The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) have signed a multi-year agreement that enrolls all MHSAA officials into NASO and provides them with NASO’s full complement of benefits. MHSAA officials will become NASO members with the start of the 2022-23 sport seasons.
“The MHSAA has enjoyed a partnership with NASO for years,” said Mark Uyl, MHSAA Executive Director. “We are thrilled to expand this relationship in providing NASO membership to all MHSAA registered officials, providing a clear commitment and investment to all Michigan officials during this challenging time of recruitment and retention in the officiating space. Officials are vital to the longterm health of school sports in Michigan and this investment in our officials with NASO comes at a critical time.”
Those NASO benefits includes access to the nation’s premier officiating insurance which will cover officials in Michigan for all sports, all levels, all games. That includes the most comprehensive liability coverage in the industry, in addition to NASO’s other unique officiating insurances, such as assault-related coverage, assigners’ insurance and game-call coverage. Also included with the membership is an exclusive MHSAA-branded digital version of Referee magazine, including 16 additional pages specifically for NASO members, the Marriott Athletic VIP card and more.
An exclusive digital content feed will be provided to the MHSAA that will feature regular officiating articles from Referee’s 45-plus year archive, providing valuable content to members daily.
“To say we are energized and excited about the new partnership between the MHSAA and NASO is an understatement,” said Barry Mano, NASO Founder and President. “NASO has been supporting sports officials, advocating on behalf of them for more than 40 years. Now we will be doing that on behalf of all MHSAA registered officials. I would characterize this partnership as historic. We stand ready to provide NASO’s unique benefits and services to every registered Michigan official. We stand ready to support Michigan’s local officiating associations. We stand ready to help the MHSAA enrich the experience and support it provides to its officials.”
Additionally, MHSAA will provide officials new to officiating with a customized version of NASO’s popular recruiting guide, Year One: What to Expect in Your First Year of Officiating, aimed at easing the transition into officiating during that critical first year. Recognized associations within the state will be pleased to know they will be covered with NASO’s Shield general liability insurance – designed exclusively to protect local associations. And NASO’s unique and valuable Say Yes to Officiating resources will be available to associations to assist and help them with continued efforts to recruit and retain. Other digital resources will be provided to help reinforce the important role officials play in today’s athletic contests.
“We are thrilled to partner with NASO, the leading advocate for sports officials across the country, to provide MHSAA officials with the increased resources and benefits that come with membership in such a well-established, credible organization,” said Brent Rice, MHSAA Assistant Director. “This partnership is truly an investment in the recruitment, training and retention of officials in Michigan.”
It’s an exciting endeavor for both organizations. “NASO and Referee will work tirelessly, as we do for all of our members, to advocate, educate and most importantly, protect MHSAA officials,” said Ken Koester, NASO and Referee’s Chief Business Development Officer. “This partnership sends a strong message to the officials in the state of Michigan that they are an essential part of the game. We appreciate the opportunity to provide those officials with unparalleled benefits and services, reinforcing the support and commitment they already receive from the MHSAA.”
“Together, the MHSAA and NASO will provide a premier level of education, protection and advocacy to the women, men and young people who make interscholastic sports possible in Michigan,” Mano said. “We are excited about this opportunity to work with one of the finest state high school associations on the planet.”
Contact: Ken Koester
Chief Business Development Officer
Referee Magazine/National Association of Sports Officials
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.
The National Association of Sports Officials is the world’s largest organization for sports officials at every level and all sports. More than 23,000 sports officials from around the world belong to NASO, enjoying member benefits and supporting an organization that advocates for sports officials and that helps them maintain the highest level of officiating skills.