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Upcoming Meetings


Monday, November 07, 2016, Lakeshore Middle School, 6:30 PM.


Monday, November 07, 2016, Lakeshore Middle School, 7:00 PM.


Wednesday, November 09, 2016, Lakeshore Middle School, 6:30 PM.


Wednesday, November 09, 2016, Lakeshore Middle School, 7:30 PM.


Sunday, November 13, 2016, Michigan Lutheran High School, 7:00 PM.


Monday, November 14, 2016, Lakeshore Middle School, 7:00 PM.


Monday, November 21, 2016, Coach's Bar and Grill, 7:00 PM.


Saturday, November 26, 2016, St. Joseph High School, 9:00 AM.

Fall General Meeting Monday, 9/12

Just a quick reminder that our first scheduled general meeting for the year will be held Monday, September 12, at 6:30 PM at Lakeshore Middle School in Stevensville. In addition to general business, we have a presentation called “Surefire Ways to P#** Off a Coach” by our own Scott Ponegalek. As a 9-year Head Baseball Coach at Lake Michigan College and a longtime basketball official in our area, Scott is uniquely qualified to speak on hot button issues between coaches and officials. Please make plans to attend this important session as we kick off our 2016-17 seasons.

If you have not paid your dues for 2016-17 yet, you can avoid standing in line at the meeting by doing it online using the following link: Not sure if your dues are marked as paid? Visit to make sure we have you marked as paid. You DO NOT want to see your name on this list ... it is the unpaid list. We look forward to a great turnout Monday night.

New to Officiating?

One reason the Fruit Belt Officials Association exists is to assist new officiating candidates like you in your efforts to become a registered, trained sports official. Here are the steps involved and how to get started:

  1.  DECIDE ON YOUR PRIMARY SPORT. Start with the sport you think you'd become most confident with as a new sports official. You can always add other sports next season, but for now we suggest you begin with the one you'd most prefer at this time. Our association supports the following sports: baseball, basketball, football, softball, volleyball, and wrestling.
  2.  REGISTER WITH THE STATE ASSOCIATION. Go to, click on the "Officials" tab, then click on "REGISTER NOW." You'll be guided to supply the state association with your contact information and then pay your registration fee. This fee grants you your Rulebook, Casebook, and liability insurance. For a single sport, figure on the standard price of $50.00. You can pay securely online at the end of this registration process. Additional sports are $15.00 each, but again we recommend you start with one primary sport for now.
  3.  TAKE THE REQUIRED STATE EXAMS. Await word from the MHSAA about how to go about taking the requisite exams that all new officials must take. One is an open-book test on the MHSAA Officials Guidebook, and the other is an open-book exam on the PowerPoint presentation, "Principles of Officiating." Football and basketball candidates will also prepare for and take a mechanics exam on that sport. They'll let you know how to do these required steps online.
  4.  JOIN THE FRUIT BELT OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION. This fulfills the MHSAA expectation that you belong to a local state approved officials association for purposes of approved training. You can do this online also by going to, click on MEMBERSHIP tab, then click on "Membership Info." That will explain to you some beneficial things about joining the FBOA. Then to back to the MEMBERSHIP tab, click on "Pay Dues", and follow the directions for submitting your 25.00 new member fee. You'll be contacted by a representative of the FBOA to begin the process of linking you up with your sport-specific trainer and you're well on your way to becoming a referee or an umpire in the sport of your choice!
  5.  ATTEND THE SEPTEMBER 12 FBOA GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING. That's on Monday, September 12 at 6:30 at Lakeshore Middle School, John Beers Rd., Stevensville. The agenda for this first meeting of the year includes an official welcoming of you and all other new members and the important opportunity for you to meet personally your association trainer/coordinator of new officials. You'll be informed how to plug yourself into the upcoming training opportunities for your sport, how to acquire the necessary uniform and equipment, and how to become known by the local assigners who will be assigning you games and matches.

Questions? Don't hesitate to ask. Just contact FBOA Trustee Freddy Krieger (cell or text: 269-876-9873 or email: or any of our sports trainers or coordinators at any time along your process of getting involved with this satisfying and rewarding avocation of officiating. We look forward to assisting you in your pursuit to become a registered and trained sport official!

Berrien County Fair Booth Initiative Gets Boost from Area Newspaper

Leader Publications

Published August 8, 2016

The Fruit Belt Officials Association aims to solve a serious local need by offering a great opportunity for interested local residents.

The need is for a growing number of conditioned, ambitious, well-trained sports referees and umpires to officiate area middle school and high school athletic contests. The opportunity for those interested takes place at the upcoming Berrien County Youth Fair.

“Our aim is two-fold at the county fair,” says Freddy Krieger, Trustee of the FBOA, a local approved officiating association. “Our primary purpose is to portray a positive image to the community, that we sports officials are in it to provide a valuable service in support of our area students, athletes, and schools. But we also want to attract the interest of others who want to become registered sports officials, to explain what all’s involved and how to take that first step to become a trained, qualified referee or umpire.

