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Niagara Frontier Lacrosse Officials Association : Officiating High School Lacrosse in New York State Section VI


"It's a Game, Let's Enjoy the Experience"

Welcome to the Niagara Frontier Lacrosse Officials Association web site. On our site you will find information and news regarding our organization.

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Applications for the 2016 season now being accepted

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 candidates class. Classes beginning in January. Candidates can apply by following the directions at the following link: NFLOA Application


2016 Meeting Schedule





Monday February 1, 2016


General Meeting

BOCES West Seneca

Monday February 8, 2016


State Meeting

BOCES West Seneca

Monday February 22, 2016


General Meeting

BOCES West Seneca

Monday February 29, 2016


General Meeting

BOCES West Seneca

Monday March 7, 2016


General Meeting

BOCES West Seneca

Monday March 14, 2016


General Meeting

BOCES West Seneca

Monday March 28, 2016


General Meeting

BOCES West Seneca

Sunday June 12, 2016


Banquet and Golf Outing





Matt SzydlowskiNFLOA Founder, Matt Szydlowski passes away

Posted: Monday, May 4, 2015 9:39 pm         |                                                      

Matt Szydlowski's life has changed, not ended.


Despite the sadness and the enormous sense of loss,” Fr. Richard Ryan said that death is “not the end of Matthew's story.”


It is instead, “a tremendous, a beautiful, a wonderful new beginning.”

Szydlowski, 85, died last week, and his memorial Mass was celebrated Monday at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Sun City West to a crowd of approximately 200.

After the service, Mike Whiting, general manager for the Recreation Centers of Sun City West said, Matt is one of those people that you can't imagine not being here anymore.”

Whiting said Szydlowski was a great friend, a colleague, a super volunteer, and just an overall great guy.”

Szydlowski served on the Governing Board of the Recreation Centers of Sun City West from 2006 to 2008 and as president in 2007 and 2008.

Good friends for 20 years, Paul Piper said he had coffee with Szydlowski twice a week and they “solved all the world's problems, all the sports problems.” The one thing they didn't discuss ... politics.

Szydlowski was a true friend, a great leader, and “loved Sun City West and the Rec Board better than anybody I've ever met,” Piper said.

He was also active in many of the community's chartered clubs, including the Sun Cities Senior Softball League. Szydlowski was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Ray Early who was involved in softball said Szydlowski was a very instrumental part of the program and it wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn't for him.

Early added that Szydlowski was involved in getting the clubhouse built, “so we owe him a lot for that.”

His son, Matt Szydlowski, Jr., said that he loved the community and the people, adding that his dad's strongest and true friendships were the people he met in Sun City West. “He really cared about the community and was really concerned about doing things which would help the quality of their recreation.”

As for him and his siblings, Matt said that his dad always had their back.

There were tears, laughter, and applause, as family and friends spoke about Szydlowski during the reception at the church hall.

Szydlowski was part of the group that wrote the bylaws for the RCSCW, Piper added, as well as being instrumental in getting TORCH started and bringing pickleball to the community

Piper said that Szydlowski had previously officiated seven college sports and once in Sun City West, got him involved in officiating also. So, they'd go to ball games to watch the officials.

Matt and I, we never watched the game as much as we did the officials.

Because we wanted to see where they were and what bad calls they made,” Piper added.

Roman Jaworowicz of Phoenix was coached by Szydlowski in high school and said he was so hard on him, he hated him.

Szydlowski was Jaworowicz dad's friend.

Even though Szydlowski was friendly and respectful, he was so hard on me when I was on the football field,” said Jaworowicz. “One day after practice, he kept me out for another 15 minutes. Telling me that I wasn't pushing myself.”

Jaworowicz said it bugged him for days and years. “Then one night when I was a senior, right after the football season,” Szydlowski called and told him he made “first team all New York State football.

And it was because …” said Jaworowicz as his voice broke, “because Matty pushed me so hard.”

He said what Szydlowski taught him, wasn't about football, “it was about life. It was about learning from your mistakes and working harder than anybody else.”

Jaworowicz said Szydlowski taught them “you can't quit. No matter what happens in your life, you can't quit.

You've got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and you make things happen when other people don't,” Jaworowicz said.

The biggest thing he did was share himself with a lot of people,” Jarorowicz added.

