Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

Play Time

By Jeffrey Stern In an effort to ensure a consistent interval play-to-play and game-to-game, the NFHS Football Rules Committee adopted the 40-second play clock beginning...

Pleasure Crews

"Perception is reality.” When it comes to officiating team sports, that’s often the absolute truth. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re officiating, crew cohesion...

Things No Official Has Ever Accomplished

There are a few things that no official has ever accomplished. By fully understanding the following feats cannot be accomplished, officials will gain a better understanding of how to...

Rare Rulings Well Done

No one has ever attempted to rank fouls in the order of the difficulty in calling them. However, it’s clear there is a pecking...

Arrive And Shine

How you enter the arena, stadium, field or other facility says a lot about you. Do you casually stroll in? Are you laughing, confident,...

Advanced Softball Mechanics

Today’s players are quicker, faster, stronger, smarter, more athletic and better coached. Ask yourself: are our mechanics keeping pace with the rapid development of...

What’s Your Angle?

Esse Baharmast had the key angle to make the right call. During the 1998 World Cup, Baharmast, NASO’s 2011 Gold Whistle Award recipient, awarded a...

Make New Officials Comfortable Before the Match Begins 

Any number of factors can affect how effectively a referee team works together, especially if one or both assistant referees are comparatively inexperienced. The center referee’s awareness of possible weaknesses...

Ballhandling Makes Your Crew Look Sharp

It was the championship game for the local semi-pro league with a crew of six officials. A pass was intercepted and the down ended...

Know When to Use the ‘Sell’

As novice or veteran umpires, we all look forward to the exciting catch, tag or play at the plate that has us standing in...

The Best Games Include These Three Elements

Safe, fair and fun.That phrase — that triangle, if you will — contains the ingredients to the best game you’ll ever have. And there...

Don’t Lose Focus

Some inexperienced second referees lose focus at times and turn their attention away from the net too soon to watch that great defensive play in the back row. As...

Chasing Higher-Level Games

When I was eight years old, my cousin and I always looked forward to the circus coming to town. The troupe would have a...

When Two Umpires Converge on the Same Base

Many of us who have been umpiring for a number of years have seen the situation in which one umpire is dutifully making his...

Anticipation Takes Hesitation Out of the Equation

Many times only the offense knows what will happen after the snap. Communication from the sidelines or a brilliant idea from a player on...

A Gridiron Geometry Lesson

Laypeople may think there isn’t a big difference between spots, lines and planes, but officials need a clear understanding of those geometry terms. Very briefly, a spot is...

Check the Scoreboard after each Rally

During our careers, each of us is bound to hear those irritating words shouted by parents or spectators or a team, “The score is...

Southpaw Catcher Surprise

As you arrive at the diamond for a day of calling balls and strikes, nothing seems unusual. You go through pregame rituals, put the...

Outside the Lines

Defining the playing area is an important part of the referees’ prematch duties. Identifying obstacles, any changes in court surface or elevation, and establishing...

Don’t Waste a Chance for Self-Evaluation

Over the years, I’ve spoken to many officials approaching the end of their careers. They speak of being less keyed-up before games, grumpier during...

5 Time-Tested Tips to Be Great Behind the Plate 

There is nothing quite like the feeling of walking off the field after a stellar performance behind the plate. But having a great game calling balls and strikes...

Calm on Broken Plays

Coaches, players and fans are allowed to panic when a play goes awry. Officials, on the other hand, must react to broken plays as if they're routine...

Collision Course

So you think baseball is not a contact sport? Look at the photo that accompanies this article, captured during the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division...

How to read a game

Once a referee reaches the point where he/she knows the Laws of the Game well and has learned effective mechanics, what comes next to improve his/her game and advance...

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