How to Become a Licensed Official | Officials | IHSA

How to Become a Licensed Official

The IHSA is looking for individuals of all ages who want to return something to their communities, their local high school, and any sport they enjoy by becoming a licensed athletic official.  Candidates can be as young as 15 years old, in good physical condition, and able to make decisions on their feet and stick to them.

In accordance with plans approved by the IHSA Board of Directors, 15- and 16-year olds can register as provisionally licensed officials, while those 17 and older can register as fully licensed officials.  Those officials with provisional licenses are considered “officials in training” and can work local youth league, junior high level, and 9th grade level contests.  To work 9th grade contests, however, the provisionally licensed official must work the contest with a fully-licensed IHSA Official.  Those officials who are 17 and older and fully licensed to officiate may work contests at any level, including IHSA post-season events.

The IHSA currently licenses officials in 16 different sports:  baseball, basketball, competitive cheer, competitive dance, football, boys’ gymnastics, girls’ gymnastics, boys’ lacrosse, girls’ lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling.

To become an IHSA official, an individual will need to submit an online application, and, after receiving a rule book from the IHSA, take an online, open-book rules examination.  In an individual’s first season of being licensed, the individual will also need to watch an online rule presentation that will introduce you to the latest rule changes and interpretations and attend a clinic that will teach you the fundamentals of good officiating.

Start the application process here. (17 years of age and older)

Apply for a Provisional License here (15- and 16-year olds only) 


Have a question? Email the IHSA Officials Department for a prompt reply.