PIAA Drops Insurance – Beginning July 1

3 Jul

Not everyone received the notice – but this has been confirmed.

The PIAA “Board of Directors, at the recommendation of the Budget Committee, has decided to no longer provide insurance for registered officials” The full announcement is below.

What that means for you is…If you aren’t a member or US Lacrosse or NASO or NFHS (or via some other sports insurance policy) you are NOT INSURED for lacrosse as of July 1.

PIAA Officials Classified as Independent Contractors
June 26, 2019 Dear Registered Sports’ Official: The purpose of this communication is to update you with information regarding your registration as a PIAA sports official. It is to this matter I will direct my comments. As many of you may be aware for the past four years, PIAA has been opposing an adverse decision of the Regional National Labor Relations Board in Pittsburgh that classified lacrosse officials in PIAA Districts 7 & 8 as PIAA employees. The National Labor Relations Board on a 2-1 vote sustained the regional directors’ decision. Two weeks ago, the District of Columbia Circuit, by a unanimous 3-0 vote, reversed this decision and held that PIAA lacrosse officials are independent contractors and are not employees of PIAA. If you would like to read this court decision, please click here. This decision confirmed our view and probably most of yours that you are independent entrepreneurial contractors who are free to solicit and reject assignments for games for various organizations based upon your own personal preferences. In reaching its decision, the Court of Appeals relied heavily upon the facts that PIAA-member schools, not PIAA, pay you during the regular season; that each season is a relatively short duration; and that PIAA does not exercise significant control over the calls made by officials during a game or contest. As the Court of Appeals noted: “Telling an official to call a game fairly is hardly akin to instructing a worker how to work.”  There have been countless hours spent defending your right to maintain independent contractor status. As we move forward, it is necessary to make some adjustments to avoid an increase in your registration fees. One such action is the Board of Directors, at the recommendation of the Budget Committee, has decided to no longer provide insurance for registered officials since the actual number of claims have been minimal over the past decade, the high premium costs, and the Court’s decision that providing insurance coverages may have made it more likely for you to be considered an employee. If you’d like to explore the possibility of continuing coverage, please contact the NFHS Officials Program for registration which may include certain insurances. We would like to thank the thousands of registered sports officials that believe in the avocation of interscholastic sports officiating and your support of the mission of PIAA to provide healthy, safe and fair athletic competition for student-athletes. Your support of brother and sister sports officials as well as our member schools has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for taking the time to read this. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at this year’s 25th Annual Officials’ Convention that will continue to highlight those of you who are so willing serve our student-athletes.  Sincerely, Dr. Robert A. LombardiExecutive Director