Frequently Asked Questions for Officials

These questions and answers address Boys and Men's Lacrosse Only.  More specifically, new Lacrosse officials start by officiating Middle School, JV and Varsity High School games.  Officiating College Lacrosse requires 4-5 years prior Lacrosse officiating experience. 
  • Q: When is the Lacrosse season (time of year)?
    A: Boys High School Lacrosse in Oregon normally begins second week in March and concludes with State Championships games the first Satuday of June.
    HOWEVER: NEW Lacrosse Officials Training starts in January, so do not wait till March to
    Submit Your Interest.

  • Q: How long is a Lacrosse game?
    A: High School plays 4 12-minute periods with a 10-minute half time.  (approx 1:45 hrs total). College plays 4 15-minute periods with a 10-minute half time.  (approx 2 hrs total).

  • Q: When are Lacrosse games played (days and times)?
    A: High School Lacrosse games are played primarily during the week (Mon - Fri), though there are some games when travel times are long for teams (such as Roseburg playing in Portland) where there might be a Sat or even Sun game.  Game times will also vary depending upon JV game before Varsity game and how much travel for visiting team, but in general, games start between 4:00pm and 8:00pm and last approximately 1:30 to 1:45 hrs. 
    Varsity Schedule can be found at: www.ohsla.net/BHS/schedule.asp?Grp=BHS  
    Junior Varsity here: www.ohsla.net/BHS/schedule.asp?Grp=BJV

  • Q: What are the requirements for becoming an official for Lacrosse?
    A: For new officials, we require that they:
    1. Attend Training.  Training clinics are normally held in Jan/Feb/Mar, prior to the season beginning.  The training clinics are offered in the North Zone - Portland Area, the South Zone (in both Salem and Eugene) and the East Zone (Bend) each year.  There has been a 7-8 week training program that seem to be really working well and we continue to build upon that program.  For more details see below.
    2. Purchase Your Official's Uniform and and miscellaneous items for officiating Lacrosse. See Current Check List of items required and optional for a lacrosse official. Upon successfully completing the new officials training, you are given (at no cost) a number of required items (gear bag, 20/100 second timer, Fox-Forty finger whistle, tape measure, scorecard, a flipping coin, and OLOA and USA Lacrosse patches), a value of $120. For sources see below.
    3. Join USA Lacrosse for insurance and compliance reasons
    4. Successful Back Ground Check This is required as of 2012.  Your USA Lacrosse membership conducts and pays for this each year.

  • Q: Who is playing Lacrosse in Oregon and where?
    A: Well, there is Youth, JV, Varsity, College, and Club in Oregon.  In the High School, we break the areas into Zones; those zones and number of teams are listed here: (from South to North / NorthEast Number of Teams are Varsity teams. Pretty much all these teams have 1 if not 2 JV teams as well)

    Zone-10)  Roseburg (1 Team)
    Zone-20)  Eugene (5 Teams)
    Zone-24)  Bend/Sisters/Redmond (5 Teams)
    Zone-25)  Burns (1 Team)
    Zone-28)  Corvallis/Albany (2 Team)
    Zone-30)  Salem (3 Teams) South Zone
    Zone-35)  Wilsonville Area (Sherwood,Newberg,Canby,Wilsonville) (4 Teams)
    Zone-40)  Portland (30 Teams) North Zone
    Zone-50)  Hood River (1 Team)

    You can see the exact VARSITY teams here or select the Teams/Standings menu item above.
    You can see the exact JUNIOR VARSITY teams here or select the Teams/Junior Varsity/Teams & Conferences menu item above.

    JV programs are continuing to grow and popping up in numerous High School programs.   Also, middle school or youth Lacrosse is continuing to grow quickly, especially in the Portland area. 

    For Oregon College Men's Lacrosse, there is Univ of Oregon, Oregon State Univ., Southern Oregon College (Ashland), and Western Oregon.  For more information check the Web Page for the Oregon Chapter of US Lacrosse.  Club (Lacrosse beyond college) is currently 2-3 teams in Portland and 1 team in Eugene.