Szydlowski is survived by his wife Joanne, daughter Patty Noble, sons Matt Jr., Tom, and Craig, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Joanne said her husband was a busy guy, but was “home enough to teach the kids love.”

She was amazed and surprised at how many men came up and told her that they loved him. “It made me very emotional.

They said they loved him and they cried,” Joanne said.

Everyone loved Matt,” said Mike Whiting. “And so did I.”


Disqualification Form On-line only 

The "DQ" Form  must now be submitted on-line within 24 hours. On-line forms are emailed directly to the Section office when submitted. PLEASE read Instructions at landing page with correct Log-in information:











Defensive Restart Procedures Among 11 NFHS Boys Rules Changes for 2015

Restarts by the defensive team no longer will be required to take place outside the goal area in high school boys lacrosse, so long as any player is not within 5 yards of the ball carrier.

This revision in Rule 4-22 was one of 11 changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee at its July 21-23 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee's recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

On a violation by the offensive team where the defensive team is to be awarded the ball, the defensive team no longer has to restart play outside the goal area. With this revision, the defensive team could now restart play from the goal area or in the crease.

"This change will allow the defense to restart play more quickly and will keep the game moving," said Kent Summers, director of performing arts and sports and liaison to the rules committee. "It also addresses risk minimization by maintaining the requirement for all players to be at least 5 yards from the ball carrier on the restart."

Other changes concerned with minimizing the risk of injury include Rules 1-7-3 and 2-1-3. In Rule 1-7-3 concerning the crosse, any strings or leathers will be limited to a hanging length of 2 inches. In addition, any additional strings or laces (e.g., shooting strings, V channels) must be located within 4 inches of the top of the crosse. No more than one side-wall string on each side is allowed.

"This revision will allow the ball to become dislodged more easily, thus reducing the risk of slashes and cross-checks used to dislodge the ball," Summers said. "This rules change will create more active play and improve passing."

With a revision in Rule 2-1-3, a game no longer can be continued if a team has fewer than seven on-field players because of lack of available players, injuries, penalties, etc. The result of the game shall be determined by the state association or appropriate sponsoring authority.

Another change approved by the Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee involved the duties and authority of the Chief Bench Official (CBO). Rule 2-7-2 now states that the CBO "shall supervise and have complete jurisdiction over the timekeeper, penalty timekeepers, scorers, coaches, substitutes and any other persons within the bench areas, the special substitution area and the penalty box."

This rule also will now include the procedure for the CBO to call violations and apply appropriate penalties, as well as how to inform the on-field officials when violations occur.

Following are other changes approved by the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee (rule references are from the 2014 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Book).

Rule 1-6-2: Added the following procedure to check to make sure the ball can easily roll out of the head of the crosse – " . . . With the ball in the crosse, horizontal to the ground at the deepest point of the pocket, tip the crosse forward 90 degrees to ensure that the ball rolls out of the top end of the head."

Rule 2-10-1: Balls on the bench side are needed only at the table and not along the sideline.

Rule 3-1-2: More clearly defined when the running clock begins in those games where the score differential reaches 12 goals or more.

Rule 5-5: A player using a crosse found to be illegal for not meeting any required specification other than a deep pocket will receive a three-minute non-releasable penalty (except hanging string length and end caps as in Rule 1-7-3). Also, any crosse ruled illegal and resulting in a three-minute penalty will remain in the table area for the remainder of the game.

Rule 6-4: Added "with his feet no wider than shoulder-width apart" to the section on illegal offensive screening.

Rule 6-5-2e: The 30-second penalty has been erased in situations when a goal is scored by the opponent.

Rule 6-5-2w: "Take a dive or feigning a slash to the head or body in order to deceive the official and draw a penalty" was added to the examples of illegal procedure.


US Lacrosse Two and Three Man Mechanics

Below are links to the US Lacrosse Two and Three Man Mechanics power point presentations. Take a look at them to get familiar with them.

Two Man Mechanics

Three Man Mechanics 


Trainer Saves Ref's Life At HS Hoops Game

2013 - Martek Hudecki Reunion

BUFFALO, NY - Last Friday Melissa Hudecki, a certified athletic trainer who works for Catholic Health's AthletiCare Program, found herself assigned to a basketball game at Mt. Mercy Academy, an all girls high school in South Buffalo.

