1. Camaraderie

The fellowship and humor officials share with one another are incomparable.

2. Boos

There’s nothing like fans booing when you have the silent satisfaction of knowing that you got it right.

3. Reverence for the Rules

Play by the rules regardless of what others are saying.

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4. Escape

Once an official steps onto the court, field, ice or pitch, everyday problems seem to fade away.

5. Passion

The amount of passion officials have is off the charts. Passion to get plays right is what drives us.

6. Addiction

What official is not ready for his or her next game after the last? More games? We’ll take them. It’s an addiction that only officials understand.

7. Fitness

Who doesn’t like getting paid to exercise? There is little motivation needed to get you to work out through officiating.

8. Never the Same

Every game is unique and takes its own form. For the work of an official, no two days are the same.

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9. Personalities

Interactions with the players, coaches and other officials are great. Officiating allows you to channel your inner psychologist with all the personalities involved.

10. Adrenaline

It’s a rush to be in the moment and have to make the big decision.

11. Community

Like Harley Davidson riders, there is no community like officials. When it comes down to it, during a game, officials’ only true friends are fellow officials. Many of them become your closest friends — lifelong friends.

12. Love of Sports

Most officials start out as sports fans. We truly enjoy the intricacies of the sports we work.

13. Discomfort

You are out of your comfort zone like in no other job, hobby or activity.

14. Movin’ On Up

Everyone starts at the amateur levels and some ascend to the top of the profession. There’s nothing wrong with staying at a particular level. But if you want to climb, opportunity is there.

15. Others Thinking We’re Crazy

Ever talk to someone and they look at you like you’re crazy? Officials have the unique ability to enjoy doing a job the average person thinks is impossible. When everyone runs away, we thrive on doing what no one else could imagine putting up with.

16. Impartiality

It is important for officials to think with a clear mind. Officiating teaches independent thinking and the ability to see the big picture — a skill that translates outside of officiating.

17. Money Talks

There is no better part-time job or hobby for people to make a little extra money.

18. In the Game

Officials stay engaged and a part of the game they once played. The connection lasts well beyond their playing careers.

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19. All Five of the Senses

After a long work day, venting with the familiar sounds, smells and feels of the sport is a joy. Whether it’s the swish of a net, the smack of a ball, the smell of the dirt or the squeak of sneakers, we all have something that perks us up.

20. Focus

The amount of mental energy and physical demands is unmatched. Laser-sharp focus is required for the entire game.

21. Sort Out What Matters

With a lot of action going on and a lot of noise, you have to sort out what exactly matters. There can be no fear or favor — just deciding on matters based on rule.

22. Dedication

To truly be a good official, at any level, requires dedication.

23. Teamwork

No one official can carry a crew. The best officiating events require the dedication, togetherness and ability of all officials to be a team of one.

24. Make a Decision

You have to make quick and accurate judgments. Your training, experience and powers of observation will be challenged constantly.

25. Give Back

Most get something out of the sport prior to becoming an official. Many officials like to pay it forward to the sport for what it has given them.

26. Perfect

Officials enjoy the drive toward excellence. While knowing that perfection cannot be achieved, there is still great satisfaction in trying to achieve perfection.

27. Get Over It

In life, there are always setbacks. Officials have tremendous pressure on them to make correct decisions. Toughness is taught when we get a decision wrong and immediately drop it to get the next one right.

28. Gut Check

Officials learn how to have inner strength and self-confidence. To truly excel in officiating, one must deliver in both categories.

29. Peer Praise

Being congratulated on accomplishments by peers, whether it’s a playoff game or a state tournament game, is rewarding.

30. Challenge

Every game — no matter the venue, player abilities or teams — is a challenge. Nothing is mundane or an easy task.

31. Life Skills

Officiating teaches great life skills — helping you beyond officiating. For example, time is of the essence — no game can start when officials are late.

32. Travel

Officials travel to many different places — interesting or historic venues and towns or places people likely would never visit. It’s a great way to take in some amazing sites while you work a game.

33. High Standard

You are expected to have high character, on and off the court or field. Many enjoy living up to the demands of being an official.

34. Stress Management

No official would say the job is stress-free. Officiating — though stressful at times — also provides stress relief from our daily lives. Officials learn to balance stress through direct involvement in stressful situations.

35. Door Opener

Officials are identified and associated with the sport(s) they work. People know who the good officials are. They recognize you outside of officiating.

36. Vantage Point

It’s the game within the game — not just watching the teams or the game.

37. Goosebumps

Officiating provides goosebumps in spades. The hair-raising moments are memories that make up who we are.

38. It’s Not Coaching

Many officials have coached or considered coaching. With officiating there is only a given time parents can complain. Coaches on the other hand have parents always complaining — with no filter.

39. Beam With Pride

It’s great seeing the growth of fellow officials or your own growth. We all start out with different abilities and grow at different rates, but any improvement is special.

40. Memories

The longer you work, the more memories you will build. Some will be the great games; others the talented players. Most importantly, you’ll remember your great partners and mentors.

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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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