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Old Sun Dec 13, 2015, 11:01pm
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Youth League Official Basics

Hi all,
I run a co-ed youth wreck league for 3rd-6th graders in a small town. Basically intended to teach kids the game in a league setting. We keep score but the emphasis is on learning. As such the high school aged basketball player "officials" act as coaches on the floor who also keep the game fair and safe. So basically when a 3rd grader switches pivot feet two times we blow the whistle and show them what they did/should do and give them the ball back. As the season progresses the rules are more strictly enforced and penalized.

Anyways as I said the players are high school juniors/seniors and I started thinking that actually teaching them something they can use in college to make some cash might be a good idea. They are fairly knowledgeable about the game and maybe teaching them some basics of officiating at the same time so that they may learn a usable skill might be a good idea. I was thinking about starting with proper positioning and rotating plus some other mechanics such as how to report fouls etc. (even though we don't track fouls).

I was just wondering if any of the knowledgeable officials here think that this is something that could transfer into an actual officiating gig or am I just spinning my wheels?

If you think it might not be a terrible idea I'd love some ideas on how best to implement it and what might be a good plan for a beginning ref in this setting.
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Old Mon Dec 14, 2015, 08:41am
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: A little east of there.
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I think what you're doing for the players and the officials is outstanding.

It's really difficult to get people involved in officiating. Investing time and giving an opportunity to h.s. aged kids is fantastic idea and a great introduction to the craft.

Keep doin' what you're doin'!
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Old Mon Dec 14, 2015, 09:19am
Dad Dad is offline
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This really depends on if you know what you're doing as an official.
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Old Mon Dec 14, 2015, 10:35am
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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This is how I started out, I was not a High Schooler, but in my mid 20s.

I was Coaching JV Girl's Basketball, and a buddy of mine talked me into it. I had refereed Soccer and Umpired Baseball before so it was natural. It was a league ran by the local Parks and Rec Department, we had a 3 hour rules the Saturday before the Season started to go over some basics from Veteran Official.

After, two seasons I finally hung up the coaches whistle and took the local OHSAA class. Now, 5 years later, I am starting to get some Varsity games and and working a ton of ball, and I couldn't be happier with my choice. In fact, I am contemplating quitting as a Football Coach to go Officiate.
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Old Mon Dec 14, 2015, 11:14am
LRZ LRZ is offline
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You might consider separating the coaching and refereeing roles, so your trainees can concentrate on learning how to officiate, and let someone else handle the teaching aspect.
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Old Mon Dec 14, 2015, 03:06pm
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Boston area
Posts: 615
I started a youth officiating program for my community's Rec. department several years ago, using high school kids as offiicals. The idea was good; the implementation was fair. Some of the "kids" took it up in college and a few continued beyond.

It is a lot of work -- not only the teaching, but the scheduling and evaluating. The quality of the "officials" varied widely. And each year a bunch graduated and I had to start all over with a new group.

It might work better in your (presumably, smaller) town. But basketball is a tough sport to officiate (as opposed to baseball or soccer, which around here also uses a lot of kids as officials.)
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