Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

Yawner? Blowout? Guess Again

Iremember sitting at the breakfast table on the morning of a late-season game between two cellar-dwellers. One official, a garrulous person whose normal speaking...

Behavior Battles

A chieving excellence takes knowing what the referee’s powers are and, more importantly, when and how best to use each power to successfully manage a...

No Time Off

Officials often wonder what higher-level officials are thinking between points while up on the referee stand. What is going through the minds of officials as...

Step-By-Step Focus

The pause, read and react technique has been used for many years. Some associations call that process, wait, interpret, choose. Others coin it, read,...

Unexpected Calls Require Strong Voice, Signals

We are all taught early in our umpire training that some plays will occur that need to be sold harder than others. The type...

Loose Ball, Tight Talk

Arequirement on the list of items that should be discussed during a crew’s pregame meeting is how everyone will handle information related to a...

A Helping Hand With Flaming Fans

An official I know was having a tough night in one of the rural barns around here. The fans were braying, the coaches were...

Think A-Head

Athletes in many sports that involve contact, either against opponents, teammates or with the ground/floor, are susceptible to concussions, a brain injury that interferes...

Talk the Talk

F or umpires, one of the most important skills is game management. And perhaps the most important skill when it comes to being a good...

Type Casting

To be a top official you must understand coaches, their goals, their methods and their tactics. Coaches’ personalities range from timid to terrible, from...

A Look Back at March Madness In A Bubble

J.D. Collins has heard plenty of colorful descriptions of his work during his time as an oncourt college basketball official and more recently in...

Useful Tips

Arrive early, park your car wisely (don’t allow yourself to be blocked in), be dressed in a clean and proper uniform, inspect the field...

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...

It’s in the Bag

Is your softball bag or automobile trunk of gear packed for the season ahead? If so, are items easy to locate? It can be...

Adjust to Playing Styles

On a Thursday evening, you officiate a girls’ varsity match, marked with long skillful rallies. The next night, you work a boys’ contest, frequently punctuated by short powerful bursts....

See the Three, Be the Three

At three different umpiring camps I have attended over the past two offseasons, I have heard one conference coordinator use the same phrase repeatedly:...

Infield Flies not on the fly

One of the more difficult situations in softball are those involving the infield fly rule. While all the codes agree on when the rule...

Strong Signals Can Defuse

Reporting fouls to the table is a time to project strength and believability. Your signal should lend credibility that you stand by your call...

Filter Player Comments

“C’mon, ref! Open your eyes! He’s fouling me!” We’ve all heard that and similar phrases from frustrated players. Dealing quickly and appropriately with their frustrations and complaints is essential if...

Triple Check for Accuracy 

Taking a little extra time to properly make the triple check of rosters, the scoresheet and lineups prior to the start of a match and each subsequent...

Don’t Compound Missed Calls

We have all made mistakes, there are plenty of reasons why, but officials can't compound missed calls with phantom calls. It can happen with ballhandling....

Equipment Commitment

The NFHS Softball Rules Committee made two significant changes to player equipment, involving the wearing of head coverings and beads, and approved six other...

Here’s Your Sign

During its annual June meeting, held virtually for the second consecutive year due to the ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic, the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee voted...

Very First Laws To Know

As a rookie official, what are the very first laws to know? How can you translate that knowledge into judgment and action on the...

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