NISOA Preferred Interscholastic Uniform Dress Code

By: Mario Donnangelo, Associate Director, NISOA, Pennsylvania

NISOA believes that appropriate attire worn by members of a NISOA Referee Team at high school game assignments promotes the image of professionalism. It’s a usually-accepted precept among Referees that you must not only act but also appear professional in performing all your refereeing duties and responsibilities. This includes the first impression you make upon others when you (1) arrive for a game, (2)during that game, and (3)when you depart from the game site. The impression you make from the start sets the tone for the balance of that assignment.

A neat, well groomed appearance appropriately helps to emphasize the Referee Team’s performance standards. Referee team uniformity in dress and appearance is essential to set the proper tine for the management of that game.

The best way to begin is for the Head Referee to contact Assistant or Side Referee(s) and the Alternate Official (if one is assigned) early enough before the scheduled game date to get agreement of both the pre-game attire and the game uniform choice. Whether the members of the Referee Team travel separately or as a group obviously depends upon the location of the assigned field.

Getting to the game.

Recommended dress code for travel to and arrival at game site where dressing facilities are provided for the officials includes the following:

(1)    Navy blue blazer preferable with NISOA embroidered emblem affixed to the left breast pocket;

(2)    Gray or khaki trousers or skirt;

(3)    White or light blue dress shirt, NISOAS tie;

(4)    Appropriate hose and shoes.

Alternate recommended dress code for travel to and arrival at game site where dressing facilities are provided for the officials includes the following:

(1)    Approved NISOA polo-type shirt with embroidered NISOA emblem;

(2)    Gray or khaki trousers or skirt;

(3)    Appropriate hose and shoes;

(4)    Blazer or wind shirt (optional).

At the game.

Recommended uniform where State High School Association has not otherwise specified uniform code includes the following:

(1)    Official NISOA long or short sleeve shirt chosen by the Referee Team for that game, either: black grid, gold grid, orange grid, or blue grid;

(2)    Official NISOA embroidered emblem on left breast pocket;

(3)    Official black shorts;

(4)    Official black stockings that match the color shirt chosen for that game, and black shoes with only the manufacturer visible.


(1)    Obviously, if the State High School Association has set specific uniform standards, they are to be followed, with appropriate choices made from the above dress code that do not conflict with that dress code.

(2)    If the assigned game is local, and the Referee Team decides to travel either together or separately to the game dressed in field uniform, the uniform worn should still be alike for all Referee Team members.


Your appearance as an Interscholastic Soccer Referee does have an effect on whether or not the game participants regard you as having a serious professional attitude toward the officiating job you have been assigned to perform. If you have refereed for any length of time, you should have found out that appearance is important as well as how competently you perform your duties and responsibilities. These recommended dress codes by NISOA are meant to help you achieve referee success.