Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

7 Reasons Why Communication With Your Partner Pays Off

The words “requires excellent communication skills” are part of virtually every job description in today’s market, to the point where they’ve become meaningless jargon....

How to Handle a New Crew Member

If you’re used to working on a crew with the same people from week to week, you know that you can quickly reach a...

Handling Tough Situations on Difficult Pitches

One of the toughest jobs for a softball umpire is ruling on inside pitches. There is a lot happening at once and there are a lot of moving...

Hot Buttons

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and apparently you can’t get umpires — old, new or in between — to clean up...

Veteran Approach

As we prepare for each season, we study rules and interpretations, casebooks and officiating manuals, and attend preseason clinics and meetings. And once the season starts, we usually have...

Careful with Explanations

There may never be a game we officiate that is free from controversy, in which every call is met with agreement from two compassionate...

Refereeing Gives Skills For Your Lifetime

Through three decades and nearly 3,000 games of my officiating career, I've accumulated insights, notions and generalizations I didn’t have before which I can...

Tips to Stay Focused During Long Matches

Staying focused as a referee or line judge is of the utmost importance. Whether it’s a tight match or not, first point or last,...

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...

Active ‘C’ Creates a Successful Crew

The center official on a three-person crew is the straw that stirs the drink. When “C” is active, things go more smoothly and games are apt to be...

Aptitude Vs. Attitude

The attitude officials have when they walk onto the field will determine in part the success they may or may not enjoy in officiating...

Take a Number

What's in a number? You'd be surprised how some NFL officials wound up with their uniform numbers, and the history behind those identifying digits. On...

Listen Up to Go Up

“Keep your mouth shut and listen.” Although it sounds harsh, it might be one of the most important pieces of advice an aspiring umpire can...

Soccer Sideline Management Simplified

Depending on your level of training and experience as a referee, communication may not seem to be a top priority for officiating games. However,...

6 Elements of Your Officiating Anatomy

The human anatomy is an intricate structure consisting of 11 systems and containing more than 37 trillion cells. Officiating requires the use of many...
basketball held ball

Held Balls a Haven for Off-Ball Harms

How many officials does it take to rule a held ball? No, this isn’t some type of comedic riff on the well-worn “How many (insert insult here) does...

You Have Two Shots to Look Good

You have two chances to make a great first impression at the start of every match: (1) your arrival courtside when you’re tending to...

Don’t Sell Your Halftime Short 

Basketball officials have been instructed time and again about the importance of pregame discussions as a crew. The 60 minutes prior to tip are a crucial window for an...

Eyes Off the Ball

More than one clinician has joked about officials who should have to buy a ticket to officiate a game because they mostly watch the...

Adjustments for Better Look at the Plate

Any fast-pitch softball umpire is familiar with the slot position when working a game as the plate umpire: assuming a heel-toe stance behind the catcher, aligned slightly inside the...

No Tunnel Vision With Wide-Angle View

What problem is most common among second referees? Some might say coaches chewing them out about questionable decisions or missed calls by the crew....

Always Assume You Are Being Assessed

For roughly the first half of my amateur umpiring career — which lasted from 1966-2016 — umpires could go about their business without having to deal with rating...

No Substitute for Awareness

There is more to know than just foul or violation. Commonly astute officials might have heard once to have an awareness to what type...

The Game Of The Century – Notre Dame vs. Michigan State 1966

In a game that featured number one against number two — Notre Dame vs. Michigan State — college football fans were highly anticipating which...