What Does it costs to join HOA?
HOA members pay annual dues. New members (one that was not an active member last year) is $55.00. The current dues for a returning member is $25.00 per year. This annual fee represents membership in HOA for one fiscal year. All dues and fees must be paid before a member begins officiating.
Additionally, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) requires an annual fee from each official for each sport. Currently the GHSA fee is $32.00 per sport. This fee is paid to HOA by the member and HOA pays all of the collected GHSA fees to GHSA before the start of each season (Baseball and Softball). A member that does not pay his/her GHSA fee prior to the first registration deadline for each sport is charged a $10.00 late fee by GHSA.
What uniforms & equipment will I need?
The specific uniform requirements can be found on the HOA web site (UNIFORMS). All umpires are required to wear the approved uniform. Most of the uniform is specialty apparel, meaning that the uniform piece would be worn only for umpiring such as the pants, shoes, shirts and hats. Umpires are also required to have all of the necessary equipment for officiating the sport in which they are registered. Umpires are required to have a facemask, inside chest protector, shin guards, ball bags, indicator and protective cup. It is strongly recommended that you keep your equipment and a set of uniforms in your car as you could receive a last-minute assignment.
Obtaining your rule books
Rule books for baseball and softball are issued by the GHSA and distributed by HOA. You will receive your rule book(s) at the first training meeting (baseball/softball) and after all dues and fees have been paid. Extra rule books can be purchased from the GHSA and/or NFHS.
How are games assigned?
The decision as to which games you are assigned is made by the Assignor. Your game assignments will, under normal circumstances, be sent to you via email through the Arbiter program. There are many factors involved as to which umpire gets which game such as umpire availability (dates you have indicated you are available), location of the game-site, level of play, experience of the umpire(s), eligibility of those umpires available, etc. The Assignor makes the final assignment decisions.
How will I know who my partner is?
The majority of the time, the partners will both be listed as to assignments and you will have that information available to you when the game assignments are published on Arbiter. In some cases, such as cancellations and inclement weather, changes are made that precludes that information being available. Sometimes it is necessary for the assignor to make last minute changes. The assignor will notify you when last minute assignments are made. If you are assigned a game and your partner is not listed, frequently check the game listing on Arbiter for game updates. You are required to contact your partner within twenty four (24) hours before the game date.
Can I cancel a game assignment once I am assigned?
Cancellations are permitted only in case of an emergent or unforeseen event. It is important for an umpire to carefully plan their time during the season making the necessary "block-out" of unavailable dates prior to the start of the season. Due to the drastic schedule alterations that are required when an umpire cancels or "turns-in" a game, cancellations are strongly discouraged. It is understood that emergencies and unforeseen events will occur that require an umpire to turn a game assignment back to the Assignor, however, an umpire that unnecessarily turns a game in, refuses to accept a game or fails to appear for a game can thereafter be fined and/or issued a restricted schedule.
What level games can I expect?
The level of your game assignments depends entirely on your level of experience, training and availability. While some umpires expect assignments to high-level games in their first, second or third year of officiating, it takes time and experience to work toward the high-level games.
Are there different game fees for different levels of play?
The game fees are established well before the season begins and, in the case of high school games, the game fees are set by the GHSA. HOA contracts with summer, recreational leagues and American Legion, for set game fees. A list of game fees are published every year and made available to the members. The game fee will also be listed on Arbiter.
How will I get my game assignments?
A member will, before a season starts, submit their availability to the booking agent. This is accomplished on the Arbiter system by blocking out dates that you are not available.
Games to which you are assigned are entered into Arbiter and you will be notified by email once the games are posted. In some cases, such as last minute assignments due to game rescheduling, you will be notified by phone by the assignor.
What if I join HOA and later decide not to umpire?
If you join HOA and decide not to umpire before you have been assigned any games, your HOA membership fees for the current year will be returned to you. Fees paid that go to GHSA are not refundable. If you join HOA, work one or more games, and decide to resign as a member, your dues are not refundable.
Where are the schools located and do I have a choice of selecting where I am assigned?
HOA has contractual obligations with high schools throughout the metro Atlanta area. Most are south of Atlanta and a few are located closer to the downtown area and west of I-285. A list of the schools you could be assigned to is listed on the Arbiter website. All HOA members are required and expected to be available for an assignment at any of the schools we serve. By virtue of scheduling practices and GHSA policy, restricting yourself to a select choice of schools would extremely limit and reduce your assignment of games.
A list of the GHSA schools assigned to Heritage can be found on the Main Menu page at "2015 Baseball Schools".
I am new to the Atlanta area? Are directions to my game sites provided?
The Arbiter program has the ability to provide you with the address, location and a map to the schools where you are assigned. If you are assigned to a field not located on Arbiter, first contact your assigned partner, then contact the booking agent, the UIC or any member of the board.
I have a criminal record. Will that prevent me from officiating?
