So, you want to be involved Officiating

Our club is always looking for ways to get our members involved in the sport they love and the game of American Football involves more than just the 2 teams on the field? For any game to be successful we need quality officiating as well as quality players. If you enjoy this fantastic sport, then officiating could be for you!

Who can be an official?

Just about anyone at least 18 years old can join the ranks of the men & women in black & white. Whether you’re passionate about the game but not keen on kitting up, someone who’s going to be on the sidelines anyway, a retired player or coach, or a player who’d like to get involved supporting our contribution to the league. Involvement as an official is a lot more accessible and more rewarding than you might think. A great way of keeping you active and involved.

What opportunities are available?

As a club official we have a number of ways you can get involved including as follows:

Flag Football:
This is a great way to get started as the rules are easy to learn and there are only 5 people per side on the pitch at any given time. Games only go for 2 x 20min halves so it isn’t a huge commitment of time but it helps a bunch to keep our flag league going. Most officials will play a game then referee a game. We have 2 levels of flag officiating. The first is in taking on a club game and then we have an opportunity to step in as a “Premier League” State Championship series official for Gridiron West . Flag officials during premier games receive payment for each game, not a bad way to pay for your own flag games or just as some extra pocket money.

Gridiron West Club Official:

Officials are in hot demand and there are never enough to go around despite it being a critical component of our game. As such each club must supply club officials and chain crew for each round who work with the Gridiron West officiating crew. Not only are you compensated for your involvement but you also get front row seats in the game. A lot of players like to watch the other teams play anyway and so stepping up as a club official is a great way of not only helping the Saints meet our club requirement to the league but also of learning and enjoying the game.

Gridiron West Official:

A game of American Football as played here in WA requires five on-field officials per game, plus one person on the ‘down marker’ and two more on ‘the chain gang’. As such, Gridiron West always has a need for more dedicated individuals to take up the difficult job of being a match official.  Training is provided as you progress through the different officiating positions as you learn the rules and how to read the game.

Officiating is a great way to get close to the action and get involved in gridiron.  There are opportunities to move up through the ranks too similar to being a Club Official, starting with junior football, then the GW senior competition before moving onto the interstate games and possibly even international events such as the Gridiron World Cup.

If you are interested in joining Gridiron West as an official please speak with a member of the Board or Coaching Staff who can make the necessary introductions.

How do you become an official?

You won’t let you go onto the field unprepared. Training consists of a step-by-step induction to enable you to officiate: we help you understand where to stand and what to look for. We allocate new officials to a game where an experienced official will ‘buddy’ you, giving you the necessary tips on how things are done. The first few games are monitored closely by your crew mates on the field, enabling you to develop and to gain confidence in officiating this fascinating sport. Since officials work together as a crew (usually of 4 or more), you are never alone.

Even though the Rule Book is a lengthy document, it can be digested in easy chapters, and as you gain game-experience in officiating, you not only learn it but also understand it!

What happens next?

If your keen to get involved talk to a Board member, Coaching Staff or the Officials at a game (Flag, Under 19s, Seniors) or Email

Training happens throughout the year: Gridiron West contact season runs from September to February; the Flag League runs from March to July. You’re more than welcome to work in both, though you can tailor your officiating to your availability and level of commitment.

You can decide your own level of involvement in officiating as you go along – once your trained and up to speed you will be assigned games as and when you are happy to work them. You will be paid for each of your games and this increases as your qualifications and experience does.

It is a great way to get involved in the sport no matter your situation and perfect for those a bit to old to be out there playing but keen to be right in the thick of it.