The NAYS Officials Training helps both veteran and beginning officials have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities so that they can use their positions of authority to make a positive difference. 

The 40-minute training program features officials from the NFL, NBA, MLB and MLS that NAYS interviewed to get their insights on many of the key areas that youth sports officials must fully understand to perform to the best of their ability. Throughout the program these individuals share incredible insight and expertise gained from officiating thousands of games from the youth level all the way through the biggest stages in professional sports.

They talk about the importance of honesty, consistency and confidence; the best ways to manage so many different types of personalities; how to block out crowd comments and focus on your responsibilities; and techniques for improving at your craft. They also share how to connect with young players and, despite all the challenges of the job, how to fully enjoy the special role that officials have in youth sports, among many other important areas.

To become a NAYS member, officials must participate in an interactive video, successfully complete an exam and sign the NAYS Code of Ethics for Officials.  The training and membership fee is $20.

View a clip of the training:

*NAYS Officials Training and Membership Program was formerly known as the National Youth Sports Officials Association

Expert presenters:

The program also features valuable tips and insight from well-known and highly respected officials, including:

  • Al Riveron, senior director of officiating for the NFL. Before attaining that position he spent 15 years officiating college football in Conference USA and the Big East prior to working in the NFL from 2004 to 2012 as a side judge and referee.
  • Joe Borgia, vice president of referee operations for the NBA. Prior to attaining this position he officiated 10 seasons in the NBA.
  • Rich Rieker, director of umpiring for Major League Baseball. He spent nine seasons as a major league umpire in the National League.
  • Ted Unkel, currently a Major League Soccer referee who has previous experience with college soccer and the Women’s Professional Soccer league.

Training Formats

The NAYS Officials Training can be completed online or by attending a on-site training hosted by a local NAYS Member Organization. 

On-site/Live Training

NAYS Officials on-site trainings are hosted by a local NAYS Member Organization and allow for valuable interaction and discussion amongst officials. A NAYS Member Organization is a local youth sports organization which has chosen to offer the NAYS Officials program to its officials. For instance, Parks & Recreation Departments, youth associations, Boys & Girls Clubs, Police Athletic Leagues and YMCAs may all be NAYS Member Organizations.

Online Training

NAYS Officials online training features the same training content as the on-site/live trainings and gives officials the convenient ability to complete the training from their home or office computer at their own pace.

Go to NAYS Officials online training site