Hudecki took her customary place behind a team bench, on the alert for the usual maladies, which can befall athletes.

"If you see someone roll their ankle, or they're coming off the court holding their arm, you go and you talk to them you see what's going on," she said.

Midway through the game, she noticed referee James Martek, 54, running up the court as he had done countless times throughout the contest. Then she saw him suddenly collapse.

No Time To Spare:

Hudecki, who has taught Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for 14 years (but only had to use it on one prior occasion) bounded from her post, quickly realizing that what looked like an already serious situation was even graver.

"As I crossed the court, his (Martek's) partner referee who was working with him, said to me, 'he had a heart attack before', and then he said to me that he had also had bypass surgery," Hudecki recalled for WGRZ-TV, while standing at the spot on the court where Martek went down.

She immediately instructed onlookers to call 9-1-1, and then called for someone to bring her the school's automated external defibrillator, which is stored in a corridor just outside the doors to the gymnasium.

Setting to work, she remembered, "I was thinking I'm going to do what I'm trained to do, and that Jim's a good guy and I just need him to pull through this."

Happy Reunion:

Six days later, and one block away from the school at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Martek, who lives in Lancaster, was due to be discharged after having undergone treatment which involved the surgical installation of a defibrillating device in his body.

But before he left, hospital administrators arranged for an emotional reunion between the two.

Rising from his wheelchair to embrace Hudecki, Martek told her "Thank you..." to which she replied, "It's so good to see you up and about." "You know what, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here," Martek told her.

Dr. Rob Wall, the cardiologist who treated Martek, confirmed as much.

"The death rate associated with what Mr. Martek had is very high, only less than five-percent of the people live," Wall told Two On Your Side, in describing Ventricular tachycardia (VT), a rapid heartbeat that starts in the ventricles, and which almost killed Martek.

This is especially true in victims to whom aid is not rendered immediately, according to Wall, who credited not only Hudecki but also the quick actions of Buffalo firefighters who were on the scene within minutes.

Martek has no memory of the incident, and said the last thing he remembers before waking up in the hospital was dressing for the game.

It also turns out that he and Hudecki had crossed paths before.

"I remember Melissa from when she was a St. Joseph's (Collegiate Institute) scorekeeper for lacrosse, because I also officiate lacrosse" Turning toward Hudecki he said, "So here it is ten years later, and when I heard it was you (who came to his aid) I said, 'she's my angel of mercy',".

You Never Know:

Looking at Martek, who is fit, trim, and relatively young, one might not suspect he'd be a candidate for a heart attack.

Then again, one can't judge a book by its cover, and his story is rife with chapters of foreboding.

"I had a bypass 12 years ago...and as for the genetic history of my family, all my brothers and sisters have had some kind of heart problem," he confirmed.

"Unfortunately Mr. Martek has an electrical instability of the heart itself, and it's because he (also) has blocked arteries, it lead him to have this fast (nearly) fatal rhythm," said Dr. Wall.

Now, with a new lease on his life, Martek has decided to hang up his referee's shirt,

"I've been married thirty years and my wife has sacrificed during the last 20 because I would be gone four or five days a week (refereeing sports)," he said. "I think it's time that I reassess what I do and it's time I spend more time with my family because this makes me think...Friday could have been my last day with her and I'd like to have another 30 years with her so , yes, more than likely that was the last game I will ever ref."

However, as long as one has a life, it remains full of opportunities.

Why Not Join Him?

In this time of year, when perhaps several of us have made resolutions (and by now know whether we'll keep to them) Martek, who turns 55 in three weeks, has a new one himself.

He has vowed that this will be the year that he learns CPR.

And, he's hoping that Hudecki will teach him.

"It's a life skill everyone should have from the age when they can babysit," she said. "Knowing that he's going to learn how to do CPR will maybe encourage other people to say, 'you know what? Maybe this is something I really should do as well.'"

Follow this link to the American Red Cross, which offers courses in CPR.

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Norm Fisher. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2



 ".....Sportsmanship number one!, you play and we'll ref......"
                                                                               Tom Sutton 2009 NCAA Semi-Finals

2009 - Tom NCAA Semi-finals   2009 - Tom NCAA Smei-Finals Penalty




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