Board News

2017-18 MIAA Background Checks and Registration

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Registration with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association for the 2017-18 school year is open. While your background checks are good for three years, you must register annually with the MIAA and pay the accompanying $10 fee. All new officials must register with the MIAA and submit to a background check to be eligible to officiate high school games.

It is recommended that winter-sports officials complete this process by Oct. 1 to avoid any delay in your eligibility to officiate this season.

Instructions for both new and returning officials can be found on the MIAA’s ArbiterSports page.


2017 Concussion Certification due before the season

Monday, July 31st, 2017

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association annually requires all of its officials to complete the NFHS concussion course in order to officiate high school games. If you have already taken the course for a fall sport, your certification is good for the school year. Please send your certificate number to so it can be documented and sent to the MIAA for confirmation. We recommend you also print a copy of the certificate to keep in your game bag.

Please complete the following process by Nov. 30 so an accurate roster may be submitted to the MIAA.

   * Visit the NFHS site.

   * Click the green “Sign In” button if you already have an account.

   * Click the “Register” button if you have never logged in.

   * Select “Courses” and scroll down to “Concussion in Sports.”

   * Even though you are “ordering” a course, it is free.

   * Select “Massachusetts” in the dropdown menu.

   * Click the “Checkout” button.

   * Check the box to accept terms, then click “Continue.”

   * Select the “click here” link to complete the “purchase.”

   * Click the “My Course” button to see your courses.

   * Click “Begin Course” when you’re ready.

   * Allow at least 20 minutes to complete the course.

   * Save the PDF of your certificate to your hard drive.

   * Email the certificate number only to

   * Print a copy of the certificate to keep in your game bag.

   * You must complete this certification to officiate high school games.

2016 IAABO State Board MANDATORY Clinic Dates

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Below are the dates for the Massachusetts IAABO Board MANDATORY Preseason Rules Clinics.

Every member is required to attend an IAABO Rules Clinic before the season, and at least two regular-season meetings. If you cannot attend our rules clinic (November 9th, 2016, 7 p.m., Central High), you are required to sign in at one of the clinics listed below.

NOTE1: You will be ineligible to officiate in 2016-2017 if your meeting requirements are not met.  Please see all of our meeting dates on the home page of this site.
NOTE2: Our clinic is the last IAABO rules clinic in Western/Central Mass.  If you cannot attend, please plan in advance to attend a Western Mass. clinic or travel east for another IAABO clinic.

2016 IAABO Mass. Rules Clinics
Host Board Day/Date of Meeting Time Location
26 Sunday, October 23rd 9:00AM Charlton Middle School
28 Sunday, October 23rd 9:30AM Smith Academy, Hatfield
26 Monday, October 24th 7:00PM Holy Name, Worcester
130 Sunday, October 30th 10:00AM North Andover High School
95 Sunday, October 30th 10:00AM Longmeadow County Club, Lowell
27 Sunday, October 30th 10:00AM Dedham High School
95 Tuesday, November 1st 7:00PM Longmeadow County Club, Lowell
25 Sunday, November 6th 6:30PM Boys and Girls Club, Pittsfield
27 Sunday, November 6th TBD Cohen Auditorium at Tufts University, Medford
31 Wednesday, November 9th 7:00PM Central High School, Springfield
175 Sunday, November 13th 9:00AM Boys and Girls Club, Marlborough
208 Sunday, November 13th 6:30PM Milford High School
130 Wednesday, November 16th 7:00PM Salem High School
54 Thursday, November 17th 7:00PM Rockland High School
30 Sunday, November 20th 9:00AM Taunton High School
152 Monday, November 21st 7:00PM Bourne High School
54 Sunday, November 27th 10:00AM Bridgewater-Raynham High School
44 Sunday, December 4th 8:30AM Monty Tech, Fitchburg
44 Monday, December 5th 6:30PM Monty Tech, Fitchburg
130 Sunday, December 11th 10:00AM North Andover High School

2016 Board 31 banquet

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

The annual Board 31 banquet was held April 8 at the Yankee Pedlar Inn in Holyoke. Board members hosted our scholarship winners, their parents and coaches; our sportsmanship winner head coaches and captains; and numerous past board presidents.

The evening began with a social hour featuring a free beverage token and a cheese, crackers and fruit platter. Members congratulated scholarship winners Megan Goncalves (Pope Francis High School) and Riley Held (East Longmeadow HS). Sportsmanship winner Longmeadow HS (boys and girls programs) was represented by boys coach Patrick Murphy, a girls assistant coach and several players.

Banquet chair Odete Tome-Wells continued the scholarship raffle and gathered numerous prizes. Members Joe Zazarro, Mike Shirley, Odete Tome-Wells, David Wright, Chris Brown, Owen Shanahan, Kevin Ferriter and Tim Provost helped supply items, while St. Mary boys coach Joe Molta (Molt’s Liquors, Westfield) provided a wine and cheese basket for the raffle.

Their efforts resulted in a fun time and $440 for the scholarship fund. Thanks, Odete and assistants!

