New Louisiana Law in Support of High School Officials

On June 17, 2019, Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law House Bill 184 becoming Act No. 355, an important piece of legislation that directly affects all of us in the LHSOA. Your leadership team believes this new law, effective August 1, 2019, could have a very positive effect on the behavior of individuals who attend recreation and high school athletic events in our state. The entire text of the law is included here but a recap of its most important provisions for LHSOA officials follows:

  • Harassment of game officials at school-sanctioned or sanctioned recreational contests, either while the official is actively engaged in officiating or in the immediate vicinity of where the contest is held, is considered criminal behavior
  • Harassment is defined as verbal or non-verbal behavior by the offender that would cause a reasonable person to be placed in fear of receiving bodily harm
  • An individual who commits the crime of harassment shall be fined $500 and/or imprisoned, without hard labor, for a term not exceeding 90 days
  • The offender shall also participate in 40 hours of community service and a counseling program

All LHSOA officials will receive additional information to assist in understanding this new law and to provide guidance on actions we can take to insure the law best serves our needs.

We were successful this past January in getting support from the LHSAA Principals Association to enhance security for officials at all game sites. We believe this new law will provide an additional incentive for all administrators to take steps to provide proper security for our officials at all levels of competition. The LHSOA leadership team, along with the LHSAA, are developing procedures to assist game administrators and game officials with the enhanced security protocols. We believe Act No. 355 sets a new expectation for good sportsmanship and proper behavior for all attendees at athletic contests. This law reinforces the need for all LHSOA officials to be professional and to follow proper security protocols at all the games we work.

First & Second Year Officials Resources

Veteran Officials Resources