Southern Arizona Basketball Officials Association (SABOA)

Confidence, Consistency, and Integrity


Returning SABOA members from the most recent season paying dues on or before November 30th
Returning SABOA members from the most recent season paying dues on or before November 30th
SABOA dues are non-refundable.


What are the different official classifications (e.g. Level 1, 2, etc)?

New officials must be at least 18 years old and out of high school. New officials start off as a “Non-Certified Official” and are further categorized as a Level 4, Level 3, or Level 2. Officials with previous experience that are new to Arizona are categorized as Level 5. This classification process is established through the AIA By-Laws, and will not be circumvented. No official (except Level 5) will be allowed to “skip” any level in the process.


The classification, promotion, and/or demotion of an official is determined by Area Commissioners, with final approval by the State Commissioner, and based upon the following criteria:

Level 5 Official – Entry level for an official that has previous experience. Official may be re-classified after evaluation and testing.

Level 4 Official – Typically a new referee. Requires minimum annual test score of 70% (annual test score information is listed below)

Level 3 Official – Has been a Level 4 Official for a minimum of 1 Year. Requires a minimum annual test score of 80% (annual test score information is listed below)

Level 2 Official – Has been a Level 3 Official for a minimum of 1 year. Requires a minimum annual test score of 85% (annual test score information is listed below)

Certified Officials – also referred to as “Level 1” officials, have been a Level 2 official for at least one year and require a minimum annual test score of 90%.

Officials are required to attend meetings and clinics as specified at the beginning of each season. Recommendations from observers, schools, local sports boards, and evaluators as well as performance; and compliance with AIA policies and mission are also factors when determining classification, promotion, and/or demotion.


What uniform items do I need and where do I purchase them?

Basketball official’s shirt with AIA logo

Black pants

Black tennis/court shoes

Fox 40 whistle and lanyard

Note: Many of our members officiate off-season non-AIA games. This is a great way to stay in shape and practice your craft. If you wish to do this, you will also need to purchase a basketball official’s shirt without an AIA logo.

Click Here For Approved Vendors


Does every official receive feedback?

All non-certified officials receive feedback throughout the regular season. The number of contests at which they are formally observed depends on their availability and schedule.


Certified officials are observed and evaluated during the regular season and receive peer-to-peer feedback throughout the pre, regular, and post-season.


One of the unique facets about our chapter is our endeavor to establish a fair and comprehensive method of providing constructive feedback to our officials.   Our goal is to provide all SABOA members observation, evaluation, and feedback to assist in their continual development, as well as recommend to the AIA the level of play individuals are qualified to officiate.


Feedback opportunities include summer camps, scrimmages, pre-season tournaments and the regular season.


Can I appeal my AIA official classification?

If you feel the process was unfair or feel you were unfairly evaluated, you should start by discussing it with the AIA Area Commissioner. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can appeal to the AIA Commissioner.


Where can I get training to improve my skills as an official?

  1. Attend SABOA pre-season and in-season training/meetings
  2. Attend referee camps and clinics (
  3. Practice your craft in the off-season

– Non-AIA referee opportunities

– Junior high, sporting chance, YMCA, etc.


I have a question about something that happened during a game that I was officiating. How do I get that answered?


Click Here To Ask An Official


How to become an official?

What is AIA?

The AIA ( is a voluntary association of public and private high schools which was established by and is responsible to its members. The democratic governance of the AIA provides representation and input opportunities to all its member schools through their governing board members, administrators and teachers who serve on the Legislative Council, Executive Board and ad hoc committees.

The history of the AIA, which can be traced back to 1913, has been marked by rapid growth, constant improvement, and successful achievement of its major goals. These achievements have occurred primarily through the harmonious and cooperative efforts of those individuals who have been selected by the membership to represent their interest.


What is SABOA? (

The Southern Arizona Basketball Officials Association (SABOA) is dedicated to providing quality officials for high school basketball games across the Southern Arizona area.  In partnership with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), we support a wide range of school districts covering a large portion of Pima, Pinal, Cochise, Santa Cruz, Graham and Greenlee counties.

What is the policy regarding AIA and SABOA meeting attendance?

