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 officiating uniform and equipment
Striped Shirt (2-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 also 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.
Short-sleeve shirt - required. Must have the US flag patch. The USA Lacrosse arm sleeve patch is optional.
Long-sleeve shirt - required. Must have the US flag patch. The USA Lacrosse arm sleeve patch is optional.
Patches: The American flag and USA Lacrosse patches can be purchased from ZebraWear or USA Lacrosse, but you can get them for free at any TXLOA general membership meeting.
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. USA Lacrosse sells the American flag patches for about five dollars each, but other vendors on the "Links" tab sell the patches also. TXLOA has an inventory of these patches and gives them out for free at meetings.
USA Lacrosse Official patch - centered horizontally on the side of the left arm sleeve and located 3.0 inches below the shoulder seam. USA Lacrosse sells the US Lacrosse arm patches for five dollars each, but other vendors on the "Links" tab sell the patches also. TXLOA has an inventory of these patches and gives them out for free at meetings.
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.)
Pants - you will need short pants for most of the season. However, you will probably want long pants for the cold weather days.
Short pants (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.
Long pants (all black means "all black"; no white or colored stripes down the legs) - you can also wear "wind pants" or even sweatpants (nice ones), but long pants with four pockets and belt loops are highly preferred for experienced officials; must be ALL BLACK; you cannot use the football pants with the white stripe down each leg.
Jacket (Optional for new officials; required for experienced officials; All black jacket is preferred.) USA Lacrosse requires a proper officiating jacket as mandatory equipment. In Texas, we always wear jackets with the black side out, so you don't need a reversible jacket. Any plain, long-sleeve, all-black jacket without any visible manufacturer logos will suffice.
Shoes (all black shoes; all black laces; 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) - you will clip your timer to your belt.
Hat (black baseball-style cap with 1/8th-inch white piping)- this is the same style hat as is used by football officials.
Fox 40 Finger Whistle (spare is highly recommended) - some people to wear their spare whistle on a lanyard, and wear the lanyard around their neck (either tucked into the shirt or loose outside the shirt).
Two Penalty Flags (all yellow; optional to have black tip) – each official carries two flags during a game. It is a good idea to carry extra flags in your gear bag, as these items do wear out occasionally.
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. TXLOA has an inventory of scorecards and gives them out for free at meetings.
Pencil (with clip and eraser) - we hand out spring-loaded pencil clips at TXLOA meetings, which you can use to secure the pencil to your shirt pocket, so the card doesn't jump out of your shirt pocket when you are running.
Coin (Half-dollar size or larger) - used for coin flip at beginning of game or at the start of overtime.
6-foot long Mini Tape Measure (black; not too large) - must be capable of measuring at least 72 inches. We give away free black TXLOA-branded tape measures at TXLOA meetings.
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). The Ready-Ref model 1155 is probably the best model to get (guaranteed for life). See the Links tab for vendors.
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 your own. TXLOA has printed several thousand of these and hands them out at TXLOA general membership meetings.
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.
Click here for the printable voucher form (one voucher per page)
Click here for the printable voucher form (two vouchers per page)
Electronic payment accounts - several teams are switching to e-payment. You might want the following e-payment accounts:
Arbiter Pay - the website is called Ref Pay (https://www.refpay.com/system/register1.php?visitor_language=english). After you click this link to register for a new Arbiter Pay account, then choose the User Type as "Sports Official/Event Worker," which is the first choice on the list. Then follow the prompts to create the rest of your account. Several teams have switched to Arbiter Pay, so you will need an Arbiter Pay account to get paid by those teams. You have the option of a "free" service (you manually push money around) or you can have a paid service that flushes all funds received automatically into your bank account.
Venmo - currently, this is only available as a phone app and not as a computer (desktop/laptop/notebook) application. Venmo is probably the most popular form of e-payment used by teams. You must have a bank account. When you download the Venmo app to your smart phone (https://venmo.com/signup), it creates your Venmo account. Follow the prompts to set up a profile with a username selected by you (i.e., similar to a Twitter handle). Then add your banking information so that Venmo links directly to your bank account. Once teams know your Venmo "handle," they can pay you electronically using Venmo. Can also be used for paying TXLOA dues.
Zelle - this is a bank-to-bank payment system owned and operated by a consortium of the largest banks in the U.S., but it can be used with any U.S. bank account. You must set up Zelle with your bank by enrolling (easy, look it up on Google) your bank account and tying it to either your cell phone number or your email address. Money transferred via Zelle is available to the recipient in 1-2 minutes, which is almost immediately. Note that the initial setup of Zelle requires a 1-3 business day waiting period for security reasons.
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)
Pencil Sharpener (optional if your pencil is wooden and needs to be sharpened; many officials purchase a mechanical pencil for this reason).
Equipment/Gear Bag (Optional: Small black bag for flags, pencils, scorecards, whistles, etc.)
Gloves (Optional; all black)
Patches on the lacrosse officials' striped shirt
The USA Lacrosse arm patch is an optional item for your shirt. You may be given these USA Lacrosse arm patches once you become certified for the first time, or you can purchase them yourself if TXLOA has run out of them. You can get these patched by attending a TXLOA general membership meeting, where the required shirt patches are handed out for free. The USA Lacrosse arm 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.
The American flag patch is a required item for your shirt. You must purchase these patches on your own, or attend a TXLOA general membership meeting, where these patches are handed out for free. 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 USA 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 USA Lacrosse online shop. or attend a TXLOA general membership meeting, where these patches are handed out for free
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).