Officiating requires a unique combination of hard work, studying, temperament, and practice that a lot of other jobs don’t. Because there are so many things you need to do to succeed, there are also a number of things that can slip through the cracks and could lead to your downfall. Luckily, it’s easy to keep your officiating career on track. Keep these seven habits and pieces of advice in mind:
Know Your Stuff
Game officials have a lot of skills to master and pieces of information to keep track of. Knowing your job responsibilities is important no matter what position you’re in, so keep your rules knowledge up to date with referee training resources and daily reviews. In addition to knowing your job, be confident in your knowledge. Arrogance isn’t tolerated, but confidence will help coaches, players, and fans like you and keep you from being second-guessed.
There’s nothing wrong with missing an assigned game if you can give the assigner enough advance notice to find a substitute for you—especially if you can offer the name of a substitute yourself. What you don’t want to do is lie about why you’re missing the game. Don’t tell an assigner that you’re too sick to work a game when you’re actually working a higher-level game. Keeping your schedule straight with an app like ArbiterMobile can help you stay organized and avoid sticky situations like this.
Build Strong, Open Relationships
Trust and respect will help ensure your officiating success. Keep your relationships with your crews, coaches, and assigners professional and even-tempered—humor can sometimes defuse tension, but you don’t want a sarcastic comment to come back to haunt you. When talking to others, avoid spreading rumors and other harmful information about others in the business. What seems like a way to make yourself look better actually ends up ensuring that you won’t be able to find a partner, crew, or even a full schedule of games.
Pay Attention to the “Boring” Stuff
No one likes paperwork, but it’s a necessary part of officiating. Make sure that you take proper care of the “business” side of your refereeing career—including emails, mail contracts, and deadlines for tests, dues, and registrations—so that you can get back to the parts that you enjoy doing. Whether you need help with rules and mechanics or getting your schedule straight, ArbiterMobile can give you access to everything you need to stay on top of your responsibilities.
Showing up to important things on time shows that your associates can count on you, meaning that you’ll be trusted with more games. Schedules aren’t always flexible, and while emergencies can happen, lateness is something that’s tolerated rather than appreciated. Don’t make the first thing you’re late to the last assignment you ever get: keep your schedule in order and check for last-minute updates to ensure that you’re exactly where you need to be.
Set Good Goals—and Don’t Stop Reaching for New Ones
There are always ways to be better at what you do. Whether you want to become more efficient with your time, keep track of changes and new developments in the industry, or just become a better game official, there are goals that you can set so you don’t stagnate. Make and meet goals that are realistic and achievable for you personally and set out to meet them. Eventually, excellence and improvement will become habits, and you will start seeing more and better games.
Let ArbiterMobile Help You Succeed
So much of officiating is about being organized, and luckily for hardworking referees, ArbiterMobile can help with that. The mobile version of our assigning application is designed especially for officials who are on the move and need information as soon as possible. Be efficient with your time with information the way you want it and as soon as you need it. For more information on the tools for officials that we can arm you with, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.576.2799.