“I hear you, Coach, but it wasn’t my call.” That statement can send shockwaves of negativity into a situation on the court or field. If you’re constantly trying to cover your backside with coaches, evaluators and assigners, your reputation with other officials will suffer. Do you want to “go to war” with someone you don’t trust?

Think like a team at all times. An official may not agree with his or her partner’s call or the way that he or she handled a situation, but that’s not a license to hang him or her, either. Don’t make excuses for yourself or your partner(s), either. If it’s worth talking about, it’s best to sort it out in the locker room after the game, not in front of coaches, athletic directors, evaluators, etc.

Remember that good assigners are looking for much more than people who understand rules and mechanics. They are looking for team players. Officiating is an avocation for the majority involved. Take pride in what you do and share good thoughts with other officials.

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When a fellow official does something wonderful, tell others about it. Recognize someone’s first game, first playoff assignment, first college game, etc. It doesn’t have to be a formal recognition, but a simple mention at the postgame watering hole goes a long way.

Put yourself in a position to ensure other officials’ successes. Give back to officiating and be positive about it. Share in those successes and you in turn will feel better about officiating. After all, it is an avocation and you can make a difference by being a team player.

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Note: This article is archival in nature. Rules, interpretations, mechanics, philosophies and other information may or may not be correct for the current year.

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