It is possible that a criminal conviction could prevent a prospective umpire from officiating. The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) has a policy that addresses this issue. Each situation is handled on a case-by-case basis by GHSA as a result of answers provided on the GHSA application. HOA also makes a determination as to eligibility based on a case-by-case basis. There are some government recreational programs that require officials to submit to a criminal history background search to establish eligibility of an umpire. An applicant/member of HOA that has a criminal record should contact a member of the Heritage Executive Board so that the opportunity to review the situation is initiated. Failing to truthfully declare a criminal conviction(s) in the completion of required application-paperwork could result in a person being denied membership and/or the opportunity to officiate sports.
I have additional questions. Who may I contact?
Any member of the Heritage Board of Directors is available to answer, respond or make the necessary referral to any questions you may have. Do not hesitate to ask questions.
How do I get paid?
At the end of the season (or at the end of a tournament) HOA sends an invoice and collects monies due for the game fees from the schools or leagues. The Assignor sends a report (referred to as a Run Report) to the Secretary-Treasurer as to who worked and the number of games due each umpire. Once all of the funds have been paid to Heritage by the school or league, the members receive a Heritage check mailed to the address of their choice, usually their home address.
Games are grouped into a "Run". A tournament could be a single run or a season could be a single run. Games simultaneously played at different locations could be grouped into a single run. The entire baseball regular season is a separate run as is the entire softball season. The post season series for each HS sport is a separate run. The number of games grouped in a RUN are determined by when the games are played and when the funds are collected. In most cases, game fees are mailed to the members within 24-48 hours after collection. A report of the games represented in the check total is printed on the back of your check stub or on a separate sheet of paper enclosed with your check. It is very important that you keep your address information up-to-date with the Secretary-Treasurer (for payment) and your contact information up-to-date with the Assignor (for the assignment of games).
Ten percent (10%) is withheld from each game fee for administrative costs. There are no administrative fees withheld from pay designated as "travel pay". Travel pay is listed separately on your game pay report.
What is Arbiter?
Arbiter is a web-based program we use to assign umpires to their games. Basically, here's how it works:
The Assignor obtains the schedules for games from the schools or leagues and enters the games into Arbiter. The Assignor assigns new umpires a "slot" in the program for you to enter your information and begin using Arbiter.
The HOA member goes into Arbiter on their personal computer and enters their personal information, contact information, email and password. You must also block-out any date(s) that you cannot work. Arbiter also give you the option to post a picture of yourself.
Once you have entered your information and become part of the system, the Assignor will use the information you have entered to assign you games. When you are assigned to a game(s) you will automatically be notified via the email address you provided. Using Arbiter, umpires are required to ACCEPT the games to which they have been assigned. Failure to complete any portion of your Arbiter responsibilities could result in your game being reassigned to another umpire. It is very important to carefully monitor your email during the sporting seasons and keep your contact information up-to-date.
Once you have accepted your assignment(s), the Assignor will automatically be notified that you have done so. If you fail to accept your game(s) within a reasonable time, you will receive another email indicating that you have games pending. Arbiter will display all of your game assignments: date, time, location, home team, visiting team, field location and your partner's name and email. You can also click on the assigned school location to get a detailed display listing the address and a map of the school.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What if I officiate a sport that is not GHSA related?
All of your games will be assigned to you by the Assignor on Arbiter. Game fees that are not GHSA sanctioned (such as summer, recreation leagues, American Legion, etc.) are paid to the umpire as soon as HOA receives the monies from the league and/or team(s).
The uniform requirements for non-sanctioned GHSA games vary; see the Heritage UNIFORM requirements on this web site.
Persons desiring membership in the Heritage Officials Association (hereinafter referred to as HOA) must meet certain eligibility requirements and maintain that eligibility during their membership. Any person not meeting the eligibility requirements established herein is not eligible for membership; a current member that fails to meet these requirements will be suspended or released from membership.
- 1. Pay all applicable association dues in a timely manner;
- 2. Submit, on an annual basis, an application for membership with a copy of the member’s driver’s license and social security card. Every member must meet certain requirements verifying that they are authorized to work in the United States. This verification of authorization is received via the E-Verify system maintained by HOA.
- 3. Be no less than sixteen (16) years of age. The minimum age for working a GHSA contest is eighteen (18) years of age. A person under the age of eighteen (18) will not be assigned GHSA contests.
4. Purchase and maintain all of the required uniforms and equipment necessary to officiate the sport(s) you will be working. An official must be prepared both physically and mentally, dress according to expectations, and maintain a proper appearance that is befitting the professional image of an official.
5. Possess the requirements to work, and pass eligibility authorization as such, under the regulations of the Department of Homeland Security;
6. Possess and maintain a working email address;
7. Constantly uphold the honor and dignity of the avocation of officiating in all personal conduct and relations with the student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fellow-officials, and the general public.
