Uniforms/ Equipment

Lacrosse officials must look like professionals, but you do not need to spend a lot of money to do so.  If you are a new official, focus on the key pieces: a clean hat, a short-sleeve striped shirt, black shorts, black socks, and all-black shoes.  You can always add to your collection.  All uniforms should fit properly, be clean, and in good shape with no rips, tears, or holes.

Coordination of uniforms by officials

All of the officials assigned to the same game shall coordinate in advance to make sure they all wear the same uniform on the field (i.e., shorts or long pants, jackets or not, short- or long-sleeved shirts, any other exceptions), as determined by the Referee.  The referee makes final decisions on the uniform for the day, and all officials must be dressed the same (e.g., you cannot have one official wearing shorts and one wearing long pants.)  If you are not the Referee (i.e., you are the Umpire or the Field Judge), bring all of your uniform options to each game so the Referee can decide what will be worn.

Each official should wear a black wristwatch.  Part of our job is to get games started on time and keep them on schedule, and it is challenging to do that if you don't know what time it is.  Cell phone clocks are not an acceptable substitute.  If you are looking at your cell phone before or during a game, it looks like your mind is somewhere else.

The Uniform

The mandatory uniform requirements for officials include:
  • Striped Shirt (1-inch vertical black/white stripes with black collar and black cuffs and a pocket on the left breast; long sleeve and short sleeve)  YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR A FOOTBALL OFFICIAL'S SHIRT.  You are not allowed to wear (during a non-collegiate game) a college officiating shirt, which contains the official's unique NILOA jersey number on the back.
  • Patches: The American flag and US Lacrosse patches can be purchased from ZebraWear or US Lacrosse.
    • American Flag patch (with gold border) - centered horizontally 0.75 inches above the top of the breast pocket; do not use the American flags with the white border.  US Lacrosse sells the American flag patches for five dollars each, but other vendors on the "Links" tab sell the patches also. 
    • US Lacrosse Official patch - centered horizontally on the side of the left arm sleeve and located 3.0 inches below the shoulder seam.  US Lacrosse sells the US Lacrosse arm patches for five dollars each, but other vendors on the "Links" tab sell the patches also.
    • Note that you can purchase a sublimated shirts that have the arm patch and the American flag patch built into the shirt fabric (see pictures below).
  • Undershirt (Black compression shirt or t-shirt for normal weather days; black turtleneck on very cold days.  Any visible undergarments must be all black.)
  • Shorts (Black; we do not use white shorts) - shorts must be solid black without any stripes in them.  Do not wear football officials' pants, which have the stripe down the pant legs.  Color any decals or logos with black marker to obscure them.
  • Shoes (all black; mark out any white logos or swooshes with a black marker – shined.  Cleats are not required but may be worn on natural grass surfaces.)
  • Socks (all black ankle socks, No calf-length socks.  The exactly correct sock is the black Nike Dri-FIT Half-Cushion Quarter Training Sock with the Steel Gray Swoosh (don't get the socks with the white swoosh).
  • Belt (1.25-2.00 inches in width, black, plain silver buckle)
  • Hat (black baseball-style cap with white piping)- this is the same style hat as is used by football officials.
  • Fox 40 Finger Whistle (spare is highly recommended)
  • Two Penalty Flags (all yellow; optional to have black tip – each official carries two flags during a game)
  • Scorecard (You should use a plastic one specifically designed for lacrosse.  The NCAA-style scorecards are more useful than the plain rectangular scorecards.  In an emergency, you can use or a paper one you print out or an index card.)  You can purchase the NCAA-style scorecards from Ump-Attire.com.
  • Pencil (with clip and eraser)
  • Coin (Half-dollar size or larger; used for coin flip at beginning of game or overtime)
  • 6-foot long Mini Tape Measure (black; not too large)
  • 20-second Timer (required for Varsity, JV, 8U/U15 (7th/8th grade), and 6U/U13 (5th/6th grade) games; Not required for 4U (3rd/4th grade) or 2U (1st/2nd grade) games but useful for timing the 2-minute intervals at the end of the first and third periods.  There are two types of timers: (1) Timers that buzz once at 20-seconds, and (2) Combination timers that have two switch settings for either a 20-second count or a 120-second count.  The combination timer is recommended because it is great for managing timeouts (two minutes) and the time interval between all non-halftime periods (two minutes).
  • Payment Vouchers (you can either purchase a small invoice book (carbon copy recommended) from any office supply store, or you can print your own payment vouchers for each game.  Links to the printable voucher forms are below.  HINT: If you want to leave a field blank on the form, just type a blank space to eliminate the words "Click or tap here to enter text."  Otherwise the phrase "Click or tap here to enter text" will be printed in that field.
Optional items:
  • Digital Wrist Watch (Optional, with countdown timer function.  A wristwatch is not mandatory, but it is very handy for starting games promptly).
  • Large Eraser or Magic Eraser (Optional, to erase your scorecard)
  • Jacket (Optional; Striped on one side and all black on the reversible side.)
  • Gear Bag (Optional: small, black)
  • Pencil Sharpener (optional if your pencil is wooden and needs to be sharpened; many officials purchase a mechanical pencil for this reason).
  • Equipment Bag (Optional: Small black bag for flags, pencils, scorecards, whistles, etc.)
  • Coaches Certification Cards / Crew game cards (customary for Varsity games; highly recommended on all games for professionalism, except not used in tournaments) - filled out by the Referee (aka, the Crew Chief) and given to each coach during the pre-game coaches' certification process.  You can order the game cards from US Lacrosse or you can print you own.  TXLOA has printed several thousand of these and hands them out at general membership meetings.
  • Gloves (Optional; all black)
  • Wind pants (Optional long pants; must be all black; you cannot use the football pants with the white stripe down each leg.)

Patches on the striped shirt

The US Lacrosse arm patch is a required item for your shirt.  You may be given these patches once you become certified for the first time, or you can purchase them yourself if TXLOA has run out of them.  The patch is affixed to the left sleeve exactly 3 inches below the top seam of the left shirt sleeve and centered horizontally on the sleeve.
US Lacrosse Certified Men's Official Patch
The American flag patch is also a required item for your shirt.  You must purchase these patches on your own.  The approved flag patch has a gold border - do not order ones with either a white or a yellow border because they are no longer authorized.  The American flag patch is sewn exactly 3/4-inch above the top of the left-breast pocket.

You can purchase both the US Lacrosse Official patch and the American flag patch from an online vendor called ZebraWear, which is different from the scheduling system called Zebra-ware.  You can also purchase items on the US Lacrosse online shop.

Below is an example of a properly-dressed official (minus the hat).

You can also purchase sublimated shirts with the patches built into the shirt, so that you don't have to sew on your own patches separately.  For example, Cliff Keen offers both short-sleeve and long-sleeve sublimated shirts with the patches built into the shirt fabric (see images below).