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Recent Meeting Minutes Posted

The Winter General Meeting of the Fruit Belt Officials Association was held on November 7th. Minutes of that meeting can be found here.

Athletic Trainer Julie Legault Speaks to FBOA

The FBOA Winter general meeting was held on Monday, November 7th in Stevensville. Lakeland Health Certified Athletic Trainer Julie Legault spoke to our officials about the importance of pre-season conditioning, nutrition, hydration, stretching and other topics of interest in getting and keeping our officials in top shape. If you were not able to be in attendance for this enlightening session, you can check it out below.

A Coach's Perspective

The FBOA Fall general meeting was held on Monday, September 12 in Stevensville. In addition to general business, we were fortunate enough to listen to our own Scott Ponegalek's presentation “Surefire Ways to P#** Off a Coach.” As a 9-year Head Baseball Coach at Lake Michigan College and a longtime basketball official in our area, Scott is uniquely qualified to speak on hot button issues between coaches and officials. If you were not able to attend this informative session, we have embedded the video of Scott's presentation below.

Berrien County Fair Booth Initiative Gets Boost from Area Newspaper

Leader Publications

Published August 8, 2016

The Fruit Belt Officials Association aims to solve a serious local need by offering a great opportunity for interested local residents.

The need is for a growing number of conditioned, ambitious, well-trained sports referees and umpires to officiate area middle school and high school athletic contests. The opportunity for those interested takes place at the upcoming Berrien County Youth Fair.

“Our aim is two-fold at the county fair,” says Freddy Krieger, Trustee of the FBOA, a local approved officiating association. “Our primary purpose is to portray a positive image to the community, that we sports officials are in it to provide a valuable service in support of our area students, athletes, and schools. But we also want to attract the interest of others who want to become registered sports officials, to explain what all’s involved and how to take that first step to become a trained, qualified referee or umpire.

“The state sets the expectations, but we, on the local level, provide the free training and personal support so that the avocation of officiating is a satisfying and rewarding activity for all officials who get involved.”

To undertake this ambitious effort of community awareness and recruitment, the Fruit Belt Officials Association is sponsoring a fair booth at the Berrien County Youth Fair, Aug. 15-20. Located inside building 37, just off the west end of the grandstand, members of the association representing six sports will greet interested men and women of all ages and invite them to learn more about becoming registered sports officials.

As a MHSAA sanctioned local approved association, the Fruit Belt Officials Association sponsors free training programs for six sports, basketball, football, baseball, softball, wrestling and volleyball.

Contact with the association can be made at the fair, or by email at More information is available at their website at

Pay Dues for 2016-17 Now

Why not take a minute and pay your dues online right now? Paying online is very easy and can be done with a PayPal account or any major debit/credit card. The transaction is secure and only takes minutes.

Jeff Spedoske Speaks to FBOA Basketball Officials

Jeff Spedoske, Division I basketball official and president of Lansing's Capital Area Officials Association spoke to FBOA basketball officials at their January 10th meeting. This meeting was hailed by many as one of the most informative that they had ever attended. Not able to make the meeting? Watch the video of Jeff's presentation on your computer now.

FBOA By-laws Updated

Over the years, there have been changes in the way the Fruit Belt Officials Association operates. Some of these changes have been amended in the By-laws; some have not. FBOA leadership recently updated the By-laws, and these updates were approved by membership at the Spring 2014 General Meeting. The updated By-laws are now available on our website via a page on our site and also as a PDF document for easy printing. Members, please take time to look over the revised By-laws and provide any feedback on additional items you think may need an update.

Navigating Our Site

Our website is designed to be as feature-rich and user-friendly as possible. Much of the content is being pulled from our online database. If you have any issues as you navigate, or have any suggestions for ways the site can be more beneficial to you, please pass them on to our webmaster using this link. Below are some of the site's features:

  • Pictures in the upper right-hand corner of each page are all of FBOA members in action. These pictures randomly change each time you visit a new page or refresh the page you're on. Have a picture you'd like included? Send it to us and we'll get it up!
  • Upcoming meetings list along the right-hand side of the page is now dynamic, and will show any meetings coming up in the next 30 days. Since this is pulled directly from the database, it will always be accurate.
  • Can't find what you're looking for? Check out the Site Map link to see a complete listing of all pages in the site.
  • Our Photo Gallery page now has thumbnails that can be clicked to show you a larger version of each photo. Again, we are relying on our members to keep those action shots coming!
  • Member directory pages now have picture icons for sports worked instead of the old "true" and "false" method used before. This should be a much cleaner way to quickly see which official works each sport. (A special thanks to Kelly White, web designer for the Kalamazoo Officials Association, for this idea and how to implement it!)
  • You can now pay your dues or donate to our new scholarship fund directly from our website using PayPal. Check out this new feature on the Pay Dues page and the Student Scholarship page.
  • We also provide content about the following:
    • Becoming a member.
    • Meeting information and requirements.
    • How to get assignments.

Note: Please make sure to use the Info Update form to keep our member database accurate. All member information seen on the site comes from this database. If you don't get us the changes, they won't be accurate on the site. Remember that this is completely separate from changing your information in the ArbiterSports system.

About the FBOA

The Fruit Belt Officials Association is an organization serving high school athletic officials in southwest Michigan. Our members referee and umpire the following sports: football, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, baseball and softball. The mission of our group is as follows:

  • To provide training.
  • To provide a forum for regular rules and mechanics study.
  • To promote the positive image of officials in our community.
  • To promote members' growth by engaging speakers of interest.
  • To further our avocation by recruiting, training and integrating new officials.

Our web site is designed to enhance this mission by providing quick access to updated information about the FBOA, its members, area schools and officiating links of interest, as well as to provide a live forum through the bulletin board system. It is intended for FBOA members, school personnel and anyone in the community interested in area sports and the way they are officiated. Enjoy your visit!

Current Officers

President Bruce Arter
Vice President Dale Yoder
Secretary Michael Getty
Treasurer Bruce Molineaux
Trustee David Buck
Trustee Freddy Krieger
Trustee Stephen Petlick
Trustee Tom Rivette

Current Trainers & Coordinators

Sport Name Role Email Address
Baseball Dale Yoder Trainer & New Prospect Coordinator
Basketball Freddy Krieger Trainer
  Mike Getty New Prospect Coordinator
Football Steve Petlick Trainer
  Mike Dallas New Prospect Coordinator
Softball Bret Damaske Trainer
  LeAnne Holtz New Prospect Coordinator
Volleyball Dan Barz Trainer & New Prospect Coordinator
Wrestling Brian Kuemin Trainer & New Prospect Coordinator