“The state sets the expectations, but we, on the local level, provide the free training and personal support so that the avocation of officiating is a satisfying and rewarding activity for all officials who get involved.”

To undertake this ambitious effort of community awareness and recruitment, the Fruit Belt Officials Association is sponsoring a fair booth at the Berrien County Youth Fair, Aug. 15-20. Located inside building 37, just off the west end of the grandstand, members of the association representing six sports will greet interested men and women of all ages and invite them to learn more about becoming registered sports officials.

As a MHSAA sanctioned local approved association, the Fruit Belt Officials Association sponsors free training programs for six sports, basketball, football, baseball, softball, wrestling and volleyball.

Contact with the association can be made at the fair, or by email at More information is available at their website at

Pay Dues for 2016-17 Now

Why not take a minute and pay your dues online right now? Paying online is very easy and can be done with a PayPal account or any major debit/credit card. The transaction is secure and only takes minutes.

Jeff Spedoske Speaks to FBOA Basketball Officials

Jeff Spedoske, Division I basketball official and president of Lansing's Capital Area Officials Association spoke to FBOA basketball officials at their January 10th meeting. This meeting was hailed by many as one of the most informative that they had ever attended. Not able to make the meeting? Watch the video of Jeff's presentation on your computer now.

FBOA By-laws Updated

Over the years, there have been changes in the way the Fruit Belt Officials Association operates. Some of these changes have been amended in the By-laws; some have not. FBOA leadership recently updated the By-laws, and these updates were approved by membership at the Spring 2014 General Meeting. The updated By-laws are now available on our website via a page on our site and also as a PDF document for easy printing. Members, please take time to look over the revised By-laws and provide any feedback on additional items you think may need an update.

Navigating Our Site

Our website is designed to be as feature-rich and user-friendly as possible. Much of the content is being pulled from our online database. If you have any issues as you navigate, or have any suggestions for ways the site can be more beneficial to you, please pass them on to our webmaster using this link. Below are some of the site's features:

  • Pictures in the upper right-hand corner of each page are all of FBOA members in action. These pictures randomly change each time you visit a new page or refresh the page you're on. Have a picture you'd like included? Send it to us and we'll get it up!
  • Upcoming meetings list along the right-hand side of the page is now dynamic, and will show any meetings coming up in the next 30 days. Since this is pulled directly from the database, it will always be accurate.
  • Can't find what you're looking for? Check out the Site Map link to see a complete listing of all pages in the site.
  • Our Photo Gallery page now has thumbnails that can be clicked to show you a larger version of each photo. Again, we are relying on our members to keep those action shots coming!
  • Member directory pages now have picture icons for sports worked instead of the old "true" and "false" method used before. This should be a much cleaner way to quickly see which official works each sport. (A special thanks to Kelly White, web designer for the Kalamazoo Officials Association, for this idea and how to implement it!)
  • You can now pay your dues or donate to our new scholarship fund directly from our website using PayPal. Check out this new feature on the Pay Dues page and the Student Scholarship page.
  • We also provide content about the following:
    • Becoming a member.
    • Meeting information and requirements.
    • How to get assignments.

Note: Please make sure to use the Info Update form to keep our member database accurate. All member information seen on the site comes from this database. If you don't get us the changes, they won't be accurate on the site. Remember that this is completely separate from changing your information in the ArbiterSports system.

About the FBOA

The Fruit Belt Officials Association is an organization serving high school athletic officials in southwest Michigan. Our members referee and umpire the following sports: football, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, baseball and softball. The mission of our group is as follows:

  • To provide training.
  • To provide a forum for regular rules and mechanics study.
  • To promote the positive image of officials in our community.
  • To promote members' growth by engaging speakers of interest.
  • To further our avocation by recruiting, training and integrating new officials.

Our web site is designed to enhance this mission by providing quick access to updated information about the FBOA, its members, area schools and officiating links of interest, as well as to provide a live forum through the bulletin board system. It is intended for FBOA members, school personnel and anyone in the community interested in area sports and the way they are officiated. Enjoy your visit!

Current Officers

President Bruce Arter
Vice President Dale Yoder
Secretary Michael Getty
Treasurer Bruce Molineaux
Trustee David Buck
Trustee Freddy Krieger
Trustee Stephen Petlick
Trustee Tom Rivette

Current Trainers & Coordinators

Sport Name Role Email Address
Baseball Dale Yoder Trainer & New Prospect Coordinator
Basketball Freddy Krieger Trainer
  Mike Getty New Prospect Coordinator
Football Steve Petlick Trainer
  Mike Dallas New Prospect Coordinator
Softball Bret Damaske Trainer
  LeAnne Holtz New Prospect Coordinator
Volleyball Dan Barz Trainer & New Prospect Coordinator
Wrestling Brian Kuemin Trainer & New Prospect Coordinator