Officiating Tips

BE COMPETITIVE
The players give maximum effort, so should you! Tell yourself: "I'm not going to let this game get away from me. I am better than that." You are hired to make the calls that control the game --- make them!

HAVE YOUR HEAD ON RIGHT
Don't think your striped shirt grants you immunity from having to take a little criticism. It's part of officiating. Plan on it. Successful officials know how much to take. Ask one when you get the chance.

DON'T BE A TOUGH GUY
If a coach is on your back but not enough to warrant a penalty, then stay away from him. This is especially true during time-outs. Standing near an unhappy coach, just to "show him," will only lead to further tensions. Some officials develop irritating characteristics. Don't be one of them.

GET INTO THE FLOW OF THE GAME
Each game is different. Good officials can feel this difference. Concentrate on the reactions of the players. Take note if the tempo of the game changes. A ragged game calls for a different style of officiating from a smooth one.

DON'T BARK
If you don't like to be shouted at, don't shout at someone else. Be firm with a normal relaxed voice. This technique will do wonders in helping you reduce the pressure. Shouting indicates a loss of control - not only of one's self, but also of the game.

SHOW CONFIDENCE
Cockiness has absolutely no place in officiating. You want to exude confidence. Your presence should command respect from the participants. As in any walk of life, appearance, manner, and voice determine how you are accepted. Try to present the proper image.

FORGET THE FANS
As a group, fans usually exhibit three characteristics: ignorance of the rules, highly emotional partisanship and delight in antagonizing officials. Accepting this fact will help you ignore the fans, unless they interrupt the game or stand in the way of you doing your job.

ANSWER REASONABLE QUESTIONS
Treat coaches and players in a courteous way. If they ask you a question reasonably, answer them in a polite way. If they get in your ear by saying, "Hey ref I want to ask you something," and then start telling you off, interrupt and remind them of the reason for the discussion. Be firm, but relaxed.

CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY
Don't obviously threaten a coach or player; this will only put them on the defensive. More importantly, you will have placed yourself on the spot. If you feel a situation is serious enough to warrant a threat, then it is serious enough to penalize without invoking a threat. Obviously some things you say will be a form of a threat, but using the proper words can make it subtle.

STAY COOL
Your purpose is to establish a calm environment for the game. Fans, coaches and players easily spot nervous or edgy officials alike. Avidly chewing gum, pacing around, or displaying a wide range of emotions prior to or during a game will serve to make you seem vulnerable to the pressure.