F. Howard Mayo

Howard Mayo Let 'Em Play Foundation

F. Howard Mayo began his officiating career in Butte, Montana in 1950, starting at the CYO/Youth level.  He joined the Montana Officials Association in 1954, moved to Portland in 1960 and became a member of the Portland Basketball Officials Association.

He officiated in the PBOA for 17 years, and also worked at the small college level in the NW for 21 seasons.  A highlight for Howard was officiating the game that saw PSU star Freeman Williams scored 81 points.

In 1977, he was elected  commissioner of the PBOA, beginning his 36 years of service in that capacity to high school basketball in Portland and the State of Oregon.

As commissioner, Howard assigned over 184,000 games and over 368,000 individual assignments.  He was also on the National Federation of High Schools rules & mechanics committee, rules interrupter for the state of Oregon, a life member of the IAABO and was given the distinguished service award by the NFHS in 1994.

In 2008, he became the first official in any sport to be inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.

Howard biggest contribution to high school basketball was his development of the officials under his charge.  He stressed professionalism, mechanics, knowledge of the rules, and integrity.  Over the years he mentored over 2,000 officials, yet knew all by name, where they worked and moved them ‘up the ladder’ as they earned their stripes.

Dozens of officials that Howard mentored went on to work at the college level, and most cite Howard as a great influence in their achieving their officiating goals.

By improving the quality of officials working the high school games, Howard believed he was also improving the quality of game by allowing the players to be the best they could be, playing within the rules.

As Howard likes to say:  “Without officials, it’s just recess.”

Upon announcing his retirement as commissioner in 2013, the PBOA chose to honor Howard’s service to high school basketball by establishing the Let ’Em Play Scholarship Fund that became the Foundation that provides scholarships that pay the participation fees that allow student athletes to participate in high school basketball that might not otherwise be able to do so.