The History of the Texas Association of Sports Officials
In the late 1930's, the Southwest Conference (SWC) recognized the need for training sports officials and developing local officials associations under the umbrella of the Southwest Officials Association (SOA) throughout the state. While the SWC was motivated by a commitment to improving officiating and athletics, the overriding belief was that such a structure would result in better trained officials for SWC competition. As a result, the Southwest Conference Official's Association (SWOA) was formed to handle football and basketball officiating duties.
Though originally formed to train collegiate officials, many high school officials joined the SWOA ranks. In 1977, the Texas football, basketball, and baseball officiating associations recognized the need to form a statewide governing body for high school officials. As a result, the Southwest Officials Association (SOA) was formed, with an office based in Dallas. Since the formation of the SOA in 1977, the volleyball, softball, and soccer divisions were added under the SOA umbrella.
In 1999 the SOA changed its name to the Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO). After a brief tenure in Mesquite and Austin, the TASO office relocated to its current location in Richardson.
With the University Interscholastic League (UIL) governing high school athletics in Texas, and the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), the largest organization of private schools in Texas, TASO provides officials for UIL and TAPPS contests. Though independent of both organizations, TASO works closely with the UIL and TAPPS in providing officials for sports contests.
Unlike most every other state, TASO is an independent organization of sports officials governed by sports officials. Each of the six divisions is individually governed by a board of directors comprised of officers and regional directors elected by the membership throughout the state. Overall TASO policy is set by the TASO board of directors. The TASO board of directors is comprised of the president and president-elect (or vice president), of each of the six sports.
Current TASO membership is approximately 14,000 members in 155 local chapters throughout the state.