Becoming a Youth Crew Chief

Youth Crew Chiefs are the backbone of the San Diego County Football Official’s Association. The privilege of being a youth crew chief in the SDCFOA comes with numerous responsibilities to your fellow officials and to the association. A youth crew chief is expected to be a mentor, a trainer, a conduit for information, and a positive steward of the association and must maintain a positive relationship with Pop Warner and American Youth Football coaches and administrators.

A Youth Crew Chief in the San Diego County Football Official’s Association is expected to:

  • Be a positive, effective leader and mentor of the crew.

  • Be in appropriate physical condition and can physically carry out all on-field responsibilities of a crew chief and the crew chief position.

  • Have extensive knowledge and demonstrate a high proficiency of the NFHS rules as well as Pop Warner and American Youth Football rules and penalty enforcements. This includes responsibility for the crew’s application of the rules. Be the expert of NFHS rules as modified by the youth league guidelines and mechanics will serve as the basis for mentoring newer or younger officials.

  • Have extensive knowledge and demonstrate a high proficiency of the SDCFOA mechanics. This includes responsibility for the crew’s application of the mechanics. Uses only SDCFOA mechanics.

  • Mentors all officials, especially newer officials, on the proper application of all rules and mechanics.

  • Be available to work most Saturdays.

  • Inform the crew regarding game site details, arrival times, pre-game location, uniform, etc. no less than 24 hours prior to the game.

  • Conduct effective and informative pre-game discussions. This includes discussions on rules, mechanics, special situations, and previous game reviews. It is the responsibility of the crew chief to ensure that all crew members participate in the discussions.

  • Conduct effective and informative halftime discussions. This includes reviewing unusual plays, situations, and mechanics, allowing for crew input, and preparing the crew for the second half.

  • Conduct an appropriate postgame discussion that includes game review, compliments and constructive criticism.

  • Be an exemplary representative of the SDCFOA while on the field, off the field, and at special events. This includes appropriate interaction with fellow officials, game staff, players, coaches, conference representatives.

  • Serve as an extension of the SDCFOA training program.

  • Support the association’s ratings program by providing informative and comprehensive ratings reviews for all officials worked with. The assigned Youth Crew Chief (assigned Referee) is the only official that will complete ratings of all officials worked with that day. The evaluations shall be completed within 7 days of the assignments and only one crew member evaluation shall be completed for each day’s assignments.

  • Be responsive to communications from others within the association.

How to apply:

To be considered for assignments as a youth football crew chief for American Youth Football and Pop Warner Football, the following guidelines and instructions are offered to assist you to determine if you meet basic qualifications. In addition, they provide the parameters for consideration by those with the responsibility for evaluating your request. Assignments as youth football chiefs are neither automatic nor guaranteed. Further, assignments are on an as needed basis, and may not carry from season-to-season. There are several important elements in the evaluation of an official who wishes to be considered a youth football crew chief.

  • Have completed at least four years in the association and is currently certified as an official.

  • Be a member of a crew. (Exceptions can be submitted to the Youth Committee Chair for consideration/approval)

  • Your peer ratings must be in the top 50% of the Association as documented in our Arbiter rating system.

  • Those requesting to be considered will need to submit a “football resume” that is, a written description, minimally, of why you want to be considered, how achieving this position will benefit the association and fellow officials, how you plan on mentoring newer and younger officials as well as a brief dialogue on how you will engage crewmates in observing the rules, mechanics and league specific requirements of our association. (Note: Once approval, this resume does not need to be resubmitted)

  • The resume will be submitted to both Youth Assignors and will be due by May 25 for consideration for the upcoming season. You may also submit such a resume at any time during a season for consideration in the next season or to be considered as an “emergency” crew chief for the current season.

  • Solicit recommendations from your last two crew chiefs. They will need to write a letter of reference on your behalf. One of the youth assigners may call them to discuss their feedback on your abilities and capabilities. If one or both of your previous crew chiefs are no longer active in the association, a waiver of this requirement may be made. If your last two crew chiefs choose not to write a reference or make a call on your behalf, those actions will, in most cases, preclude you from further review and assignment as a crew chief.

  • Those applying must comply with all Association attendance and exam passing criteria.

  • Attend an association provided training session on being a youth crew chief; this meeting will cover guidelines and requirements for consideration.

  • You must demonstrate a clear history of well written, meaningful and positive (in tone and approach) evaluations, especially of first year, second year and transfer officials.

  • Agree that should a senior official be a member of the youth football crew, you will listen to his/her feedback and suggestions relative to your game performance as a crew chief.

  • If you are an association varsity crew chief or have been consistently assigned as a Thursday freshman or JV crew chief, some or all of the requirements may be waived. You will be notified if such a waiver is granted.

  • If assigned as a youth crew chief, you will agree to make timely (within seven days) accurate and meaningful Arbiter ratings and comments. Doing so is essential for our newer and younger officials so they consistently know what they should work on to become better officials.

  • If selected to work as a youth football crew chief, you will be notified by August 15.

  • The position of youth crew chief is not guaranteed and is valid for one year. All youth crew chiefs will be evaluated every year by the Youth Assignors to validate that the crew chief remains in good standing with the requirements of being a crew chief. The Youth Assignors will then determine which youth crew chiefs will retain their youth crew chief status for the following season, which youth crew chiefs will retain their status with conditions, and which will not retain their status. (Note: conditions to retain youth crew chief status will be communicated by the Youth Assignors)

Information can be found in the current Mechanics Manual.

If you have questions or other matters relative to becoming youth football crew chief, please contact Bob Duggan, Youth Committee Chair.