Officials Code of Ethics | Officials | IHSA

Officials Code of Ethics

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has developed and officially adopted the following Code of Ethics for high school officials.

Declaration of Policy

Schools have entrusted us to assist them in the education development of their youth through athletics.  The proper operation of such a process requires that officials be independent, impartial and responsible to people they serve.  In recognition of these expectations there is hereby established a Code of Ethics for all officials.  The purpose of the code is to establish guidelines for ethical standards of conduct for all officials.

Officials Code of Ethics

  • Officials at interscholastic athletic events are participants in the educational development of high school students. As such, they must exercise a high level of self-discipline, independence and responsibility. The purpose of this Code is to establish guidelines for ethical standards of conduct for all interscholastic officials.
  • Officials shall master both the rules of the game and the mechanics necessary to enforce the rules, and shall exercise authority in an impartial, firm and controlled manner.
  • Officials shall work with each other and their state associations in a constructive and cooperative manner.
  • Officials shall uphold the honor and dignity of the profession in all interaction with student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors, school administrators, colleagues, and the public.
  • Officials shall prepare themselves both physically and mentally, shall dress neatly and appropriately, and shall comport themselves in a manner consistent with the high standards of the profession.
  • Officials shall be punctual and professional in the fulfillment of all contractual obligations.
  • Officials shall remain mindful that their conduct influences the respect that student-athletes, coaches and the public hold for the profession.
  • Officials shall, while enforcing the rules of play, remain aware of the inherent risk of injury that competition poses to student-athletes. Where appropriate, they shall inform event management of conditions or situations that appear unreasonably hazardous.
  • Officials shall take reasonable steps to educate themselves in the recognition of emergency conditions that might arise during the course of competition.


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