INDIANAPOLIS — Current high school sports officials, as well as individuals interested in joining the officiating ranks, will be able to access online education courses on the NFHS Learning Center for free through July 1.
Since many individuals are at home for an indefinite period of time due to the current worldwide health crisis, the National Federation of Stat High School Associations (NFHS) has decided to make its 11 sports officiating courses available for free on the Learning Center at NFHSLearn.com.
“Everyone is looking for positive things to do at home during this difficult period of time, so we thought it would be a good opportunity for officials to take courses on the Learning Center to brush up on their skills,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “As a means of encouraging more people to take advantage of this time at home, the NFHS is offering officiating courses for free until July 1.
“In addition to current officials, those individuals interested in pursuing officiating can access these courses. We know that a number of high school seniors will be unable to participate in spring sports this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Officiating could provide an opportunity for high school seniors to stay involved in sports and taking some of these courses during this down time for free could help to determine their interest level.“
After taking any of these courses, individuals interested in becoming an official could access the website at www.HighSchoolOfficials.com for more information. In the past three years, more than 35,000 individuals have signed up to become officials through the NFHS’ #BecomeAnOfficial campaign to recruit high school officials.
Officiating courses are available on the Learning Center in the sports of basketball, football, soccer, swimming and diving, volleyball, wrestling and softball, in addition to a general course titled “Interscholastic Officiating.” Multiple courses are offered in basketball, soccer and volleyball, and all these courses are available free of charge through July 1.
The Learning Center was founded as the online Coach Education Program in 2007 with two courses – “Fundamentals of Coaching” and “First Aid, Health and Safety”– and now has more than 70 online courses. Earlier this year, the NFHS surpassed 10 million courses taken by coaches, officials, administrators, students, parents, performing arts educators and others.
“We all are trying to find the best ways possible to deal with this unprecedented crisis facing our country,” Niehoff said. “We are pleased to be able to make the Learning Center available to more people interested in officiating.”
Information provided by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, ohsaa.org .