Following a welcome by president Brian Page and an excellent buffet dinner, chair Chris Brown presented the Sportsmanship Award to the Longmeadow boys and girls coaches, with a short acceptance speech. Chair John Gagnon then presented scholarships to Goncalves — with words of praise and support from her coach and an acceptance speech by Megan — and Held, who also gave an acceptance speech.

Page then presented the Hickson Award for board service to Chuck Elias, and accepted it on Chuck’s behalf.

Past president Dan Burke (’78) then introduced past president Michael Deary (’89), and presented him with the 2016 IAABO Board 31 Life Member Award. Mike entertained the gathering with anecdotes and observations from his many years in coaching and officiating.

Past presidents in attendance
1972 – Lou Casagrande – 2014 IAABO Board 31 Life Member
1978 – Dan Burke
1983 – Saul Finestone – 2015 IAABO Board 31 Life Member
1987 – Henry Kozloski
1989 – Mike Deary – 2016 IAABO Board 31 Life Member
1993 – Ray Ferro
1995 – Chris Kuhn
1997 – Art Lynch
2005 – Bob Galiatsos
2011 – Tom Zukowski
2013 – Keith Scarlett
2015 – Joe Lavoie

2016 – Officials Vs Cancer – Jan 25th-Jan 31st

Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Officials Vs Cancer Logo  IAABO Hits Target – $1,000,000.00

Officials vs. Cancer was started in 2008 and supports the American Cancer Society. All monies that are donated are tracked, processed through the American Cancer Society (ACS) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and then returned to the local ACS offices for the areas from which the donations were made. Since the inception of the program, over $1,000,000.00 has been donated to the American Cancer Society.

So far, nearly 50 members of Board 31 have contributed almost $1,000, but we’re not done yet!  Please consider donating to the ACS through our board.  Please contact Owen Shanahan ( to make a donation through our board — a $15 donation gets a pink Fox40 whistle. Let’s wear our pink whistles proudly during cancer week – January 25th through January 31st.


MIAA Criminal Background Checks: Policy Finalized

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Message from Richard Pearson at the MIAA:

Dear MIAA Game Officials,

To follow up on earlier communications, we wanted to remind you that starting at 12:00 pm on Monday, June 15th, you can register for your background check at All fall sports officials must complete their registration by July 31. The background check policy is attached [MIAA-PolicyBackgroundCheck-FINAL6-1-15].

While the deadline for winter sports officials is Oct. 1 and spring sports is Jan. 1, anyone may register starting June 15th at 12:00pm. We encourage you to register early, regardless of the season(s) in which you officiate. The background check procedure is expected to take up to two weeks, and there are time frames built in for appeals, so it would be in everyone’s best interest for officials to not wait until the last minute to register.

As you know, officiating boards will no longer be registering their members with the MIAA as a group.  This process through ArbiterSports includes the MIAA registration and is done individually when each official completes the online application.   The cost for a background check and to register in one sport will be $45; each additional sport registration will be $10.

While the MIAA only assigns officials for tournament games, the list of approved officials will be available to member schools, boards and assigners throughout the state.  Schools and leagues have indicated they will be requiring assigners to use the list when making regular-season assignments.

This policy came about in response to a request from our member schools. We have been developing the policy since October 2013 and have had many meaningful discussions about how to best implement it. We are confident that the result is a comprehensive policy that establishes a uniform set of criteria under which all 8,000 officials in the state will be treated fairly and equitably.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your board leadership or Phil Napolitano or myself at the MIAA.

Instructions to register with ArbiterSports:

1) Begin registration at this link ( )
2) Click on the registration tab on the top left of this MIAA ArbiterSports page
3) Select all sports for which you wish to register and click the REGISTER button.
4) Follow directions and complete all information and consents.  If you already have an Arbiter account, it will recognize your email once you type it in, then follow all directions.


Richard L. Pearson
Associate Executive Director

MIAA Criminal Background Checks: Important dates

Friday, May 8th, 2015

From Phil Napolitano at the MIAA:

It is very important that you are aware of the deadlines associated with the various sports seasons. Registration will be open at starting June 15, 2015.

The deadline for FALL sports is July 31, WINTER sports October 1 and SPRING sports January 1.

Please note there is nothing preventing you from registering early, regardless of your season. As an official, you are able to register at any time during the year.  The background check procedure is expected to take up to two weeks to complete, and there are time frames built in for appeals.  It would be in everyone’s best interest for officials to not wait until the last minute to register.

MIAA To Hold A Summit On Criminal Background Checks

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

In anticipation of its planned Criminal Background Check summit on Wednesday, April 29th, the MIAA distributed an FAQ document that can be read in the link below.

Board Parliamentarian, Chris Brown, Esq, and at-large eboard member, Bennie Wright, will be representing Board 31 at the MIAA Summit on April 29th, so please contact Chris or Bennie with questions/comments that you’d like them to bring to the summit.

See further details in the prior post on this subject below in the Board News section.

MIAA Plans to Implement Criminal Background Checks

Friday, February 27th, 2015

MIAA Plans to Implement Criminal Background Checks (click here)

Member William “Bill” Scribner passes

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Long-time Board 31 member Bill Scribner passed away on Monday, September 29th.  Bill was always a friendly face at local area games, but especially at games in Holyoke.
Please see the obituary notice below for further details.