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Thank you for your interest in becoming a flag football official with Santa Barbara FNL. As you can imagine, officiating a youth flag football game is a gratifying position. You are the one selected to help teach, correct, improve, and enhance the experience for the players, coaches, and fans. At FNL, we take great pride in our official selection process as it's incredibly important that we ensure we have quality officials who are dedicated to the game of flag football. 

What does it take to become a good official?

Most certainly a very thorough knowledge of the rules of the game. However, in addition, a love of athletics and kids, physical ability, self-confidence, the dedication and determination necessary to work hard, and above all, personal integrity. The athletes and coaches look upon each contest as being the most important thing happening in their lives at that moment, and the official must look upon each contest the same way and react accordingly. This avocation is not for everyone, but if you have the interest and the attributes described above, you may find this to be some of the most rewarding work you will ever be involved in.

What experience is necessary?

None. We will train all new officials. Both an online test with a passing score of 80% or better plus on-field training will be required. All officials will train with an experienced official for eight hours. The first four hours, you will learn the tips of the trade from a training official. The next four hours, you will lead the field with an official shadowing you. During training, officials will not be paid.  

What expectations will officiating have of me?

To become a respected official, one must invest time to learn, time to practice and time to develop. Although the time devoted will vary from person to person, there are some requirements that must be observed. Rules meetings, clinics and official’s meetings are necessary, and part of the professionalism expected of officials. As with most things, officials improve according to their efforts.

What expenses will I have?

1.    You will need to have black pants or shorts. 

2.    Athletic Cleats

3.    FNL will provide: Hat, Ref Jersey, Whistle, Lanyard, Penalty Flag, Field Marker & Stopwatch. 

What is the biggest adjustment or challenge that I will face?

It is important to understand that the basic ingredient of officiating is that of being a decision maker, and sometimes people do not like decisions that don’t go their way. Once you clear this hurdle and realize that people will criticize you because you make necessary decisions, rather than because you are a bad person, and you can accept this fact, you are on your way. It is not easy. Do not get discouraged! Stay in the game!

How much do I get paid?

$20 - $35 hour.

I am interested in moving forward, what do I need to do?


STEP 2. Include your hours of availability on Fridays from 3:30pm-9:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays 9am-6pm beginning 9/9 this fall. 

STEP 3. You will be contacted by a representative regarding the application and officiating opportunities at FNL.

STEP 4. Read and study the RULES OF THE GAME (below). You must know the rules of the game inside and out to be an official in our program.

STEP 5. We will set up a one on one meeting with you and one of our senior ref managers and/or commissioner. We will then get you on board and set you up for training!

Good luck with your journey. This is such a rewarding position and we look forward to you helping us reshape the game for our youth at Santa Barbara Friday Night Lights!