As most of you are aware, the NAIA is advising that each soccer official who works NIAIA games should register with the NAIA through ArbiterSports. The fee is $50.00.
The purpose of this memorandum is provide some additional background and let you know what NISOA is doing to try and work with NAIA. First, this is an NAIA fee solely for their benefit and is not a fee set by NISOA, nor was NISOA consulted prior to the communication you received. NAIA is trying to bring uniform practices across all sports, most of which don’t have a central national organization like NISOA. To ensure training requirements are met and consistent practices are employed nationally, NAIA created full-time officials coordinators for most of its sports and is passing along the cost through a user fee. NISOA has been working with NAIA to have them better understand the role that NISOA plays in training officials and ensuring National consistency. We are also outlining the financial burden this would put on officials who work limited NAIA schedules and the assigning issues it would cause around the country. We are making progress, albeit slowly. NAIA has recently sent out additional information on this requirement and now indicates that if an official only works one or two NAIA games, payment of the fee is waived. Also, officials who are working Division I NCAA games do not need to pay the fee as NAIA believes those officials are demonstrating the national consistency and level of training needed. We will continue to outline the other programs that drive this consistency and work to minimizing the impact of this fee on our membership.
Each NISOA member is an independent contractor and needs to make his / her own decision regarding the fee and its impact on his / her schedule. We are highlighting to NAIA the potential impact on referee availability as part of our discussions. It will be the decision of the NAIA and its assignors as to how it will deal with more limited referee availability, however, NISOA would like to remind all its members that our insurance policy requires that you work only with NISOA officials for the policy to be protective.
NISOA continues conversations with the leadership of the NAIA in hopes to develop an acceptable resolution of this issue. As more information becomes available, you will be informed in a timely manner.
Your continued dedication to NISOA and intercollegiate soccer is appreciated.