SUMMARIZED: NASO's 13-Point Plan to "Getting Back to Officiating Sensibly"

May 27th, 2020

NASO President Barry Mano addresses sports officials and a common-sense approach to game resumption and personal safety.

"...feel much more confident in taking the floor, field, pitch and diamond."
-Barry Mano

We summarize his 13 points and categorize them by stakeholder and filter them to the 7 that are competition-related.

(NOTE: We do not include that you shouldn't officiate when you are sick or have a fever. You know that already.)


  1. Responsibility & Provisions for Officials
    Organizations, not officials, should be responsible for maintaining a virus-safe working environment for all, including "adopting & publicizing provisions designed to enhance the safety and well-being of the officials."

  2. Rules Adjustments
    Any that are adopted must give "strong consideration to the officiating role in the application and enforcement of those adoptions."

Assigners (& Assignments)

  1. Independent Contractor Status
    Officials have the choice of taking (or not) any assignment for personal health concerns.

  2. Respectfully Declined Assignments
    Be thoughtful should an official not take an assignment for health reasons.

Sports Officials (& In-Game Officiating)

  1. Personal Hygiene
    Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and minimize touching your face.

  2. Social Distancing
    As reasonably as you can, stay safe at 6 feet away from players, coaches and other officials.

  3. Mask Wearing
    Know whether or not you are required to wear a cloth mask. If optional, accept any risk inherent of not wearing one.
    Buy Your Cloth Masks Here.

    For any referee who wears a mask, consider using an electronic whistle or other appropriate device.

Read the Full 13-Point Article at
Includes additional recommendations on testing and vaccinations

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About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide, a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020, 2021, 2024, and a National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Preferred Vendor. He maintained a long-standing relationship with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy for 10 years. He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.


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