  • Q: What Kind of Annual Training is Available and/or Required to be a High School Official?
    A: Each year, prior to the season beginning in mid-March there is a New Officials Training Class offered in Portland, Eugene and sometimes Salem and Bend (depending upon the need). . Dates will vary from year to year, but normally begin in January of each season. The Training Course that has worked well in the past several years is a 7-10 Week (1 day a week - 90 minutes) program.  You receive a Training Manual and that year's Rule Book.  At the successful completion of the program, the OLOA gives you 20-Second Timer, Officials small Tape Measure, Official's Coin, Official's Kit Bag, and uniform Patches, a value of approximately $95 - $120. 

  • Q: Where can I find Lacrosse Officials uniforms and gear?
    UMP Attire and Smitty Officials Apparel (330) 639-4107 (Canton, OH) are your best bets.  They will have pretty close to 100% of what a new high school official will need.  

  • Q: My son plays, does that effect whether or not I can officiate?
    A: No, this would not keep you from officiating.  The game assigners would however like to be alerted to this fact.  In scheduling, we try to be as non-biased as possible and try very hard to not assign an official to a game where a family member plays for.

  • Q: Is there an Age Requirement for officiating lacrosse?
    A: For officiating High School ball (JV or V) you must be a minimum of 18 years of age and cannot be attending High School.  For youth lacrosse, there is no age limit.

  • Q: How much do Lacrosse officials get paid and how often?
    A: For the 2024 Season, officials will be paid $72.00 per official for a 3-Man Varsity game and paid $63.50 for JV games per official for a 2-Man game.  Often the JV games are just prior to the Varsity game, so officials normally get paid for the (1) JV game, (2) the Varisty game, plus (3) travel. Officiating Solo is 1.5 times your normal game rate though super unusual for that to happen.  

    Travel compensation? - Yes - see two answers below

    Payment of officials, in the last couple years, has happened at the end of the season (it used to be half and end of season). If need arises, we can make special arrangments to allow officials in need to submit a half-season payment.   Payment is done through the OHSLA.net website for both Varsity and JV.  

    It is required each new official complete an IRS W-9 form and send to OHSLA's Treasurer (Joe Alexander).
    It is also wise to keep your address information accurate throughout the year as it is this address - checks are mailed to.

  • Q: Is there travel involved in being an official?
    A: Yes and No.  Though we strongly encourage officials to travel to other Zones to (1) see other teams and (2) officiate with other officials than just the ones in your Zone and (3) help out with shortage of officials in certain zones and busy weeks.  So it is not required that you travel outside of your zone, however it is encouraged.

  • Q: Are officials compensated for travel?
    A: YES, Travel compensation is based on a mileage system based on your Home Zone (where you live) and where the game is played.  Click Here for Travel Matrix Based on .42/mile both directions. There is a small $11-15 Travel fee added for InterZone games such as Official Lives in Portland / Game in Portland.

    For instance, if you lived in Eugene and officiated games in either Roseburg or Salem there would be an additional approximately ($56-62) for travel.  See Current Travel Matrix for exact amounts for travel. This will automatically be calculated and included by the payment piece on the web site.

  • Q: How many officials are on a single game?
    A: For JV high school games there are two officials assigned to each game and hence run a 2-Man mechanics.    For Varsity and All Playoff games there are three officials assigned to each games and run 3-Man mechanics.  There are some super busy nights in the season where we wish to assign three officials to a Varsity game, but not enough officials available, so we run with two.

  • Q: What is the total time commitment per night?
    A: As stated above (2nd Q/A) High School games are approx 1:30 - 1:45 hrs total). However we ask all crews to conduct a pre-game (10-20 minutes) and ideally a short post-game (5-10 minutes). There is often excellent growth in knowledge and game management skills picked up in these pre and post meetings; we strongly encourage all crews to conduct these. There is also the drive-time to and from the game; that of course varies.

  • Q: How many games might I expect to officiate in a season?
    A: This totally varies, but in a season, one might pick up anywhere from 10-35 games.  Often, there are cancellations, so being available for games other officials cannot officiate will increase that number.  There are some officials that want/take A LOT of games and they may have 50 - 70 games officiated in a season.

