The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) produces the monthly Referee magazine, but did you know they also provide one of the most comprehensive insurance packages for officials?
Typically, umpires are provided liability insurance by an organization for which they are a member. Most commonly in Central Illinois that the IHSA, USA, PGF, or USSSA. That insurance is good if you’re working one of their sanctioned games, assuming your partner is also a member of the same organization.
What happens if your partner isn’t a member? Generally speaking, you aren’t covered. What happens if you’re asked to work a scrimmage? Not covered. What if you work a club softball game for a university? May not be covered. Or, if you work games for a fundraiser or similar situation? Not covered…that is, unless you’re a NASO member.
This morning I spoke with the NASO insurance department to follow-up on questions I am receiving from junior high coaches and ADs about non-IESA-sanctioned games. Because those contests are not run by a specific organization, I wanted to know if NASO members would be covered by the NASO insurance.
In short, yes, you’re covered! As long as the game is organized, scheduled, and following a set of pre-determined rules (such as NFHS), a NASO member is covered.
The exact language states, “…while acting in their capacity as officials during sports events organized by a recognized sanctioning body or organized by another entity, where the rules of a recognized sanctioning body are followed, such as a local Park Department or any formal organized association and while assigning, attending seminars, conferences, camps, clinics and similar meetings.”
If you are not a NASO member, and would like to become one, you can visit the NASO website and join for $116 per year. NASO has also provided me with a coupon code to save $10 off the annual membership fee. To get that discount, enter SAVETEN during checkout.