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:
- 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.
- REGISTER WITH THE STATE ASSOCIATION. Go to
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.
- 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.
- 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
www.fruitbeltofficials.org, 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
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
Berrien County Fair Booth Initiative Gets Boost from
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.
â€œOur aim is two-fold at the county fair,â€ says
Freddy Krieger, Trustee of the FBOA, a local approved
officiating association. â€œOur 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 allâ€™s involved and how to
take that first step to become a trained, qualified referee
â€œThe 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.â€
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
email@example.com. 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.
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
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
- 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
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
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!