US Lacrosse

Men's Certified Observer Program

Friday, August 07, 2015

USL Certified Oberver Program

Certified Observer Website AccessGoogle+

The purpose of this program is to standardize requirements for men's lacrosse officials observers and evaluators.

The goal of this program is to develop observers, by utilizing online resources emphasizing proper mechanics, correct rule interpretation, and showcasing different methods of observing. As such, Certified Observers will be trained to communicate and work with officials at all certification levels, and will be tasked with reporting training data to their Sub-District Coordinator.


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Application Timeline

July 20th: Application Opens

November 30th: Deadline for submitting completed applications

Please contact the US Lacrosse Officials Education Department at with any questions.

Who can apply for the Certified Observer Program?

Interested applicants should be:

  • An official with at least three years of officiating experience at the high school level in their area.
  • Well-respected in the area.
  • Past experience being observed, running an observing program, or observing officials is a plus but not required.

How will US Lacrosse evaluate the applications?

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the application:
    • All fields are complete.
    • Questions are clearly answered.
    • Includes a recommendation from the Sub-District Coordinator for the applicant's area. Applications without a recommendation from a Sub-District Coordinator will not be accepted.

What are the requirements for certification?

There are eight requirements for new Certified Observers. Requirements 1-4 must be completed in order. Requirements 5-8 may be completed in any order.

  1. Apply using the links on this page and contact your Sub-District Coordinator for a letter of recommendation.
  2. Have a current US Lacrosse Membership with Official Participation.
  3. Register into the Certified Observer program and pay the $50 one-time registration fee.
  4. Initiate a background check through US Lacrosse's background check provider NCSI.*
  5. Complete the US Lacrosse Men's Game Officiating Online course at
  6. Complete the US Lacrosse Certified Observer Online Course (link provided after registering).
  7. Participate in the annual Certified Observer Webinar (link provided after registering).
  8. Pass the upcoming season's rules tests (NFHS + USL Youth) with a 90% or better on the USL Central Hub.**

*NOTE - US Lacrosse only accepts the NCSI background check for all programs in officials education. State or other federal background checks cannot be substituted for this requirement. There is a cost associated with the background check that varies from $25 (low-end) to $85 (high-end); this variation depends on your state of residence. Background checks are good for two years.

**NOTE - The NCAA rules test on the USL Central Hub may be substituted for the NFHS test if your state plays by NCAA rules for high school games. The USL Youth rules test must be completed regardless of whether or not your state plays by NCAA or NHFS rules.

What are the recertification requirements?

Observers completing all of the requirements are automatically enrolled in the CT ReCert program for the following season at no cost to the observer. Recertification requirements are:

  1. Maintain a US Lacrosse Membership with Official Participation.
  2. Participate in the annual Certified Observer Webinar.
  3. Pass the upcoming season's rules tests (NFHS + USL Youth) with a 90% or better on the USL Central Hub.

When will the recertification requirements be updated and available to take/participate in for 2016?

If your application is approved and you are invited to register into the Certified Observer program this is when you can expect the online courses, webinars, and rules tests to be ready:

  • Certified Observer Online Course* - end of October
  • Webinar (approximately 45 minutes) - end of October
  • Rules Tests - early December

*NOTE - this is a new online course that the training group is building. If it is ready earlier you will be notified via email.

What do Certified Observers receive?

Upon completion of all requirements observers are granted access to the CTO Resource Library. A one-stop shop where you can download:

  • Training PowerPoint Presentations.
  • Electronic versions of the 2- and 3-Person Mechanics Manuals.
  • Penalty videos (personal and technical fouls).
  • Mechanics videos (2- and 3-person).

The CTO Resource Library also has an online store where you can buy hard copies of training materials, US Lacrosse patches, evaluation form packets, and more all at a bigger discount than the average US Lacrosse Official Member.

Certified Observers also receive a US Lacrosse Officials Education Program Polo once all of the requirements are complete. The $50 one-time registration fee helps offset the cost of developing and updating training materials each year as well as apparel orders.*

*NOTE - If you are a Certified Trainer for 2015 you receive a discount into the Certified Observer program and only pay $25 for the registration fee. 


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