an exciting opportunity and an enormous responsibility. The great thing about becoming a football official is that you get to be on the eld, instead of watching from the sidelines.

  • For the money

Football officiating is not an extremely lucrative hobby, but you will see a positive cash flow. Unlike other hobbies, the time spent officiating will put some money in your pocket.

  • Make Great Lifelong Friends

Football officiating is like a fraternity, and your fellow officials can become your friends for life. A tremendous bond is developed between officials as they work together for the common good and compete alongside each other on the field. It's a special bond that is created and it can only be fully explained after you've experienced it.

  • Great Way to Stay in Shape

Officiating provides a meaningful reason to stay in shape. As we get older, many adults find it more difficult to find the time to exercise. Officiating gives you the opportunity to get out of the house two or three times a week. The successful official is motivated to exercise year-round.

  • Be a positive role model.

Officiating provides a unique opportunity to influence young people positively. A football official is a role model who is in charge with enforcing the concepts of fair play and good sportsmanship.

Each official began their career in instructional classes and on field training with other beginners lead by seasoned and experienced instructors. Each year thereafter further class participation and on field training they – have honed these skills in the rules and game mechanics. However high we each may rise in the ranks of football officiating we all started and continue to work Saturday morning Pop Warner assignments.


Our Association, the San Diego County Football Officials Association (SDCFOA), is responsible for the assignment of football officials for virtually all football games played throughout the county, from Pop Warner to High School Varsity. We are constantly in need of dedicated men and women who are willing to become trained and qualified football officials. Some of our members are NCAA certified and work various college games, from the Community College level all the way up to Division I. We hope that you decide to join us and share our passion for this great game of football and for the young athletes of San Diego County.

Military Veterans

There is a program available to you. It will assist you with your dues and uniforms.

Transfer Officials

Those transferring into our Association, will need to provide a transfer letter with information from your previous Association that includes how long you worked, levels worked, and ratings. You will be placed in the second-year class and evaluated by the Assigner to determine game assignments.   


We look forward to you joining our team!

If you have any questions, please call the Gary Gittleson at Recruitment and Retention Committee.

Gary Gittleson 

(619) 431-0459


The official, independent of the Association, must obtain insurance for liability and medical coverage. As independent contractors, all officials will be required to sign a waiver indicating that they are currently covered by a medical policy, or, if not, that they understand any injury incurred while officiating or traveling to or from officiating is their own responsibility. Liability insurance may be purchased through any one of a number of agencies, such as the National Federation of High Schools or the National Association of Sports Officials, offer liability coverage with many other membership benefits for joining their organization.

Uniform and Equipment 

Requirements for uniform and equipment.