Eastern MA Lacrosse Officials Association
Eastern MA Lacrosse Officials Association

FAQ's for TACs and Parents


TAC-Town AO Contact 

RRC Regional Referee Coordinator

AO-Associate Official

Sr AO- Senior Associate Official-Details to follow


TAC responsibilities

Work with all AOs to get them through the Certification Process

Work closely with all AO’s for MBYLL Registration

Work with new AOs to get them mentored and subsequent assignments

Work with returning AOs to get them assignments immediately

Work with Regional Referee Coordinator (RRC) on dates you have no home games – they may have games in a town close by

Work with RRC if you don’t have enough AOs to cover your home games


Before Season Starts FAQs:

The following link is the best place to go for information for your AO’s.  It has all the details, processes, and answers to your questions. 




Q. How do I get new Candidates nominated?

A.  New AOs should connect with the town’s Lacrosse President, Board Member or TAC to get considered and approved to represent their town as an AO.   If an AO registers without authorization from the town, we will accept their registration and will notify you that they have done so.


Q.  Once an AO is approved by the town, what process do they have to follow to get registered and get started as an AO?

A.  All returning AOs got an email directly from Darrell Benson asking if they are interested in returning with direction on how to register to become an AO for this season.   For NEW AO’s, they should send an email to dbenson1@comcast.net and advise they are interested. They can also contact their TAC directly and the TAC will work with the RRC.  Darrell will add them to our current list, and they get all communications sent out to them.   They can go online and register and pay on the EMLOA site.   This is another link http://emloa.org/associate-officials/registration-payment/ for this process.   THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PROCESS as we now have visibility and can be sure they are following all the necessary steps to become an AO.


Q.  How much do they have to pay and how do they pay to become an Associate Official?

A.  $45 is the yearly dues.   They can pay by credit card on our site or pay by check, all instructions are on the site.  If they pay by check, the below address should be used.

 Darrell Benson

 8 Rainbow Pond Drive #7

 Walpole, MA 02081


Q. What is the training needed before the season to become an AO?

A.  Once they have registered, AO’s will need to sign up for classroom training.  This is done online with the following link:  EMLOA - Class Enrollment/Payment

*We are continually adding more dates, please visit the website often for additional dates.


Q. Do they need to take a test to become an AO”

A.  Yes, new and returning AO’s must pass a test, all that will be explained to them during the meetings.


Q.  What else can I do to help them during this process?

A.  I would recommend reviewing the information on the EMLOA site.  Everything is there for you to guide them through the process.   Just click on the EMLOA.org site and click on Associate Officials.  All of this information and more is there for your help.


Q.  How do we know if they passed the course and are registered?

A.  Darrell Benson manages this process and regularly sends out communications to those that have registered.   You can always direct them to your respective Regional Referee Coordinator.  We are working on a dashboard tool that we hope will be released with AO Status. Stay tuned.


In Season FAQ.s

Q.  It is a week before the season opener, what do I need to do?

A.   This will be covered in further detail but as the Town Coordinator, below is our recommendation.

  -It is important for you to understand your home schedule each week.

  - Work with your AO’s to be sure they can cover your home games. 

  -Advise the RRC or their assistant with status of your home games.  If you need support, please contact RRC and coordinator early in the week

  -Understand the status of your AO’s so you can assign them to move through mentoring process early in the season.

            Are they new?  If so, what is their status?  Are they certified?  Are they returning?

  -We can help you get coverage with either another returning AO from another town or an EMLOA official but that is where your communication with the RRC or their assistant is so important.


Q.  Who assigns AOs to their games?

A.  As the TAC (Town AO Contact), it is your responsibility to talk with the AO’s and assign them to your home games each week. 


Q.  What levels need an AO?

A.   It is expected that we have the 7/8 and 1/2 Grade covered with an AO.   They 7/8 Game they will act as the second referee and will work with an EMLOA official on the game.  This can be covered by a new or returning AO any time during the season.   Only a Returning AO or a new AO that has passed his mentoring process can do the 1/2 level games on their own.   This is very important and is something that we will need to work together on early in the season.


Q.  Can I assign an AO to the 3/4 and 5/6 level games?

A.  While this is not mandatory, many towns do assign these games to an AO to help them learn and grow with the help of the EMLOA official.  The more gams they get, the better they get as an AO.  It also helps them get back some of their dues that they paid.  


