Our most frequently asked questions...

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!  Listed below are some of the most common questions we receive about DFOA and officiating in general.  If you have a question that is not covered in the list below, please CONTACT US and one of our Area Directors will respond to you within 1-2 business days.

What are the benefits of officiating high school football?

Most of all, officiating high school football is fun! It’s a great way to earn extra money while you participate in the game and have a front row seat to all of the action. Officials work as a team on the field, building friendships and camaraderie. Colorado fall weather is spectacular and the physical exercise will motivate you to stay in shape year-round. Studying the officiating mechanics and rules and applying them correctly is both challenging and rewarding. Every NFL and college football official started as a high school official, and currently there are 3 former Colorado high school officials in the NFL! You will see incredible athletes, some of whom will also go on to successful college and NFL careers. In short, there is something for everyone!

How much are high school officials paid in Colorado?

2022 game fees, with mileage, in the Denver area were $75 for varsity games and $60 for JV games.  However, CHSAA has formed a task force which is analyzing officials’ pay in all sports and we anticipate a fee increase during the Fall of 2023.

How many schools does DFOA provide football officials for?

DFOA provides football officials for approximately 102 public and private high schools in metro Denver and surrounding communities. DFOA officials may work games ranging from Castle Rock to Boulder and from Granby to Limon. DFOA officials work all classifications of Colorado football.

How many games can I work, when are the games and how are they assigned?
As many as you want! Sub-varsity games are played on Saturday mornings at 9 or 10 a.m. (doubleheaders will have a second game starting around 11:30) and most Monday-Thursday late afternoons, typically 4 – 6:30 pm. Sub-varsity assignments are made through ArbiterSports. You will block any dates you are unavailable. Some assignments are made geographically, but there is plenty of opportunity to self-assign for more games and more locations.
Does it cost anything to become an official?
For 2023, the CHSAA registration fee of $27 (which includes a background check good for 3 years) for new officials will be paid by CHSAA. If you select Football, the $70 CFOA registration fee will also be paid by CHSAA. CFOA registration, required to work Varsity and Junior Varsity games, costs $70 per year. This covers operating costs, such as NFHS rule books, periodic republishing of the CFOA Mechanics Manual, awards, training activities, clinics, and meeting expenses. A new football official uniform package, including shoes, socks, pants, hat, long and short sleeved striped shirts, black coaches shorts, and accessories costs anywhere from $125 – $175. DFOA conducts a uniform drive and tries to make gently used uniforms and gear available to new officials for a modest donation. Uniforms and accessories should last for several years.
Who is my employer when officiating high school football?
No one. All DFOA officials are independent contractors. When you accept an assignment you are entering into a contract with the home school to officiate the game in exchange for payment. You determine how many or how few games you want to officiate and which game assignments to accept.
What is the relationship and responsibilities among CHSAA, ASO, CFOA and DFOA?

We have a detailed graphic and explanation on our CFOA PAGE.  At a high level, CHSAA, or the Colorado High School Activities Association, is a non-profit organization that sanctions all high school sports and activities for Colorado member schools. CHSAA’s responsibilities include arranging for officials to work sanctioned games. ASO, or Aurora Sports Officials, is a privately-owned company that contracts with schools, school districts and leagues to assign officials to sub-varsity games. All sub-varsity game assigning of DFOA officials is coordinated in ArbiterSports by ASO. CFOA, or the Colorado Football Officials Association, is exclusively recognized by CHSAA as the non-profit association of officials authorized to work varsity and junior varsity football contests in Colorado. DFOA is the established officials’ association for Area 1 of CFOA. CFOA and DFOA are both responsible to recruit, train, develop, evaluate and retain high school football officials.

How many officials are in the Denver association?

In 2022, 184 officials were active in the association.

What is the purpose of the new officials class?

To officiate Colorado High School Football games, you must pass the National Federation of State High School Associations 100 question test with a minimum score of 85%.  We provide pre-season classes to prepare you for the exam. We also cover officiating mechanics to put you in the best position to make rulings and judgment calls.

Am I required to attend all in season meetings?

No, each member is expected to attend a portion of the meetings to retain “member-in-good-standing” status. The CFOA Board determines the required number of meetings.

When does the high school football season begin and end?

The regular season begins the last week in August and ends the first week in November.  Playoffs are three weeks in November with the championships played in the first week of December.