Be a Ref!

We are always seeking new members with or without officiating experience. If you are a military veteran, you can get your dues, uniform, and insurance paid for through Battlefields to Ballfields

Please fill out a membership form or call us at (626) 66-SGVFO to get more information. 

Who We Are

The San Gabriel Valley Unit of the California Football Officials Association trains and certifies officials that work games in and around the San Gabriel Valley for California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section (CIF-SS) high schools. Our schools are roughly located within the area bounded by La Canada on the north, the 60 on the South, Pasadena on the west, and the 605 on the east.

Officials are independent contractors and not employees of the SGVFOA or the CIF.

How to Join Us

  • Joining the San Gabriel Valley Unit of the California Football Officials Association is easy! Simply fill out the online membership form or call us at (626) 66-SGVFO [(626) 667-4836], and someone will get in touch with you shortly.


  • We offer a comprehensive training program for all officials, including first year officials. Our first meeting of the season is usually around the second Saturday in July in Pasadena. We continue to have meetings on Tuesday nights in August, September, and October. See our calendar for the complete schedule.

Your First Year

  • First year officials are assigned games on a week to week basis. Usually working with the more experienced officials, first year officials can expect a lot of personal guidance on the field. To get even more experience, we highly recommend working youth football, such as Junior All-American and Pop Warner.

Youth Football (Jr. All-American, Pop Warner, etc.)

  • There is no substitute for the on-field experience you get by working youth football. It is a huge stepping-stone in the process of becoming and remaining a good football official. Many of our veteran officials still work youth ball to improve themselves and so they can help out new officials.
  • Saturday and Sunday games are usually double-headers utilizing three or four officials. If you want to work more than just two games, let the assignor know, and he may assign you more. Games pay around $45, and checks are issued at the end of the football season.
  • From Pasadena west into the San Fernando Valley area, contact Kirk West at
  • From Pasadena east through the San Gabriel Valley area, contact Vern Sparling at

 Why Become an Official?

  • Officiating football can be enjoyable for a number of reasons. Many find that the challenge is what attracts them. For others, it’s being involved in football up close and personal that is the attraction. Most officials enjoy the strong camaraderie that exists among the fellow officials.

Where do I get the uniform and supplies?

  • Honig’s is one of several local suppliers of officiating uniforms and equipment. Other online suppliers can be found on our links page.

What are the different positions, and how do I know what position to work?

  • ​Most new officials begin work at Head Linesman or Line Judge. Over time, as you gain experience you will be given opportunities to work different positions and can specialize if you wish. The positions worked in high school football are:
  • Referee: He’s in charge and is the “white hat”! Lines up in the offensive backfield.
  • Umpire: Lines up in the defensive backfield about 5-7 yards off the line of scrimmage
  • Head Linesman: On the line of scrimmage at the sidelines at the snap; responsible for chain crew.
  • Line Judge: On lines of scrimmage at the snap, opposite side of field from Head Linesman.
  • Back Judge: Works in the defensive secondary.
  • Side Judge: Some playoff games and select regular season games will use seven officials. In a 7-man crew, the side judge lines up about twenty yards deep in the defensive backfield on the head linesman’s side.
  • Field Judge: In a 7-man crew, the side judge lines up about twenty yards deep in the defensive backfield on the line judge’s side.
  • Center Judge: Some college conferences utilize an 8th official. The center judge lines up in the offensive backfield to the left of the quarterback, similar to the umpire in the NFL. The center judge is not used in high school.

How much money will I make?

  • Officials receive approximately $79-$104 per game for High School games and about $45 for youth football games. Junior college officials make about $150 per game. Don’t expect to get rich officiating, do it for the love of the sport!

How do I move up?

  • Work hard, study hard, and become the best official you can be at the level you do. Once you are the best Frosh/JV official, be the best Varsity official. After 5 years or so, you may decide to start working junior college football. It takes about 5 years of JC experience to move on to NCAA, and about 5-7 years of NCAA to move to the NFL. Whether you want to move up or not, don’t forget that the reason you are officiating is to have FUN!

What about other sports?