  • Q. What about Lacrosse Official?s Uniforms (what, where, how)?
    A: From top to bottom:
    1. Black pin-strip cap
    2. Black and white striped official's jersey (short or long sleeve, but crews to match, so it is ideal to have both).
    3. Black undershirt (can be any black T-shirt)
    4. Black Shorts
    5. Black Belt
    6. Two yellow, weighted flags
    7. Lacrosse Score Card with pencil
    8. Coin (for coin toss)
    9. Whistle (Finger whistles such as the Fox-40 works very well)
    10. Small tape measure (for measuring Lacrosse sticks; should be upto 72 inches)
    11. 20 Second Timer
    12. Black, Ankle High Socks
    13. Solid Black Cleats or Turf Shoes (solid black)
      Note: any white marks may be "blacked out" using black paint or permanent marker. 
    14. Black OLOA Jacket
      In 2023 the OLOA Association purchased nice official`s jackets to wear on and off the field and in foul weather. Cost to officials is $40 (actual cost $80).
  • Q: How much conditioning (in shape) is required?
    A:Good Question; Answer: Get in Shape!!  There is A LOT of running back and forth in Lacrosse; a lot more than people think.  The field is 110 yards by 60 yards and Lacrosse is known to be the "fastest game on grass".  Expect to run and even sprint 50-60 yards at times to get into position for an hour and half to two hour game.  Here is a good resource for Training Programs that were developed specifically for lacrosse officials.

  • Q: How does a season's scheduling work?
    A: Scheduling of the games, locations, and times are done approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the season beginning and is done by coaches and league commissioner.  Those games are then entered into the www.ohsla.net web site, where league assigners assign games; normally 2-4 weeks out. Often the first one-third of the season will be assigned and then later second one-third and then remaining one-third ofthe season.  Officials login to OHSLA.net to Accept or Decline games, view their schedule and submit for payment from the web site.  There is also the ability to set BLOCKS (days and/or times you can not work games). Your will have a login 4-8 weeks prior to the season.

  • Q: Do I have to join anything before officiating?
    A: Yes.  You are required to be a member of USA Lacrosse.  Their annual dues cover for the benefits that are offered, including insurance and much more.  Click here for a US Lacrosse Membership Information

  • Q: Where can I obtain a Men's Lacrosse Rule Book?
    A: New officials receive the current year rule book as part of their training.  You can also purchase additional ones from USA Lacrosse or from NFHS.org web sites.
    NOTE: High School Lacrosse works from the National Federation Rule Book (NFHS) and College Lacrosse works from the NCAA Mens Lacrosse rule book (NCAA).  The rules are similar, but NOT the same between the two.  The NCAA rule book is normally offered online in a PDF version for free; it is now on a 2 year cycle.  See Official's College Main Page for current year's rule book PDF link. 
    The NFHS Rule Book has unfortunately NOT been offered online in years past.  If you have interest months before the next season starts and would like to read a boys HS Lacrosse rule book; state that when you Submit Your Interest and WE WILL MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

  • Q: Are there other opportunities to officiate Lacrosse beyond Boys High School?
    A: Yes, there are now summer and fall leagues in Portland and Eugene and I believe Corvallis and Salem.  There is also Club Lacrosse, though I would be sure and know the rules and your mechanics well before jumping in there? (LOL).  There are also several mini tournaments throughout the year, where numerous teams come to one location and have mini, round robin or short games. Summer tournaments info is often posted on the main officials page at the conclusion of a season in June.

  • Q: How does a Lacrosse official move through the ranks?
    A: New officials start with high school games for the first 1-3 years.  Ideally, if there are enough officials to go around, first year official would officiate JV games first year with a few Varsity games possibly towards the middle or end of the season. 

  • Q: How is lacrosse like other sports?
    A: Lacrosse, I believe, is a "cross" between Hockey and Soccer. 
    • The game is played on a grass or turf field, the similar width and length to a soccer field.
    • You can go behind the goal (which is 6' x 6') similar to hockey.
    • It has physical contact, similar to hockey.
    • The positions are similar to soccer, where there is a goalie(1), defenseman(3), midfielders(3), and forwards(3) (called "attack" in lacrosse).
    • Similar to hockey, players wear helmets, shoulder pads, arm pads, hockey type gloves, and rib protectors for protection as it is legal to hit (make contact) with players with possession of the ball or within 5 yards of a loose ball.

If you have questions that have not been answered above, please ask!!  Nothing is considered a stupid question, okay, maybe a few, but please ask anyways...  We will immediately respond with an answer and potentially post it to this page so others can learn from  

Send email questions to any of the guys listed below:

Primary Contacts to speak with if you are interested in officiating Lacrosse in Oregon

Don Huber
(503) 969-1231  (cell)

Tom Hoffert - OLOA President
(503) 949-0949  (cell)

Brian Platz
(503) 510-6140  (cell)


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