East County Sports

Seeking former football players

Tim Podraza, of San Diego (center) is a 14-year veteran as a Linesman for the NFL.



ECS staff report

SAN DIEGO – You are a former high school or college football player.

You want to remain in the game, but don’t have the time to make daily commitments to your old high school because of your job, family or other reasons.

A solution is offered by the SDCFOA — the San Diego County Football Officials Association: become an on-field official.

Former players are needed to fill spots at all six positions on the field — referee, umpire, linesmen and the backfield — for all levels from youth football to high school football.

Complete training is available, and you don’t need to worry about a 6-days-a week, four-month grind.

The San Diego association has been noted as one of the best in the country for decades — except for that one call which went against your team! — with many alumni advancing on to the NCAA Division I level (including the Pac-12), and professional football, including the National Football League.

The official SDCFOA press release follows with details:


Football Referees Needed in San Diego
Amid Nationwide Decline in Sports Officials


SAN DIEGO – With the loss of about 50,000 sports officials nationwide since the pandemic began, the San Diego County Football Officials Association (SDCFOA) is one of many organizations struggling to find enough officials to work hundreds of youth and high school football games for the fall 2022 season.

If there aren’t enough officials available, several of the traditional “Friday Night Lights” high school varsity games may have to be moved to Thursdays or Saturdays throughout the season.

“The quality of our local high school football is heightened when we have high-quality officiating that ensures fair competition, consistent rules enforcement and fosters sportsmanship for all players and coaches,” said Terry Bernard, Board President of the SDCFOA. “We’re seeking adults of all ages who have a passion for football to become officials and help us continue the long tradition of top-notch high school football and football officiating in San Diego. It’s an opportunity to give back to your community and offers a flexible schedule for those looking for a side job to earn extra cash.”

The SDCFOA is open to adults of all ages and includes a thorough instructional program that will get new officials ready to make on-the-field calls in a matter of weeks. Football officiating is a great opportunity to mentor young athletes, gain a deeper understanding of the game and earn money.

New officials can earn between $45 and $80 per game, and up to $2,500 over the three-month season, depending on one’s availability and which level of games are assigned. Officiating can be a flexible part-time job for college students, gig workers or anyone willing to learn new skills.

Those interested in becoming a football official can learn more at sdcfoa.org or contact the recruitment chair at recruiting@sdcfoa.org or (619) 431-0459. They are also encouraged to attend SDCFOA’s first in-person meeting of the 2022 season at 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 6, at Mira Mesa High School (in the auditorium), 10510 Marauder Way, San Diego, CA 92126.

Football officials come from all walks of life, but they share a passion for America’s most popular sport. SDCFOA members include teachers, real estate agents, lawyers, chefs, police officers, architects, engineers, restaurant owners, and former NFL players, among many other professions.

The SDCFOA, which also includes several active-duty and retired military personnel, proudly partners with Battlefields2Ballfields to help veterans with an opportunity to get integrated back into the community through officiating. Battlefields 2Ballfields offers scholarships to help veterans pay for registration fees and officiating equipment.

“Having lost some many sports officials during the pandemic, there is a tremendous opportunity for new officials to step in, work a ton of games and potentially earn a varsity assignment in the first year,” said Gary Gittelson, Chair of SDCFOA’s Recruitment Committee.

Several SDCFOA members have risen to the upper echelon of officiating, including over a dozen currently working the top level of college football and the NFL. They have also worked some of football’s biggest games, including the College National Championship and Super Bowl.

With roots dating back to 1915, the SDCFOA is known for having one of the best instructional programs in the country. It provides certified officials for nearly every level of football in San Diego County, including flag football, Pop Warner, American Youth Football and high school.


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