Q.  What is the mentoring process and how long does it take to be certified?

A.  All NEW AO’s must go through an on-field learning and evaluation process.  They all learn at different speeds, and we want to be sure that they have the skills before they do the 1/2 level games on their own.   As such, they are responsible for taking the 2022 AO Evaluation form to their games and having the EMLOA official review their on-field performance and determine if they pass (certified) or if they need more games to be able to officiate on their own.  As they are mentored, they can work any level game with an EMLOA official.   All the kids are different, some will be able to get through the mentoring process in one week, others may take more time.    They MUST have a signed passing Evaluation form from an EMLOA official to be considered as Certified.


Q.  My AO told me that he passed his AO Mentorship process, how do I know that he did?

A.  Again, we are hoping to have a dashboard for you to access. In addition, they have been advised in their classes to send a passing evaluation form to their RRC.   If you have any questions, feel free to go directly to RRC or his assistant.


Q.  How do I know my AO’s Status?

A.   We try to update the AO’s and TAC’s weekly with the progress of their AO’s.  The AOs should also know where they are at in the process but if you have any questions, please refer to your RRC or their assistant.


Q.  Where can I find my weekly schedule?

A.   The MBYLL season is posted online, in addition, some of the RRC’s will send out a weekly schedule to be sure all the games are covered.   The link for MBYLL is MBYLL.org


Q.   How do I get an AO to be considered for a Senior AO?

A.    Talk with your RRC, we require that they be observed by an experienced EMLOA official assisting in a 7/8 Grade Game and doing a 3/4 Level game on his own.    We will work with you to coordinate these games.   To qualify, the AO should be considered a strong AO, have 2+ years of experience.  He does not have to be a Senior in High School but it is usually that age when they can handle the responsibility.


Q.  When they come a Senior AO, what games can they do on their own?

A.  They could always do the 1 /2 level games on their own but now they can do the 3 /4 level games as well.  They also get a pay increase.



Q.  How much do AO’s and Senior AO’s get paid?

A.  AOs in the mentoring Process get paid $20 per game

      AOs get $30 per game for all levels

      Sr. AO’s get paid $50 for 1 /2 and 3 /4 level games when they are alone

      Sr. AO’s get paid $40 as second official at all levels


Q.  Who pays the AO’s?

A.   The town pays the AO’s as they pay the EMLOA official.  The majority pay at the completion of the games.


Q.  Can a returning AO or SR. AO come back from college and officiate?

A.  Yes, they must pass the test and pay their dues, then they are eligible to officiate at the level they were at in their final year as an AO.


Q.  I have an AO willing to travel, what do I advise?

A.  I suggest that the AO get in touch with the RRC or their assistant to let them know, this is very helpful for us to know so we can help other towns when they need help due to conflicts or AOs not yet certified in the early part of the season.


Q.  Who pays a Traveling AO?

A.   If it is to support a town that does not have an AO, then it is the home team who needs the AO.    WE also ask that you assign them to at least two games to make it worth their travel.   If it is a situation where a town is looking to get an AO moved to a Sr. AO and the home team agrees to it, then the town that asked for this accommodation will pay for the game.


Q.  My AO’s have a game or conflict, I don’t have an AO for my 7/8 or 1 /2 level game, what do I do?

A.  Contact your RRC or their Assistant immediately to see if we can find another AO or fill in with an EMLOA official.


Final Thoughts for you. 

We greatly appreciate your help in coordinating these games to be sure that we have the key games covered.   It is important that this is a good experience for all as the kids play the game of lacrosse at the youth level.   Many of the AO’s play the game and this is great way for them to grow as a young adult as they learn how to deal with coaches, players, and fans.    Officiating is not easy and recruiting young officials is not easy either!   WE recommend that you start the succession planning process during the existing season.  You would benefit to start looking at the 8th grade and Freshman boys who know the game, are responsible, and have a passion for the game.   We do ask that the AO’s work directly with you without their parents” involvement as we believe that this is part of the maturation process.   They should be advocating for themselves and communicating with us so that we help them grow and hopefully become a future Lacrosse Official.  Thanks again for volunteering to help.

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