So you want to be an official?

Congratulations! You have already completed your first step towards getting onto the lacrosse field: contacting us as your area official's association is the first step towards earning your lacrosse certifications.

Now, don't be fooled: if you've played before, this is a great opportunity to stay involved with the game if you've played before, or get involved if you haven't had any previous exposure: both are welcome! Just know that, as lacrosse is a field game, it can sometimes be physically challenging and mentally taxing. While physical and mental fitness are not paramount to being a good official, they certainly can't hurt.

Now, if you're still with us, then check out the list below of the steps you need to take to get certified and on the field for PIAA and Youth US Lacrosse Games.

Step 1: JOIN US LACROSSE

In case you hadn't already surmised it, US Lacrosse is the nationwide parent organization through which all lacrosse officials get certified and trained. You will be asked to pay for your registration, which includes the rule book. But don't freak out; it is very easy to make back that money, and then some, by picking up games throughout the season. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to ALOA's executive board or webmaster: we are more than happy to help you out. To go to the US Lacrosse Registration page, click the USL logo below.

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Step 2: Take the USL Exam

Once you get registered for US Lacrosse, you will have access to their online learning database. You will automatically be assigned some basic courses on mechanics and rules enforcement, and you will be required to take an open book USL exam. We would HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to wait until you receive your rulebook in the mail before attempting your test. It stands to reason that it's more difficult to take an open book exam without the book! Not only is it easier for you to answer each question, as sometimes the answers are counter-intuitive, but it should force you to crack the rulebook and start developing your own approach towards studying the rules.

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Step 3: Take the ALOA Training Class

We promise, it's not that bad. Our USL Trainers will work closely with you during these classes. These classes will be a mix of rules presentations with a heavy focus on field positioning, mechanics, crew communications and teamwork. Interspersed with the class discussions, you will be challenged with quizzes during each class and one final open-book, all-encompassing exam. Once you complete these classes and pass that exam, you are eligible to be on the field as a US Lacrosse official. To start the registration process for the ALOA training classes, please click on the ALOA logo below and fill out and submit the informational bio form.

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Step 4: Get PIAA Certified

There's only one more test you need to take: the PIAA Certification test. Clicking on the PIAA Logo below will take you to the registration page for the PIAA. Register as an official, and you will be able to browse and find the PIAA Official's Examination for boy's lacrosse. Again, it is open book, so use your rule book to make things a lot easier. It can be taken online, but we suggest you download the exam, take the test, and then go back into the website and plug in the answers faster. Once you pass that, you will receive a letter in the mail from the PIAA with your PIAA ID card and a uniform patch, officially certifying you as a PIAA Boy's Lacrosse Official. Finally, you must obtain your PA Act 15 clearances and submit them on the PIAA website. Directions for this process can be accessed at the following link: http://www.piaa.org/officials/become/clearances.aspx

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Step 5: Join ALOA

Along with your PIAA Patch, you will receive paperwork/forms to affiliate with a PIAA Chapter of boy's lacrosse. The Allegheny Lacrosse Official's Association (ALOA) is the only PIAA lacrosse chapter in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Simply fill out the PIAA form, and send it in (via snail mail or email) to our secretary listed in the PIAA letter. You will receive a response confirming receipt of your application and advising you of next steps to take.

Step 6: Get Out There!

Off you go! Once you get to this point, our assigners will have your name and information on file and can start assigning you games. Just double back and be sure that you have everything in order, and games will start coming your way. Welcome to ALOA, and we'll see you on the field!

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