Rules Examinations

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As Prepared By Ron Hallock (December 2013) [last edited June 2023]

Rules 

Rule Examinations

Football officials have always and will always write rules examinations to test their rules knowledge. In order to arbitrate a game an official must have a thorough understanding of the rules and applications. Officials, by association policy, were and are still not permitted to be assigned games until the official has written the exam.

MFOA members initially wrote exams such as the WIFU exam prepared by Andie Currie in the early fifties. In the sixties, the CFL exams were written. In 1961, the Referee-In-Chief had the power to impose a $5.00 fine if the exam was not written before the season started.

In 1968, the MFOA began using the CFOA examination. The CFOA exam was composed initially of 100 questions covering rule changes, rules and mechanics. The CFOA exams had a unique style early on. Often containing double negatives, for many officials the challenge was understanding the meaning (wording) of the question. Many officials referred to the questions as being written in "Gurnese", after the exam author and rule book editor Jack Gurney.

Ken Green, Editor-In-Chief  of the Rule Book, replaced Gurney as the author of the CFOA exam. During his tenure the exam was reduced to 50 questions. In 2007, the preparation of the CFOA exam was turned over to the CFOA director of Training and Development, Ron Hallock (MFOA member and Regional Director, CFOA Manitoba and Saskatchewan).

Following a survey of the CFOA membership, the exam format was altered to present two exams. Exam A tested general rules knowledge and mechanics and Exam B tested rule applications. Both exams consisted of fifty questions, with Exam A using true /false questions and Exam B providing multiple choice answers.

As technology advanced, the CFOA exam came to be administered online and now includes video.

In order to maintain an FCOCP standing, an official must score a minimum of 75% on the annual CFOA exam. Failure to do so could result in the official dropping one FCOCP level.

Each season, every on-field official must write the annual CFOA exam and achieve a minimum mark of 75%. In the event a member receives a mark of less than 75%, they will be allowed to re-write the exam up to three (3) times to achieve the required grade. No re-writes will be allowed after September 15 of each year unless authorized by the Executive. If the passing mark of 75% is not achieved, the official will not be allowed to work games.