Prospective Officials FAQs
Can I become a boys lacrosse official even if I have no experience with lacrosse?
Yes! We often have new officials who have never played or even seen the game. Our training is extensive and will get you ready to officiate. People who have prior lacrosse experience tend to advance a bit faster, as do people with officiating experience in other sports, but we have officials working the state high school tournament who never played lacrosse.
What is the boys lacrosse season?
The high school season typically runs from the second week in April through the first week of June. However, there are many high school and youth leagues in the summer, fall, and winter. At this point, there is only one period of at least two weeks with no games (mid-August to early September).
Can I become an official if I am still in high school?
You can attend training and become an official if you are at least a freshman in high school on January 1, 2018, in order to work games in the 2018 calendar year. The exact levels of play you can officiate depend on your age. See our training page for more information.
When are the games scheduled?
In the spring, during the week in the spring there are doubleheaders scheduled anywhere from 4:00 JV/5:30 V to 7:30 JV/8:00 V as well as some freshman and youth games. On weekends, there are games all day on Saturday and Sunday at a variety of levels of play, including large numbers of youth games. In the summer, most youth games and high school summer-league games are Monday through Thursday, with many weekend games and tournaments.
Where are the games?
The bulk of the lacrosse played in Minnesota is in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. Currently, there is spring lacrosse in Duluth, Proctor, Becker, Monticello, Faribault, Grand Rapids, St. Cloud, Sartell/Sauk Rapids, Rocori, Rochester, Winona, Mankato, Owatonna, Hutchinson, Brainerd, and Fargo/Moorhead, with some summer lacrosse in some of those cities as well. Fall and winter games are entirely in the Twin Cities metro area.
What is the pay like?
It works out to $38–$53 per hour of officiating in most circumstances. Travel fees apply in some cases as well. The current year's fee schedule and policies can be found on the UMLOA Documents Page.
How do I make sure I don't get assigned games when I can't work?
We use an online assigning system called ArbiterSports.com. This allows you to block the dates and times you are unavailable and to set travel limits and where you would be leaving from. The system calculates travel times from where you are to the game site to make sure you can get there well in advance of the start time, so you won't get assigned to games you can't get to.
How many games will I work?
The UMLOA will train anyone but cannot guarantee games. However, historically there have been plenty of games, and everyone completing the training and with availability to work games has been able to do so. We try to balance assignments among officials as much as possible, subject to their availability. While it is impossible to tell any individual a firm number of games to expect, even people who complete training late and have some restrictions on ability usually work at least 20 games in their first year, and returning officials usually work far more than that. Some junior officials have worked over 75 games in their first year, and we have had adults work over 150 games in their first year.
Obviously, the more limited your availability, the fewer games you will work. People who were available every weekend last spring probably averaged 2-6 games per weekend, and people who were available all summer worked one or two games most weeknights.
People who show the ability to work JV and varsity games in the spring will usually find themselves with fairly full weeknight schedules.
I'm an adult. Should I join the MSHSL as an Official?
If you live in the Twin Cities metro area and have no experience playing lacrosse or officiating other sports, we are now recommending against paying to join the MSHSL in your first year. Instead, you'll likely end up working a mix of JV, freshman, and youth games to gain experience this year and then will likely be in position to move up to varsity games by next season.
However, if you are already an MSHSL official in another sport, it is only $15 to add boys lacrosse, so you might as well add it just in case you prove ready to work MSHSL varsity games this season.
Also, if you live in or near a non-metro city that has MSHSL lacrosse (Chisago Lakes, Brainerd, Rochester, St. Cloud, Owatonna, Duluth, Mankato, Sartell/Sauk Rapids, Rocori, Grand Rapids), it might be worth joining the MSHSL as well.
If you have prior lacrosse experience or prior officiating experience, working MSHSL varsity games toward the end of the season is a possibility but not a guarantee. Talk with the high school assigner if you are on the fence.
If you are want to register with the MSHSL, see the MSHSL Officials Registration Page. You must complete all MSHSL requirements by early April in order to be eligible to work varsity games at any point during the spring season.