NFHS Begins Agreement With RefReps to Assist With Education Content for Officials


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — July 27, 2023 — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and RefReps have entered into a three-year agreement in which RefReps will be recognized as an education content collaborator for NFHS officiating education initiatives.

RefReps, which is currently working with 32 NFHS member state high school associations in various capacities, provides online training for officials as well as curriculum for high school and college students wanting to learn how to become officials. In some states, students are receiving physical education credit for taking RefReps courses.

“We are excited about this agreement with RefReps to assist the NFHS in providing education content for high school officials across the country,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS chief executive officer. “The NFHS has employed a number of initiatives in an effort to recruit and retain more individuals to officiate high school sports, and we believe this is another step in meeting the needs of these individuals. We are in complete agreement with RefReps’ mission to properly develop the next generation of great sports officials, and we look forward to working with RefReps alongside many of our member state associations.”

“According to a 2022 NFHS survey, approximately 50,000 high school sports officials discontinued their service between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 seasons,” said Kyle Armstrong, RefReps founder and chief executive officer. “At RefReps, we saw an incredible opportunity to infuse youth into the industry by getting students, primarily at the high school and collegiate levels, interested in and excited about sports officiating.

“Across the United States, there are more than 3,100 students who now understand what it is, and what it means, to be a sports official because they completed RefReps ‘Intro to Sports Officiating’ classes in their high schools last year. Those students learned skills that support immediate employability and meet needs in both their community and the sports community. The most exciting news is that 86.7 percent of those students told us, based on their learning experience with RefReps, they have either already started officiating sports, or they have an action plan in place to do so. We are confident that our collaboration with the NFHS will help accelerate this impact, combat the national referee shortage, and create a deeper understanding and empathy towards sports officials at all levels."

In similar fashion to the NFHS, RefReps is attempting to help solve the officiating shortage through POV technology and online courses that can be facilitated within schools across the country. Some states are using these courses to train and certify new officials. RefReps has education courses in 14 sports and more than 30 video packages in a number of sports on its website at

“For years, state associations have wanted a program and a curriculum that is ‘plug and play’ for their states,” said Dana Pappas, NFHS director of officiating services. “What RefReps has created fits that need because schools do not need an expert official to teach the course; they just need someone to facilitate a ready-made curriculum.”

About the National Federation of State High School Associations

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives.

The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level.

Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.6 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities.

For more information, visit the NFHS website at

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