Local high school football officials groups looking for new members

By on July 10, 2017
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Ed Wood, President of the Rochester Chapter of Certified Football Officials, announced that the group is actively seeking new members for the upcoming football season. The RCCFO officiates high school football games in three local leagues; Monroe County, RCAC and Livingston/Genesee.

“The past 10 years has seen a steady decline in the number of officials that are available to work high school football games in our area,” Wood said. “The same can be said of most other sports, both here and across the country.”

New football officials are put through a comprehensive training program which teaches the rules and mechanics of the game. The first meeting for this upcoming season will be held on Monday, July 24 at Brighton High School at 6:30 p.m. Anyone interested in becoming a football official is welcome, and encouraged to attend.

Wood says that not everyone is cut out for officiating; it helps to have previous experience in the sport. “The best potential officials are usually those young men that have participated in football in high school or college,” said Kingdon. “We’re looking for the guys that have finished their playing careers but would still like to continue their involvement with the sport. We have a group of hard-working, dedicated veteran officials that are looking forward to adding new members to the team!”

New officials learn the ropes by officiating youth, freshman and junior varsity football games for the first two years, and traditionally begin to work high school varsity games in their third year. After gaining experience, officials may have the opportunity to advance their careers into the college ranks, or maybe even the NFL.

“We’ve had many members of the RCCFO that have gone on to officiate Division I college games for the Big Ten, Big East, ACC and SEC,” Wood said; “Two of our former members made it all the way to the National Football League.”

One of those former high school officials is Bill Schuster from Livonia, who officiated in Super Bowl XLIX. When contacted for this story, Schuster said that deciding to become a high school football official with the RCCFO was one of the best choices he could have made.

“I coached for a couple of years, but there’s nothing like being on the field with the players,” explained Schuster. “Your fellow officials are your team now, and your goal is to ensure that the game is played fairly. There’s a lot of satisfaction in doing the job right, and the friendships that you make along the way last a lifetime!”

For those that are interested in finding out more, the RCCFO’s website, rccfo.com, provides a lot of information about officiating football. Those interested may also sign up at the site and then be contacted by a member of the group.

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