Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the OSAA?

The OSAA is the Oregon Schools Activities Association. Refer to the Governance section for more information or visit the OSAA Website.

What is the OAOA?

The OAOA is the Oregon Athletic Officials Association. Refer to the Governance section for more information or visit the OAOA Website.

How does an individual become an OSAA sports official?

If a person wants to become an OSAA sports official, that person must join an OSAA chartered Local Officials Association (LOA), or an approved LOA "satellite" group. There are approximately 115 OSAA LOAs (including satellite groups), that represent the seven paid sports, that cover all of Oregon. Some of the LOA that are very near Oregon's neighboring states also officiate high school sports that are located in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California.

How does an individual contact an OSAA LOA?

Anyone may contact the OSAA directly by phone: (888) 838-6722 (toll-free) or via the OSAA Website. People can also contact the OAOA via the OAOA Website. Another method to find out information about any sport specific LOA, is to contact a local Oregon High School Athletic Office. The school's terrific Athletic Office staff can give you the name and number for the sport's LOA Commissioner.

What and who, is the LOA Commissioner?

The LOA Commissioner, as defined in the OSAA Athletic Officials Handbook, is typically a person that is very dedicated to the sport, and is elected by the LOA membership, for a three year term. The LOA's client high schools must approve this person as the LOA Commissioner, for that specific sport.

The Commissioner's primary jobs are to:
  1. Assign officials to high school sport contests,
  2. Act as the liaison between the OSAA and the LOA, &
  3. Act as the liaison between the LOA and any high school client.

What is the legal relationship between the individual Sport Official and the LOA?

Under the State of Oregon employment laws, most sport officials working school athletic events are Independent Contractors, not employees.

What is an Independent Contractor?

An Independent Contractor is his/her "own boss", but must still must meet minimum job requirements. An Independent Contractor works a schedule based upon the individual's needs, and is not required to work any specific days, shifts, times, etc.; but the LOA and its Commissioner is not required to assign an event to officiate every day that the Independent Contractor is available. Sport officials working as Independent Contractors have the option to accept or decline game assignments.

No taxes are withheld from an Independent Contractor's fees, but all net income earned by the Independent Contractor is reported annually to the IRS, via a "Form 1099-Miscelleanous Income".

An Independent Contractor must supply his/her own equipment and tools. In sports officiating, that means purchasing an annual OSAA rules packet (which includes a Rule Book/Case Book/Mechanics Book,) passing an annual OSAA "Criminal Conviction Background Check", paying mandatory Oregon Athletic Officials Association (OAOA) membership dues, paying LOA dues, and acquiring the sport's approved uniform and equipment. Each Independent Contractor is responsible for his/her expenses in acquiring the listed items.

MVSRA Questions

What is the MVSRA?

The MVSRA is the acronym for "Mid-Valley Soccer Referees Association". For more information about the MVSRA, refer to the About the MVSRA section.

How long is the high school soccer season?

The soccer season lasts approximately from September through mid-November. The first practice day for high school is usually within the last week of August. Games being around the first week in September. League play starts the first week in October and finishes by the first week in November. Play-offs are in November and the championships are the Saturday before Thanksgiving holiday.

For specific dates, refer to the OSAA Calendar »

Who are the MVSRA regular soccer Clients?

The MVSRA's primary clients are the OSAA high schools with soccer programs located in the Mid-Willamette Valley and the Central Oregon Coast. The MVSRA also has helped the OSAA LOA directly to the north, the Salem Soccer Referees Association (SSRA); whenever the SSRA does not have enough available soccer referees and if the MVSRA has available referees. For a complete listing of the MVSRA clients and their respective classifications and leagues, please visit the About the MVSRA section.

What are the start-up costs to become a referee?

The start-up cost for becoming a soccer referee can vary. Some equipment may already be owned, new referees may be registering for soccer as a second sport which means an OAOA discount, or equipment needs to be purchased. As a rough estimate the initial costs include:
  • Purchasing a soccer referee uniform and equipment (jersey, shorts, socks, shoes, whistle, etc.) Some retailers sell start-up packages or starter kits with essential equipment for around $60. For uniform and equipment requirements, check out the Referee Uniform / Equipment section, you can also browse Suggested Retailers.
  • OSAA Registration / Packet Fees around $47, this is an annual fee.

