The Massachusetts high school football season is finally set to start on February 22, 2021 the MIAA announced last Friday.
The Fall II season will run from February 22, 2021 to April 25, 2021 with no MIAA-sponsored postseason. Scrimmages will be prior to March 12, 2021; the first game of the season will be held on or about March 12th since teams must practice fifteen days before their first game. Some school Districts may opt out if they choose to do so; some already have opted out. Some schools will be playing football, some will not.
Now that the high school season is about to begin, there are some things all officials must do in order to be in “good standing” with the ANEFO, MIAA, and/or the local school districts.
What you need to do, if you have not already done so, are the following:
1) REGISTER WITH THE MIAA
All officials must register annually with the MIAA and pay the $10 per sport. Returning officials must confirm pre-populated information and complete all steps of the registration process. You do this by signing into your personal online Arbiter Sports account and then select “MIAA State Office – Central Hub”. That will take you to the MIAA Registration Page. Or, you can go directly to http://www.miaa.net, then scroll down and select the Arbiter Sports Icon on the left side of the page.
2) COMPLETE MIAA BACKGROUND CHECK (if yours is expired)
Check the Arbiter Sports, and then the MIAA State Office – Central Hub, to see if your background check has expired. The background check only has to be done every three years. But each official must use Arbiter Sports to register with the MIAA each year. New officials will have to complete the MIAA Background check and pay the $45 fee, plus the $10 for the sport of football.
3) PAY YOUR ANEFO DUES
To be in “good standing” you must pay your annual ANEFO dues, attend the upcoming virtual meetings and study the NFHS Football Rules. The ANEFO dues has been reduced to $45.00 only for the Fall II Season. You can pay your dues now by selecting the “REGISTRATION” tab on our website at: https://www.anefo.org. If you paid your dues last Fall, you are entitled to a rebate or you can apply the money your overpaid to next season’s dues. Contact Bob Prestera, Secretary, for more information.
NOTE: If for any reason, you decide to “opt out” or not work the Fall II Season, the Executive Board understands completely during the national health crisis and will respect your decision. However, the Executive Board asks you to notify, Bob Prestera, ANEFO Secretary/Treasurer and your Commissioner(s) as soon as possible, and please block out all available dates on your Sports Arbiter between February 22, 2021 to April 25, 2021.
4) ATTEND UPCOMING ANEFO VIRTURAL MEETINGS
The ANEFO will be conducting virtual zoom meetings during the upcoming Fall II Season. Those meeting dates will begin before the season and will extend throughout the season. The dates of the upcoming ANEFO zoom meetings for all officials are:
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 – 7:00 p.m. (zoom invite link will be forthcoming)
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – 7:00 p.m. (zoom invite link will be forthcoming)
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – 7:00 p.m. (zoom invite link will be forthcoming)
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 – 7:00 p.m. (zoom invite link will be forthcoming)
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – 7:00 p.m. (zoom invite link will be forthcoming)
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 – 7:00 p.m. (zoom invite link will be forthcoming)
5) COMPLETE ANNUAL CONCUSSION TRAINING COURSE (if you have not done so this year)
Game officials shall complete the concussion training programs annually and shall provide independent verification of completion of the training program to schools or school districts upon request. The yearly concussion certification requirement is only valid between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. If you already taken the course for this year, there is not need to taking again. If you don’t have a concussion certificate, you will have to take the free online course. All officials will have to do it again after July 1, 2021.
6) STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR COMMISSIONER
Most, if not all, commissioners require a yearly Arbiter Sports fee. It’s a minimum fee. Check with your commissioner(s) about their Arbiter Sports fees and let them know about your availability. BLOCK all specific days between February 22, 2021 to April 25, 2021 that you are NOT available. The Commissioners cannot assign you to work a high school game, if you have not completed all of the above requirements (MIAA $10 football fee, background check, ANEFO dues, etc.)
7) PROCURE AN ELECTRONIC WHISTLE
The MIAA has stated that electronic whistles/artificial noisemakers will be utilized in place of traditional whistles.
Below is a list of some places where you can purchase an electronic whistle. Many officials have stated that the Fox 40 Electronic Whistle seems to be the best electronic whistle on the market (use the 3rd volume setting).
Fox 40 Electric Whistle available at Dick’s Sportings Goods
Windsor Electric Whistle available at Amazon Prime
BLOW YOUR WHISTLE available at https://www.blowyourwhistles.com
UMP-ATTIRE available at https://www.ump-attire.com/
OFFICIALS WAREHOUSE available at https://www.officialswearhouse.com/ 1-888-806-REFS
8) PROCURE A BLACK FACE MASK
The MIAA has stated that all players and officials will be utilized a face mask to reduce the spread of airborne droplets. Most officials have agreed to wear a black face mask to be consist with our uniforms. Good news, you are entitled to a free facemask — ANEFO has purchased a black facemasks with the association’s logo. Each ANEFO member will received a free ANEFO facemask prior to March 12, 2021. Representatives from the ANEFO Executive Board will be distributing the free facemask at various drop-off sites; those sites and dates will be announced on or before our first virtual zoom ANEFO meeting.
Finally, the ANEFO Executive Board continues to meet regularly via zoom meetings; we will keep you informed as new information develops.
9) TAKE THE ANNUAL PRE-SEASON EXAM (if you have not already done so).
To take the pre-season exam, select the MEMBERS tab at https://www.anefo.org log onto the website with your username and password. Then once again under the MEMBERS tab scroll down to the PRE-SEASON EXAM tab. Take the exam online. If you get any answers incorrect, go back and re-take the exam again until you get 100% correct. Don’t forget to hit the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the exam every time you take it. You will not get any credit for taking the exam until you reach 100%.