SABOA holds regular meetings throughout the pre-season, in-season, and post-season (see the meeting schedule on our homepage). To remain in good standing, SABOA members are required to attend meetings as shown above. By meeting the attendance requirements listed above, member officials are considered for advancement and eligible to be recommended by the association to participate in the State Tournament.

Table X-I

SABOA meeting and training requirements


Level                                       Meeting requirement

Certified Officials                 Mandatory AIA Tip Off meeting

2 SABOA General Meetings*



Level 2, 3, 5 Officials              Mandatory AIA Tip Off meeting

2 SABOA Training Sessions*

2 SABOA General Meetings*

End of Season Feedback Session*


Level 4 Officials                     Mandatory AIA Tip Off meeting

3 SABOA Training Sessions*

2 SABOA General Meetings*

1 SABOA Floor Education Training Session*

End of Season Feedback Session*


* These are in addition to the mandatory tip-off meeting

All the above will be held at Tucson HS unless noted otherwise


What are the annual test requirements?

Officials take an online, open-book test annually. The test score is used to determine classification for the following year, and to determine competence for the current year.


Members of the Southern Arizona Basketball Officials Association generally provide study assistance to members in need.


An official NOT attaining a passing grade for their classification will be given the opportunity for one retake.


Are physical examinations required?

Physical examinations are not required. It is highly recommended that each official have a thorough physical examination annually.


Are officials employed by the AIA?

The working relationship of an official with the AIA is that of an independent contractor. Officials are responsible for compliance with IRS regulations. Schools are responsible for any Form 1099 distributions for regular season contests NOT paid through REFPAY. REFPAY, on our behalf, will distribute Form 1099 for assignments paid through REFPAY. See also, Independent Contractor Status (AIA By-Law 18.2)


How does AIA pay officials?

All officials must obtain a REF-PAY account to secure payment from the AIA for game fees and mileage. Log on to to sign up, and then to your AIA Login page to link the account.


Mileage reimbursement rate for officials who live in the Tucson metro area and who are assigned a contest in the metro area are paid a flat fee of $10.00 per assignment. A mileage allowance of $.44 per mile is paid to the assigned driver for trips outside the Tucson Metro Area.  Riders receive $.04 per mile.


Tucson Metro Area Schools are listed below:


Academy of Tucson, Amphitheater, ASDB, BASIS, Canyon del Oro, Catalina, Catalina

Foothills, Catalina Mountain, Cienega, Cholla, Desert Christian, Desert View, Empire,

Flowing Wells, Green Fields, Immaculate Heart, Ironwood Ridge, Marana, Mountain View-

Marana, Palo Verde, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, Pueblo, Rincon, Sabino, Sahuarita,

Sahuaro, Salpointe, San Miguel Santa Rita, Sonoran Science Academy, St. Augustine, St.

Gregory, Sunnyside, Tanque Verde, Tucson


Officiating Rates 2015-16

Sub-Varsity $45.00*

Varsity (2 person) $65.00*

Invitational Tournaments will be negotiated between the host school and AIA Area Commissioner (including mileage)

The AIA assesses a $1.00 assigning fee for EACH game assigned.

What is the SABOA policy on officials’ attire to/from games?

SABOA-member officials are expected to arrive and depart from assigned contests in Business Casual attire. You do not need to wear a suit, however, this does NOT include casual attire such as jeans and T-shirts. Women typically wear a collared shirt or sweater with dress pants and dress shoes or boots. Conservative dresses and skirts are also acceptable attire. A man’s option for business casual includes a polo shirt, collared shirt or sweater. Khaki or dress pants along with dress shoes make up his business casual outfit.

What do I do if I am having trouble logging into the Members’ Area on the SABOA website?

Rick McGee is our webmaster. If you have issues with the site, please contact Rick via email ( and provide the following information.
URL where the log in was attempted:
Full Name:
Phone Number:

How do I submit my game availability?

AIA officials submit their game availability to the AIA Area Commissioner (Steve Ganson) using the availability form found on the SABOA homepage. During the season, as your availability changes, email those changes to Steve. Do NOT re-send the availability form.Just send him the changes in an email.