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There are as many different values as there are officials. Core values are those attributes we hold dear and they form the foundation on which we perform and conduct ourselves when we are between and outside the lines. They must be desirable qualities, standards or principles we use to guide us.

There are three important items on my list of officiating core values­ — commitment, honor and excellence.

The three attributes won’t be found in a rulebook or mechanics manual. Professionalism is addressed, but not the core values to which I refer. The three values are principles or practices you use (or should be using) in every game.

1. Commitment is the single most important factor for individual success.

When you commit, it is a pledge to yourself and to a certain purpose. Commitment controls your officiating actions. It also means practicing your officiating beliefs consistently.

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There should be two fundamental conditions for your officiating commitment: a sound set of officiating beliefs and a faithful adherence in maintaining and applying those beliefs. “Persistence with a purpose” is possibly the best description of commitment.

2. Honor is the evaluation of one’s trustworthiness based on your officiating actions.

It’s what you sign up for when you become an official. Accordingly, officials earn their worth and status from assigners based on those actions.

Honor for officials is what determines an official’s character. It has been said that your character is what you do when you think no one is watching. A major source of honesty, fairness and integrity are apparent in your actions on the field or court. Always act honorably and think of yourself as an ambassador for officiating. Keep in mind that it is an honor and a privilege to officiate.

3. While perfection is impossible to achieve, each official should strive for excellence.

The perfectly officiated game has not yet been worked, but a maximum effort is not only attainable but necessary. Today more than ever before, officials are being held to a higher standard by coaches, players, media and spectators alike. It would greatly benefit all officials to maintain proper conditioning, enforce the rules properly, and use approved signals and mechanics throughout the season. Achieving excellence becomes the repetitive practice of your craft and the continued desire to get better. Improving your performance should be your goal.

There should be two fundamental conditions for your officiating commitment: a sound set of officiating beliefs and a faithful adherence in maintaining and applying those beliefs.

Core values are not just descriptions of your work, but rather how you interact when you are between the lines. Having defined core values can help prevent incorrect rulings or judgment calls. When your officiating actions conflict with your values, the result is poor performance. Having defined officiating values will give you the confidence to grow as an official. When you have the courage and confidence to make the rulings based on your core values, the result is pride and a sense of accomplishment.

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In the end, your core values will be the basic foundation of how you officiate your game.

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Note: This article is archival in nature. Rules, interpretations, mechanics, philosophies and other information may or may not be correct for the current year.

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