Frequently Asked Questions - New Members
What does it take to be an official?
It takes many things, including a thorough knowledge of the rules, a love of athletics, kids, and community involvement, self-confidence & courage of conviction, dedication to the necessary hard work, and above all honesty and a high level of integrity.
Who can be a PNBOA official?
Anyone 16 years or older may apply to become a referee. You must provide your own equipment (black & white shirts, shoes, pants, shorts, etc.) and pay yearly Association dues of $95 (fees for New Members attending Apprentice training may vary slightly). If you are under the age of 18, you will be required to have permission from a parent or legal guardian to join.
What if I don't have any experience playing basketball?
It helps to have participated in sports if you wish to officiate; however, it is not required. You should learn about the basics of basketball before pursuing an officiating career.
How will I get paid?
We stress that officiating is an AVOCATION, not a a second job or the best way to earn extra money. While our officials make anywhere from $19 – $49 per game (based on the level being officiated), training to become an official will be very demanding of your time. We pay our officials via quarterly pay periods and at the conclusion of the High School season.
Do your referees pay Association dues and fees?
Each year, PNBOA members pay dues of $95 (first year may vary slightly); $60 goes to the Washington Officials Association (WOA) for operating costs and Insurance, $35 to the PNBOA to help offset the expenses to operate the Association.
PNBOA contracts two Assignors to ensure all our School and Recreation games are appropriately covered and that our leagues are billed. PNBOA charges a 7% assessment fee to officials for all assigments the officials has worked in addition to the annual Association dues.
How does a new official get games?
An official is an Independent Contractor (not an employee) who enters into an agreement with the PNBOA. Our new officials enter our Association as an “Apprentice” and are assigned youth recreation games with experienced officials to begin. Everyone progresses at different rates, but it can sometimes take years to get to the Varsity level. We have approximately 92 officials who work at the Varsity level, and more than 200 officials who work JV and Jr. High/Middle school games. Our 300+ officials work year round to cover game assignments at all levels including school, recreation, and special leagues.
All of our Officials are registered with the Washington Officials Association (WOA), must pass a bi-annual WSP background check, and pass a yearly Rules Test and State Clinic (online). Our officials sign a PNBOA Member Services Agreement (MSA) and must abide by PNBOA rules and policies.
What are the benefits of officiating?
Our Referees have different opinions, but officials will generally say they want to stay involved in the sport/athletics, they enjoy the challenge, they want the physical exercise and they enjoy working with kids and the community.
How is the PNBOA managed?
The PNBOA is governed by a Constitution, By-Laws, and Board Policies. An elected Board of Directors serves the membership on a volunteer basis. Committee members are selected by Board Members, approved by the Board to serve on their respective committees.
The PNBOA Board of Directors and Assignors oversee day-to-day operations. Standing committees report to a Chairperson, who serves on the Board of Directors.
What types of memberships does the PNBOA offer and how do I advance within the Association?
We have several different levels of membership; Varsity, Registered, Apprentice and College. All members are eligible to work school and recreation games. Officials from all levels work together to cover Junior High, JV, recreation, and traveling league assignments. Members advance via our internal Evaluations system.
Varsity officials are evaluated by paid, Independent Evaluators during the school season. Varsity and College Members are eligible to work High School Varsity game assignments. We maintain a list of 92 Varsity officials. Each year, the lowest ranked 10% are re-assigned to the Registered level.
Registered officials are evaluated by Varsity officials during the school season. Post-season, Registered officials are ranked and the top 10% are promoted to the Varsity level.
College officials are officials currently working a full Community College, Division I, II or III schedule, and can give only a portion of their time to the High School basketball season. These members are eligible to work Varsity assignments and are used to help mentor and train younger officials, while helping us to cover Varsity game assignments. College officials may also work recreation and non-Varsity school assignments, but are not included in the Evaluations system and are not eligible for post-season playoff assignments.
Apprentice officials are new to officiating basketball, and are required to complete a training course. Advancement occurs at individual rates based on the official’s skill and ability, desire for improvement, availability to work games and through our structured Evaluations process.
I'm ready to join. What's the next step?
Click on the JOIN option, which instructs you what the next step is depending on your backbroung. Training classes for new referees (Apprentices) are held each Fall in September-October. A non-refundable training fee is due prior to participating in the training class.
Apprentice training sessions are offerred at various location in King County. We typically offer two-hour sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. New Apprentices attend two sessions per week, for five weeks. Each individual training session is designed to gradually provide you the necessary rules knowledge, mechanics and court sense needed to begin officiating games. Once the training class is completed, if the student demonstrated sufficient ability to perform the functions of properly officiating, a contract will be offered to the student. Participation in the training class is not a guarantee of receiving a contract.
Are referees in Washington State Independent Contractors or employees?
The Officials (or Referees) who work game assignments for PNBOA are not employees, they are Indpendent Contractors and must accept and abide by the PNBOA Member Services Agreement prior to receiving game assignments. The number of game assignments, levels assigned and days/dates/times are not guaranteed.