FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What type of training is provided for women’s lacrosse officials?

WWLOA has a comprehensive training program for new and returning officials. This includes classroom clinics and on-field training. The training program is provided in compliance with requirements established by US Lacrosse and the Women’s Game Training Committee. Annual training is required for all officials es as part of the official’s certification process.

2. What does it mean to be “certified”?

To be a certified official, officials must be in “good standing”. This is attained by paying required dues, attending required meetings - including an annual new rules session, passing an annual rules exam and meeting the certification requirements of WWLOA.

Officials in the state of Washington must be certified by WWLOA to be eligible to officiate women’s lacrosse games. To be certified, a Washington State official must:

3. What is an official’s competency level?

A competency level is the level at which an official has been certified by WWLOA. This establishes the level of play an umpire may officiate in compliance with guidelines established by US Lacrosse. Each competency level has different requirements, criteria and points of emphasis. An officials competency level is determined by on-field evaluations conducted by experienced trainers. A competency level designation must be earned and is not guaranteed.

Visit the OFFICIALS’ COMPETENCY LEVELS webpage for more information about competency levels.

4. Does a person have to have lacrosse experience to be an official?

It helps to have lacrosse experience to be an official but it is not required. WWLOA provides individuals with all training needed to become an official. Many current WWLOA officials did not have lacrosse experience before they became an official.

5. How old does someone need to be to become an official?

Individuals in Washington State must be in 9th grade or higher to become an official.

6. Does a person need to be in good condition to be a lacrosse official?

Yes, a person needs to be physically fit and able to run length of a soccer-size field multiple times during a game. Good conditioning is important because it allows an official to keep up with the game and avoid injuries.

7. When and where can I get trained?

WWLOA provides annual training for new and returning officials. This consists of classroom clinics and on-field training. All new and returning officials are required annually to attend a classroom clinic. This clinic includes a new rules session. New and returning officials are also required to annually participate in on-field training unless a returning official has a current multi-year rating.

Refer to the sidebar at the left side of this website for classroom clinic and on-field training opportunities.

8. How much does it cost to become an official?

It costs between $75 and $100 to become a women’s lacrosse official plus the cost of a uniform. These costs include $50 for a US Lacrosse membership, which provides a variety of benefits; $25 fee for a New Official Clinic; and a $25 fee for a background check for individuals 18 years or older.

WWLOA does not charge dues. WWLOA also provides new officials with a whistle, cards and flag at no cost.

9. What type of uniform and gear does a person need to be an official?

Individuals need a striped shirt; black shorts, skirt, kilt or pants; predominantly black shoes; solid black or white short socks; whistle, flag, cards, coin and pencil. WWLOA provides new officials with a whistle, flag and cards at no cost.

Visit the UNIFORM & ACCESSORIES webpage for detailed information about umpire uniforms and accessories.

10. Where can a person buy an official’s uniform?

Official’s uniforms and accessories are available at some local sporting good stores. However, the selection is often limited. Online stores are the best sources for lacrosse umpire gear.

Visit the UNIFORM & ACCESSORIES webpage for links to online stores. Shopping information is located at the bottom of the Uniform & Accessories page.

11. How much are officials paid?

Officials earn between $20 and $40 for a youth game and between $60 and $70 for a high school game. The payment amount varies based upon the level of play and the official’s competency level. Officials are also reimbursed for mileage after a certain distance, and all bridge tolls and ferry fees. Officials are often able to officiate more than one game in a day.

Visit the OFFICIALS’ PAY RATES AND TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT webpage more information about how much officials are paid.

12. When is lacrosse season?

The primary season for women’s lacrosse occurs in the spring. For each league, the season is about 10 weeks long, and it goes fast. College games begin in February. Youth, high school and post-collegiate club games begin in March.

Non-league games and tournament are played in the summer and fall.

13. Is women’s lacrosse the same as men’s lacrosse?

Men’s and women’s lacrosse are based upon the same game concept. Both have players on a similar size field using lacrosse sticks to pass and catch a hard rubber ball with the objective of shooting the ball into a lacrosse goal that is guarded by a goalie. However, there are many differences. Men’s and women’s lacrosse teams use different sticks, have a different number of players on the field, use different rules and even use a different color ball. But, the most noticeable difference is body contact. Men’s lacrosse allows physical contact and body checking. Women’s lacrosse is a non-contact sport except for stick-to-stick contact.

14. How much time does a person need to commit a week to be an official?

There is not a minimum or maximum time commitment required for WWLOA officials. Officials should officiate at least one game a week to keep fresh and to improve skills during a season. However, WWLOA requests officials officiate at least two games a week. By officiating at least two games a week, officials will experience greater improvement and help WWLOA provide officials to all scheduled games.

15. How many games can a person officiate during a season?

There is no limit on the number of games an official may officiate during a season. The number of games officials are assigned is dependent upon their availability and the distance they are willing to travel. During the spring season, WWLOA officials officiate over 1,100 games.

There is frequently a shortage of lacrosse officials so it is a big help if official can officiate as many games as possible.

16. How can an official receive more game assignments?

The most effective measures officials can take to improve their opportunity for receiving game assignments are to complete their certification process as early as possible, increase their availability and travel limits, and respond to “911” umpire requests.

Visit the TIPS FOR RECEIVING GAME ASSIGNMENTS webpage for more suggestions.

17. Can a person officiate their daughter’s or sister’s game?

Officials are not allowed to officiate a game in which a family member is playing or coaching because it creates a conflict of interest.

Visit the OFFICIALS CONFLICT OF INTEREST GUIDELINES webpage for more information about conflicts of interest.

18. Can a person still be trained and certified if they miss the February and March classroom clinics and on-field training sessions?

WWLOA is not able to train and certify individuals if they do not attend a classroom clinic and on-field training in February and March with the following exceptions:

19. How can a person get answers to questions about specific rules and game procedures?

Officials, coaches, players, spectators, scorers and timers can obtain answers to questions about rules and game procedures by submitting a question to “Ask an Umpire”. This can be done by clicking on “Ask and Umpire” in the sidebar at the left hand side of this page.

20. What does a person need to do to get started as an Official?

WWLOA has established a step-by-step process for becoming an official. A person can start this process by visiting the STEPS TO BECOME AN OFFICIAL webpage.

Washington Women’s Lacrosse Officials Association
Box 255, 227 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 US
Phone: 425.123.5555