Code of ethics

In 2001, the Officiating Development Alliance, a group of individuals representing various officiating organizations, such as the NFHS, NCAA, ASA, USSF, the NFL, NBA, MLB and NASO, developed the Code of Conduct for Sports Officials. The Code outlines the personal responsibilities officials have to the game.

1. Officials shall bear a great responsibility for engendering public confidence in sports.

2. Officials shall be free of obligation to any interest other than the impartial and fair judging of sports


3. Officials shall hold and maintain the basic tenets of officiating which include history, integrity, neutrality, respect, sensitivity professionalism, discretion and tactfulness.

4. Officials shall master both rules of the game and mechanics necessary to enforce the rules, and shall exercise authority in an impartial, firm and controlled manner.

5. Officials shall uphold the honor and dignity of the profession in all interactions with student‐athletes, coaches, school administrators, colleagues and the public.

6. Officials shall display and execute superior communication skills, both verbal and non‐verbal.

7. Officials shall recognize that anything, which may lead to a conflict of interest, either real or apparent, must be avoided. Gifts, favors, special treatment, privileges, employment or a personal relationship with a school or team, which can compromise the perceived impartiality of officiating, must be avoided.

8. Officials shall prepare themselves both physically and mentally, shall dress neatly and appropriately, and shall comport themselves in a manner consistent with the high standards of the profession.

9. Officials shall not be party to actions designed to unfairly limit or restrain access to officiating, officiating assignments or to association membership. This includes selection for positions of leadership based upon economic factors, race, creed, color, age, sex, physical handicap, country or national origin.

10. Officials shall be punctual and professional in the fulfillment of all contractual obligations.

11. Officials shall work with each other and their governing bodies in a constructive and cooperative


12. Officials shall resist every temptation and outside pressure to use one’s position as an official to benefit oneself.

13. Officials shall never participate in any form of illegal gambling on a sports contest, may never gamble on any sporting event in which they have either a direct or indirect involvement, and may never gamble on events involving high school athletics.

14. Officials shall not make false or misleading statements regarding their qualifications, rating, credentials, experience, training or competence.

15. Officials shall accept responsibility for all actions taken.