8. Devote time, thought, and study to the rules of the game and to the mechanics necessary to apply the rules so that the officiating performance will be carried out in a fair and professional manner. An official must be prepared both physically and mentally, dress according to expectations, and maintain a proper appearance that is befitting the professional image of an official.
9. Uphold the By-Laws, Constitution and the legal regulations of HOA and any other organization under whose jurisdiction you may come – being aware that officiating involves a public trust.
10. Exercise a high level of integrity at all times;
11. Never discriminate unfairly by dispensing special favors or privileges to anyone (whether for remuneration or not); and never accept favors or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of one's officiating duties.
12. Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the duties of an official and expose corruption and breaches of integrity wherever discovered.
13. Work with fellow officials in a spirit of harmony and cooperation.
B. For a member that is assigned Georgia High School Association (GHSA) sanctioned contests:
1. Meet all of the foregoing requirements (Section 1-a-i), and;
2. Be no less than eighteen (18) years of age;
3. Be a high school graduate or holder of a GED;
4. Complete the GHSA rules clinics each year and a GHSA camp every other year;
5. Make a score of at least 85 on any test(s) required by GHSA;
6. Officiate the minimum number of contests required in the sport of registration.
Statement of Understanding
1. HOA Members that officiate sporting contests do so as an independent contractor and not as an employee of HOA. HOA does not and will not provide insurance, in policy or premium, for any member. Members are strongly encouraged to purchase injury and liability insurance. As such that all members are independent contractors, any member earning more than $599.00 will annually receive an IRS Form 1099 before the established calendar deadline.
2. Individual members do not have the authority or permission to speak on behalf of HOA to any organization including, but not limited to, the news media.
Dues & Fees
1. Members are required to pay their association dues in a timely manner and with negotiable funds. Members that fail to pay association dues will not be assigned games nor be allowed to vote in matters of HOA. Penalties for failing to pay dues, paying dues late or paying dues with non-negotiable funds can be found in Section 3-Disciplinary Actions.
1. The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) charges an annual fee for each sport in which the the member officiates. Members are required to pay any fee designated by GHSA. GHSA fees will be paid to HOA and HOA will (with submission of registration) pay those fees to the GHSA. Currently, the annual fee for baseball and softball is $32.00 per year. GHSA fees must be paid at HOA registration prior to the start of the respective season and prior to the posted deadline date.
The GHSA requires all new members to complete a GHSA application for each high school sport you desire to officiate. Members that officiated high school sports with HOA in the previous year are exempt from completing the GHSA application. However, should a member miss a year, they also will be required to complete a GHSA application. This requirement applies to all GHSA sports.
Fees & Payment
Game fees for games worked are paid to the members after payment is received from the league or school. Ten percent (10%) is withheld from every game fee for administrative fees. No administrative fees are withheld from travel pay. Travel pay for high school games is accrued on a per-day basis, ie; if you work one game in one day you will get one travel payment. If you work 2 or more games on one day, you receive one travel pay for that day. Until such time as electronic payment can be instituted, game pay is mailed to the members via U.S. mail. It is therefore important to make sure the Secretary-Treasurer and the Assignor have a current mailing address, email address and phone number(s). You can update your information on this web site in the members section.
Members that earn six hundred dollars ($600.00) or more in a calendar year will receive an IRS form 1099 from HOA. An IRS Form W9 must be completed and is part of the application process.
Members are assigned games using a computer-based assignment system that is maintained by the Assignor. Members are required to monitor their email and respond in a timely manner to assignments from the Assignor. A link to this program, (known as ARBITER) is on the LINKS page on this web site.
All members are required to submit a BLOCK OUT to the Assignor. This form indicates the days that you are available to umpire games. Members that do not submit a BLOCK OUT are expected to be available to work on that particular date. The BLOCKOUT form is available on ARBITER in the LINKS page.
Training & Testing
Before the start of the baseball season, a meeting is conducted for all HOA members. This meeting will serve as the registration meeting where members will pay their dues and fees.
Baseball training will begin in January and extend through January and February. GHSA rule books will be distributed to all members after they submit their application and fees. Training for softball will begin prior to the softball season.
Training is conducted by a staff of trainers under the direction of the Umpire-in-Chief of the respective sport. Training will be conducted in a classroom and on the field. Attendance at training sessions is required for all members.
The GHSA requires all umpires that work high school games to take a written test and complete a rules clinic: Both the rules clinic and written test are offered online by GHSA. You must be registered as a GHSA official to take an online test. An umpire must score no less than 85% on both test. Testing dates are governed by the GSHA and will be announced several weeks prior to testing and posted on the HOA Events Calendar. GHSA also requires that umpires attend the annual GHSA camp(s); post season eligibility is based on an umpire's testing score, completion of a rules clinic, attendance of a camp and evaluations.
New Applicants that have not
completed a 2015
Members that have completed a 2015 Application and need to submit a GHSA Application only