Thank you for your interest in joining Fort Worth Football Officials.
On this page, we have attempted to answer some frequently asked questions and to provide information to prospective members. After reading this page, if you have any further questions about officiating football or joining FWFO, please contact a member of our Recruiting Committee via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or our toll-free phone number 888-FWFO-660 (888-393-6660).
Fort Worth Football Officials is a local chapter of Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO).
First, you need to complete our registration form, which can be found above in the Forms section. Return the completed form to us by mailing it to the address listed in the instructions, or by bringing it to a regularly scheduled chapter meeting. You will need to include a check or money order for a registration fee of $65, payable to Fort Worth Football Officials (or, FWFO).
The basic equipment necessary to get started on the field includes:
There are multiple local and online vendors from whom you can buy officiating equipment and supplies. Many of these suppliers offer new officials a “starter package”, which typically costs between $125 and $175. Typically, you will be able to earn this amount back with your first sub-varsity assignment or two. Also, several veteran FWFO officials donate some uniform items to the new members’ class each year. These are usually items that they have “outgrown” in the off-season, but that still may be useable for someone else. It is usually “first come, first served” with these items, but they can help you get started.
Although nearly all officials will tell you that they officiate for the love of the game, pay is also a consideration. The football season can be demanding on time, depending on how many games you decide to work. Most school districts play two or three sub-varsity games on Tuesday and Thursday nights throughout the season. In fact, some of the larger school districts even play on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays in order to get all their games played. Many first-year officials run chains during varsity games on Friday nights, giving them a unique opportunity to watch and learn from veteran officials.
Almost all local schools pay by check through the mail. Sub-varsity and chain assignments typically pay between $35 and $60 each game, depending on the school districts. Varsity pay in Texas is determined by a scale set by the University Interscholastic League (UIL). Varsity pay is based on the gate receipts, typically starting at $75 up to over $150 for big games.
Many officials are also engaged by area pee-wee football leagues to work their games. These games are typically played on Saturdays, and usually pay anywhere from $35 to $50 per game. If a pee-wee league plays in the area, chances are good that one or more of our members coordinates officials and/or officiates games for them.
FWFO covers many high school and junior high games in Tarrant, Dallas, Parker, Johnson, Hood, Erath, Palo Pinto, Denton, Collin, Jack, Cooke, Somervell, and Wise counties. You will "self-assign" your sub-varsity schedule through our website, so you can choose the most convenient locations from the available assignments.
For first year officials, only the $65 registration fee is required. In subsequent years, every member pays dues to the state and local association each year. Currently, annual state dues are $60, and annual local dues are $65.
The Varsity Assignment Secretary (VAS) is the individual responsible for soliciting varsity schedules from schools. Together with the Varsity Assignment Committee, the VAS assigns officials to varsity games. There are also sub-varsity coordinators, who are responsible for entering the sub-varsity games into a central website. Then, each official can log into the website and self-assign their sub-varsity schedule.
If your goal is to work the NCAA National Championship game or the Super Bowl, this is the place to start. All of the officials you see working at a collegiate or professional level began just like this.
The state organization, Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO), maintains a ranking system which classifies officials points earned through on-the-field experience, as well as educational clinics. As you advance, you will begin working varsity games on Friday nights. Obviously, you should not expect to be assigned to the Trinity v. Cedar Hill game your first or second time out in uniform. However, the more you put into your officiating career, the more you might expect out of it.
Several members of Fort Worth Football Officials are college officials. We have members working in junior college, NCAA Division I and II, and even in the NFL. Getting to the college or NFL ranks is similar to getting on the board of directors of a major corporation: There is a lot of competition for a few openings. But, with time, experience and exposure, you never know where this “hobby” might take you. Nevertheless, there is great camaraderie in working high school football – the king of sports in Texas. Try it out and see if you don’t get hooked.