Legal, Insurance Protection for Sports Officials

One of NASO’s primary functions is to protect sports officials from lawsuits arising from their officiating actions. With NASO, the National Association of Sports Officials, everything you do as an official, umpire or referee — from assigning games, to working as a clinic trainer, to good old fashioned onfield or oncourt officiating — is covered by NASO’s Sports Officials Security (S.O.S.) Program.

NASO’s insurance program is preeminent in the officiating world. You simply will not find a more far reaching and comprehensive insurance package. It covers officials working every game, every sport and at every level. Nobody else does that.

The NASO Sports Officials Security Program (S.O.S.) provides you with vital lifetime insurance protections. And because officials work in an injury-prone, dispute-ridden environment, they need insurance liability protection. The program also provides officials with permanent protections plus defense costs to fill in “gaps” in any officiating coverage already in effect — and it provides you insurance even when you do not have any other coverage at all. No matter how many sports an official works or how many different levels they work, NASO insurance covers them.

Why Do Sports Officials Need the S.O.S. Program?

What happens if you’re dragged into court because it’s claimed you were negligent in ensuring the safety of a game participant? How about if some overzealous parent decides to take you to court because of a ruling you made during a game? Those are distinct possibilities in today’s litigious society. You will have your defense costs covered in addition to policy limits.

While other insurance plans aimed at officials might not cover you for all contingencies, NASO’s insurance plan covers alleged officiating related errors during normal officiating activities and decisions you made as an assigner. Not only that, but take a close look at other organizations’ insurance coverage and you might find they don’t cover officiating such sports as boxing, wrestling or rowing.

NASO’s coverage extends to officials in all sports. It also extends to your other officiating-related activities such as assigning or working as an officiating camp clinician.

But perhaps best of all, NASO’s S.O.S. program starts helping you before anyone ever brings a lawsuit against you. By utilizing NASO’s Member Information and Consultation Program (MICP), a benefit of the S.O.S. program, you can effectively head off problems before they start.

NASO also provides a variety of additional needed insurance benefits to its members, including:

Game Call and Assigners’ Coverage

You’re covered for claims against you alleging officiating related errors or omissions which result in a claimed financial loss, but where there is no bodily injury. It would cover a challenged game call which resulted in a claimed financial loss or a suit against an assigner by a disgruntled official. Policy limits include defense costs.

Assault Protection Program

Provides up to $30,500 coverage for assault medical and legal expenses and loss of game fees resulting from injuries suffered when an official is the victim of an assault and/or battery by a spectator, fan or participant while the official is performing officiating duties or as a direct result of performing officiating duties at an organized sporting event.