How much does it cost to be a member of the MVSRA?

To become a member of the MVSRA, no upfront dues are required. The MVSRA has overhead expenses - primarily communication costs (phone bills, technology expenses, printing bills, and postage mailings.) To offset those costs, the MVSRA retains 2% of the gross game fees from each official. Additionally, 6% of the gross game fee is retained for MVSRA Commissioner Services.

For example, at a fee distribution, a referee earned $300 in gross game fees, then 8% or $24 would automatically deducted: $6 for MVSRA Membership Dues and $18 for MVSRA Commissioner Fees. In this example, the resulting net game fee the official receives from the MVSRA is $276.

How much do MVSRA referees make?

Please refer to the Referee Pay Scale section for complete details.

What are the requirements to join / keep MVSRA membership?

An individual must annually:
  1. Purchase an OSAA Soccer packet
  2. Pass an OSAA criminal background history check,
  3. Agree to and sign a MVSRA Independent Contractor Agreement form,
  4. Attend MVSRA meetings, in order to receive the appropriate training and education,
  5. Pass the annual NFHS Soccer Rules on-line test, with at least a 75% (75-of-100 multiple choice correct) score, and
  6. Be in good standing with the MVSRA
  • When joining the MVSRA with zero prior experience with the diagonal system of control, a new soccer referee must attend a MVSRA hosted Assistant Referee Clinic, Soccer Referee 101 Clinic, or a similar clinic as approved by the MVSRA.

What refereeing experience is required to join?

Zero prior experience is required to join the MVSRA. The MVSRA provides regular training opportunities at membership meetings and scheduled clinics. Professional development is also important to the MVSRA which occasionally hosts special classes or trainings for other soccer venues. (The MVSRA also has many veteran officials that love to share their knowledge of the game.)

The MVSRA Trainer prepares and presents topics at membership meetings relating to the game of soccer, the laws/rules of the game, and officiating concepts in general. These trainings are valuable to new and returning officials as the content can be informative and engaging.

Experience comes from doing games. First time referees usually get their feet wet be working lower level games (JV, Freshman, middle-school) and jamborees. Paired with an experienced referee, these games help the players learn about the game and also provide a solid first time experience to build confidence for new referees.

What if I already have soccer refereeing experience?

The MVSRA welcomes any previous soccer official. Past experience can come from former NFHS soccer refereeing experience or another organization's certification program: United States Soccer Federation (USSF), American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), and/or National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA).

Experienced referees new to the MVSRA are encouraged to share their experience with the MVSRA Trainer. Requesting an immediate assessment based on past experience can help boost a referee's ranking to allow assignments for higher levels of play.

What are referee rankings?

Referee rankings are used by the Commissioner to assign referees to the most appropriate level of games (in addition to consideration of your availability, attendance at meetings, membership standing, etc.)

Each official with the MVSRA is assigned two ranks, Center Referee (CR) Rank and Assistant Referee (AR) Rank. Your CR Rank reflects the highest level of play at which you can successfully perform as a CR. Your AR Rank similarly reflects how well you can perform as an AR.

RankApplicable Games
1: Senior Official6A/5A Most Difficult Varsity Matches
2: Veteran OfficialUp to 5A/4A Moderate Varsity Matches
3: Experienced Official4A JV and Freshman, 3A/2A/1A Moderate Varsity Matches
4: Novice Official3A/2A/1A JV and Freshman
5: Entry Level OfficialAny Freshman and JV

How are referees ranked?

Rankings are determined by the MVSRA Executive Board based on direct observation, input from the Assessment Committee, and feedback from other officials. Factors that determine ranking include:

  • Knowledge of the Game
  • Application of the Laws/Rules
  • Referee Mechanics
  • Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Physical Fitness
  • Written Test Score
  • Professionalism & Appearance
  • Past Experience
  • Assessments
  • Comfort Level
  • Consistency
  • Communication

New MVSRA members are automatically assigned a ranking of 5:5 (CR:AR).

How do referees advance?

Rankings are re-evaluated annually by the Executive Board. Referees wishing to work higher levels of play can request an assessment. After being assessed, rankings may be re-evaluated. New officials to the MVSRA with previous soccer refereeing experience may also submit a request for an assessment including a brief description of past experience to the MVSRA Trainer for immediate rank re-evaluation.