Proactively Address Abuse on the Court or Field

The failure to proactively address sexual and other forms of abuse of amateur athletes can result in severe consequences — including criminal prosecution of...

A Guide to Defending Your Officials

Every season association officers get letters, letters and more letters that may lead you to defending your officials. “How could we have 10 fouls and...

Assigners Can Fire You

The officiating world has no objective meter, like win-loss record, to help determine who keeps their job and who gets fired. It often takes an assigner making judgment calls...

Safety and Warmups When a Team Arrives Late

As a sports official, you’ve been there. You’ve fought the traffic to show up to a field on a cold, rainy day, in plenty...

Coexist with Photographers

Officials are in the middle of the action, focused on the game but also aware of the sideline surroundings. Similarly, photographers and community access cable television camera operators...

Should You Sign A Post-Injury Waiver?

Consider this situation: There was a serious player injury that occurred during a game you officiated. An ambulance had to transport the player to the hospital for...

Can Player Ejections Be Overturned by a Court?

All state high school athletic associations impose postgame disciplinary actions on student-athletes and coaches who are ejected from a contest by reason of unsporting...

Your Words Have Ramifications

your words have ramifications.  In England, a soccer referee was reportedly forced to quit the Premier League after he allegedly mocked a disabled man...

Handling an Accident and Insurance from Game Travel

Sometimes the riskiest part about being a sports official is getting to and from the game. Sure, no official likes the abuse we often...

When Your Partner Doesn’t Show

Every time you take the floor or field as an official, drive a car, or even try to help someone put their bag in...

Don’t Even Let the Fight Start

When an official asks, ”What should I do if a fight breaks out?” I’m forever tempted to answer, “Dude, don’t let it happen again.”...

Enforcing vs. Interpreting the Rules

Today’s high school sports officials are often caught between the “rock” of enforcing rules strictly and the “hard place” of interpreting the rules sensibly,...

Extreme Behavior Demands Ending Games Early

Legal issues for officials take many forms. Some are obvious. Others not so much. It’s easy to see how injuries to players can be precipitated by...

Enforce Mercy Rules

The failure to follow a mercy rule is probably not enough by itself to make an official liable for a player injury. However, it...

Negotiating Officials’ Pay

A contract is a contract. However, sometimes the parties to a contract want to change the terms. Often leagues will renegotiate officials' pay for games each year with...

Let the Media Handle the Postgame Commentary

When it comes to officials and the media, it might have been legendary major league umpire Bill Klem who said it best. “I don’t...

What is an Oral Contract?

The difference between an oral contract and a written contract is obviously the writing. A contract is simply an offer accepted by another party with the parties exchanging something...

What to Do If You’re Attacked

Assaults against sports officials are drawing unprecedented attention. Many states have passed legislation designed specifically to protect sports officials from being attacked. More and...

Electronic Payments: Whys and Wherefores

If you have officiated long enough you have seen payment methods go from cash to direct deposit into your bank account or debit card....

Get Yourself an Injury Witness

It happens. A player has an injury in a game you’ve just officiated. You managed the players and the crowd. The trainers handled the...

7 Things You Must Know About Game Contracts

By Alan Goldberger Game contracts are a part of officiating. Every officiating assignment — at every level — represents a contract or part of a...

Don’t Officiate an “Unofficial” Game

Games can be over before they begin. Some officials fall into the trap of officiating the extra inning after a run rule, or starting...

Weather Woes

An important concept in officiating is learning to control the things that you can control. We can control the amount of time that we...

Tort Liability for Game Officials

Protecting the safety of players is a substantial responsibility of officials. We are charged with enforcing the rules and many of those rules are...

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