Best Practices

Best Practices

Sell the Tough Call

What do a ninth-inning call at home plate, a crucial roughing penalty late in the fourth quarter or a block/charge call all have in...

Enhance Your Skills Fast With Repetition and Practice

Practice is synonymous with athletes, but practice can be as helpful to officials as it is to those playing the games. Whether it’s actually...

The Evolution of Explanations

Sports officials and microphones have a long history. In fact, one of the earliest instances involved Major League Baseball in 1929. On Aug. 25 of...

Clinicians and Presenters Critical to a Successful Camp Experience

The best way for you to judge the effectiveness of a clinic or camp is to count the number of habits or procedures that...

How To Handle a Kicked Call

A s a longtime NCAA Division I college women’s basketball official, Mark Zentz says there’s a surefire way for him to know when he’s blown...

Techniques to Speed Up Games

One of the great debates in sports these days is how long it takes to play the games. Television has been a great boon...

Stay Focused until Game Conclusion

At any sporting event, you’re likely to hear someone holler, “Keep your head in the game!” That heckler might not be referring to the...

Don’t Go Looking for Fouls

The trouble with learning to officiate is that almost the entire focus is on recognizing fouls and calling them. Therefore, beginners not only concentrate...

6 To Do’s Before Play Resumes After a Stoppage

At a time when scrutiny of officials is greater than ever before, the need to get plays right is Job One. Most evaluators won’t...

Tips For Working In Cold Weather

Much has changed since Dec. 31, 1967. When the crew scheduled to work the NFL championship game awoke in Green Bay, Wis., that morning,...

Working Youth Games Is Good For Everyone

Youth leagues are where many officials get their start, particularly those who begin officiating at a young age. Those games provide a good place...
16 tips to be a better official or referee

16 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve

Tens of thousands of words have been devoted to helping officials improve their performance. No attempt has been made here to identify these as the best tips. But...

Your Officiating Style Should Embrace Personal Growth

It's been one of those games. Every stop in play, someone from each team is complaining, and that doesn’t even include the coaches, who...

Eight Ways To Avoid Negative Attention

The pages of Referee often feature the do’s for landing the next big game and breaking into the next level. But equally important to...

Always Time for Teachable Moments

Whether it is during the prematch conference or a postmatch debrief, a formal evaluation or a self-evaluation, or in a classroom clinic setting, we...

What Supervisors Teach can be What Gets Called

In the local football chapter where I started officiating years ago, it has been the practice to have separate weekly training sessions for first-year officials. The feeling is...

4 Elements of Decisiveness

In the business world, money can be made or lost based, in large measure, on the decisiveness of the executives. In battle, the decisiveness of the...

It’s Not Your Timeout

A timeout provides officials with an opportunity to galvanize, regroup, clarify or simply maintain focus on the game at hand. What can a person do in 60 seconds? An Olympic-level...

Pregame Meeting Etiquette

Pat the referee arrives at Hometeam High School for a basketball game. With Chris, the inexperienced partner, in tow, Pat approaches Hometeam Head Coach...
hustle

Seven Kinds of Hustle

Hustle is defined in different ways by different sports officials, but many will point out that the physical — get from here to there as fast as possible...

Attitude Adjustments That Improve Performance

There are a lot of things I know now that I wish I had known when I started officiating. One area that I needed attitude adjustments...

Get Great Series: Better by Tomorrow

If someone told you a way to get better by tomorrow, would you do it no matter what it was? How about if it...

Officials Who Coach

We start with my story. I was officiating with a rookie partner (who had great potential) on a middle school championship basketball game. Perfect pairing...

Lightning Protocol Advances with Technology

In the not-so-distant past, the protocol for handling lightning was straightforward for officials working outdoor sporting events at the amateur levels. If lightning was...

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