How to Train New Sports Officials Scott A. Ollar, B.A., J.D. FHSAA Basketball Referee ATA Martial Arts Judge Where to find new referees. It is the responsibility of every referee to try to bring new officials into the profession. Start with the obvious: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Adult friends or family members who are current or former athletes. If your children are interested in sports, get them officiating. Look for knowledgeable parents attending their kids’ games. Consider you co-workers. Consider adults you are officiating in adult leagues. Recent retirees in good health looking for extra income or exercise. Teachers or church members. RECRUIT WOMEN! RECRUIT MINORITIES! Now that you’ve recruited a new referee: Get them registered with FHSAA. Help them identify their local official’s association. Responsibilities of local officials’ association. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Hold periodic meetings where new officials can meet experienced officials in a collegial environment. Provide new officials with all relevant FHSAA written material, including Official Rule Book, Casebooks, Officials Manual. Explain online testing process. Prepare new referees for online test through rule review sessions, going over past tests, or discussing frequently recurring test topics. Have senior officials give short presentations on officiating mechanics, specific rule interpretation/application, or actual game scenarios. New referees must be encouraged to LEARN THE RULES of their chosen sport and participate in the discussion. Take advantage of local youth leagues, YMCA, or church leagues. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Young players more respectful of authority. Parents often more interested in having their kids learn how to play properly (and have fun) than they are in the final score. Less pressure. Smaller, more supportive crowds. Use blended officiating crews, so new referees can learn by observing experienced officials with solid mechanics and knowledge of the rules. Have an evaluation committee member observe and critique new officials. After a new referee has learned the basics, encourage them to officiate in an adult league… 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Rougher games Less respect from players, less patience for incorrect calls You will have to learn to control a game in stressful situations You will learn when physical play is escalating beyond safe levels You learn how to control players and coaches by calling strategic personal and technical fouls You learn to control your fear It builds confidence and COMPETENCE to officiate an adult league game Goals of Mentor Relationship • • • • Establish a one to one relationship between a new referee and an experienced referee. Provide support and advice. Identify strengths and weaknesses of new referee. Develop the strengths while working on the weaknesses. Reinvigorate experienced referees with infusion of new talent.