Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions

Now what? How do you actually get a school to hire you to officiate at a meet?

There are several approaches to getting that first job. The first way is to turn to the mentor you’ve been working with and make sure that they know you want to find a job. The mentor may hear about an opening at one of the meets at which he/she is officiating. The mentor might also be a source of information about which schools will be hosting meets in your area this season. Network with other officials when you are mentoring or attending training; they, too, may be looking for a replacement or know of an open judging slot.

Turn to MCJA. MCJA often sends emails to its members with information about schools needing officials. In addition, local/regional organizations or assigning associations may help find assignments for officials in specific areas of the state.

One method that has proven to be effective for many new officials is to take the time to call the athletic directors in your area and introduce yourself. Click here for a calendar of meets.

It might be helpful to email, mail or fax a brief cheer resume to the people you speak to so they will have a record of who you are and how you can be reached.

Once you have been offered a contract, it is very important that you follow through. Once you sign a contract, it should be honored by arriving prepared and on time. If an emergency does arise, it is your responsibility to notify the school and help find a replacement. (The school may choose to find its own replacement, but offering to help is a best practice.) One pitfall to avoid is judging teams with whom you have a personal relationship.  This is called conflict of interest. Knowing the list of schools competing before you sign a contract is a good strategy to follow.

When you are professional, prepared and consistent, it’s likely that you will be asked to return the next year.

How do I register with MHSAA?

Register with the MHSAA at the link below. Being a member of the MHSAA is a MUST in order to be eligible to officiate.

MHSAA Registration

How do I register with the MCJA?

To become a member of the MCJA just select the link below!

MCJA Registration

What do I wear while officiating?

There is a specific dress code for what officials should wear while officiating Competitive Cheer. The officiating uniform requirements are listed on page 15 of the Competitive Cheer manual.  Competitive Cheer officials are required to wear a solid white blouse/shirt or top and solid black skirt or dress slacks. Any additional garments such as a blazer shall be black. Judges must wear their MHSAA Officials Emblem on the left pocket area of the blouse or jacket/blazer or on a black lanyard worn around the neck.

Visit the link below for a detailed breakdown of what to wear while officiating.

What to wear

Are there tools or guides to help with officiating?

Yes! There is a selection of judging sheets/officiating note sheets that have been compiled over the years by veteran officials.

Various Officiating Note Sheets

How do I get judging contracts?

You have registered with MHSAA and passed the test. You went to an MCJA training. You have been to several meets with your mentor and even bought a black suit.

Get more info

MCJA membership registration

register here

Michigan Cheer Judges Association