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The amount of learning achieved through video review has dramatically increased. In today’s game — no matter the level — someone is recording, and the video is easily accessible at decent quality. Officials today have more opportunities to get practice hours in. (Front of the room) Jeff Flowers, Sherwood, Ore., teaches through video. Officials learning are (front row, from left) Rob Smith, Puyallup, Ore., Mario Giscome, Beaverton, Ore., and Michael Efird, Gresham, Ore.; (second row) Alyssa Evanson, Orem, Utah; and Larry Linebaugh, Salem Ore. (Photo Credit: Dale Garvey)

For many officials, getting that one championship assignment is one of the ultimate goals.

A high school official aspires to the state title game. College officials aim for the Final Four, national championship game or College World Series.

In most cases at the amateur level, getting multiple shots at the highest game is rare.

Some state associations and national governing bodies limit the number of times an official can go the championships. Some don’t permit officials to go consecutive years. And sometimes, it takes so long to reach the goal that an official doesn’t want to continue working the next couple of years for a chance at a return trip.

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All that aside, reaching the top of the mountain shouldn’t be the end of an officiating career. If you’ve accomplished your goals, why not try to help others achieve theirs? There are many other ways to contribute to officiating success of others.

Mentor roles

Think back to early in your career. Wouldn’t it have been fantastic to have someone who had been there and done that?

An official who no longer wants to pursue the highest games can take on the job of mentoring a younger official — whether it’s a rookie or an official on the cusp of reaching his or her goals.

Be available for that official for phone calls and in-person meetings, offering advice and support. You’ll derive great satisfaction when a person you are guiding reaches a career goal, and you’ll be setting up your local association for future successes by leading the way in establishing a mentoring program.

Evaluating

Many officials complain that they can’t advance because no one is evaluating them, so they don’t know what they are doing wrong or how to get better.

An experienced official can work within his or her association to form either a formal or informal evaluation program for all officials, with the goal of seeing each official at least once a season.

The veteran officials — active or not — can be paid a small amount either through the association or from the members who request an evaluation.

The bottom line is the veteran will still keep his or her hand in the game and be a valuable asset to area officials.

Assigning

While most conferences or associations hire assigners, that is definitely an area where a veteran can make himself or herself available to stay in the game.

Assigning can be a daunting to overwhelming task for an official who still works on the floor or field. Yet having someone who is just out of the game is a great trait as an assigner. It’s a fresh look for the association’s members — both the officials and coaches.

Clinician

Most groups meet several times before the season (or during the first half) to go over new rules, mechanics or officiating philosophy.

A veteran official can make him or herself available for leading one of those sessions and deliver a very relevant topic, especially to first- and second-year officials.

Whether it’s as a mentor, evaluator, assigner or clinician, a veteran is a great asset for any officials association. Don’t reach the mountaintop and fall sharply out of sight. Take your time on the way down, and give back just like those who helped you reach those peaks in your career.

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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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