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Become an Official

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Licensing Process

Standard Officials

  1. Submit the online licensing application and pay fees. To access the online application, go under Officials and select Online Licensing.

  2. Once the application is received you will receive a confirmation email from the WIAA. Also in this email is a link to complete the Authorization Form for a Background Check. All new officials will need to complete a background check. Please check with the WIAA office if you are unsure if you need to complete a background check because you have been licensed in the past. 

    • 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.

  3. Rules books and exam/video information will be sent 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.


  • 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.

High School Student Officials

Students enrolled at WIAA member schools may apply to become WIAA Licensed Officials. 

  • An officials license is good from August 1 to July 31.  The renewal period for the next year starts May 1. 

  • If you will be a high school student for the current school year, you do not have to pay any licensing fees but you must license through your high school athletic director. The online form can be found here: Student Licensing (only accessible for Athletic Directors)

  • Once the application is received you will receive an email from the WIAA indicating that. 

  • High school students are not required to completed the background check. Your application will be processed immediately.

  • Guide for Officials

  • 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. 

  • Individuals in high school may apply for licensing and officiate contests up to and including the 9th grade level. High school students, classified as Limited/Restricted (L/R), are allowed to officiate subvarsity contests in all sports except hockey as long as they are assigned with a fully licensed, non-high school official. High school age officials are also able to be assigned as lines people for varsity contests in soccer. Note: After 2 years experience as a L/R official there is opportunity for advancement to L2 upon high school graduation with verification

  • 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.

  • Officials are independent contractors and not employees of the WIAA or its member schools.

Military Officials

Current and Former Members of the Armed Forces

The WIAA continues to offer individuals that have served or are still serving in the Armed Forces the opportunity to license as a WIAA sport official by waiving the basic licensing fee and the sport fee for two years.

This offer is extended to those individuals that are licensing as a WIAA sport official for the first time or renewing their license for their second year. 

Military 2021-22 Licensing Application - for use only by individuals that have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces and are licensing for their first or second year. When completing the application, please provide some type of documentations verifying military service.

  

Thank you InCheck in joining our efforts to recruit current and former Armed Forces personnel to become involved in high school officiating by providing initial background checks at no cost. 

Reciprocity Officials

Officials who reside in Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota may license as a WIAA reciprocity official. 

  • An officials license is good from August 1 to July 31.  The renewal period for the next year starts May 1, but there is no late fee for reciprocity officials. 

  • Submit the online licensing application and pay fees. To access the online application, go under Officials and select Online Licensing. You will need proof of your home state license when applying. 

  • 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). Please check with the WIAA office if you are unsure if you need to complete a background check because you have been licensed in the past. 

  • 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.

  • Reciprocity officials will not receive rule books and are not required to take the exam. The rules video information will be sent about 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the season.

  • Guide for Officials

  • 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.

  • Officials are independent contractors and not employees of the WIAA or its member schools.

Reciprocity for WIAA Licensed Officials

Wisconsin officials who officiate in a bordering state must contact that association for reciprocity materials: 

Michigan High School Association
1661 Ramblewood Dr., East Lansing, MI 48823 
517-332-5046
www.mhsaa.com 
 
Iowa High School Athletic Association
Box 10, Boone, IA 50036
515-432-2011
www.iahsaa.org 
 
Minnesota State High School League
2100 Freeway Blvd., Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
763-569-0499
www.mshsl.org 
 

*Wisconsin offers reciprocity to Illinois licensed officials. Illinois does not offer reciprocity to Wisconsin licensed officials.

Licensing Information

  

Thank you InCheck in joining our efforts to recruit current and former Armed Forces personnel to become involved in high school officiating by providing initial background checks at no cost. 

Standard Form                       Reciprocity Form                             Military Form                        High School Student Form

Resources

Guide for Officials
Supplemental Publications Order Form
Insurance Information

Training Resources
The National Association of Sports Officials -  naso.org
NASO Referee Training Center - Click Here
NASO Association Advance Training Information for Officials Association - Click Here
National Federation of State High School Associations - NFHSlearn.com - 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