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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 01:21pm
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Hello everyone, I am 16yrs old and I live in Michigan. I recently registered with MHSAA "Legacy" program to become a basketball official. I just recieved the exam to take and send back to become registered. Just wanted to say hello to all of you and if you have any tips on officiating or anything let me know I am open to suggestions.

Thanks


[Edited by youngbballref on Feb 4th, 2004 at 12:41 PM]
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 01:39pm
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Your best bet is to keep coming back here and asking questions, reading other people's thoughts and working on one or two things per game. There's way too much to learn to do it all at once.

Glad you found us here. Let us know how you do on the test.
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 01:45pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChuckElias
and working on one or two things per game. There's way too much to learn to do it all at once.
That's great advice. I do it for every sport I officiate and it helps me become a better official, target somthing each game until you know you're doing it right, then pick somthing new.

[Edited by Snake~eyes on Feb 4th, 2004 at 12:50 PM]
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 01:51pm
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Also make sure you speak with what ever partner you may have each time you work a game and ask him for his input on your performance.

I do this frequently and based on what they say then i will follow the above advice working on a couple of those things each time out.

Good luck
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:13pm
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Always ask for feedback from experienced officials.

I am fairly new also - first year HS after 2 years of rec ball. You'll get some great pointers, and some that won't help you at all.

If you're lucky, the veteran official will give you 1 or 2 things to work on, and maybe a compliment on something he/she liked. Because you can only work on 1 or 2 things at a time when you're new.

If you're not lucky, you'll get a laundry list of perceived mistakes you're making. My advice is, in either case, just say "thanks for the help" and just keep what you can use.

Good luck.

Matt
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:23pm
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youngbballref,

Talk with other officials. Find out who some of the more respected officials are; contact some of those and find out when and where they will be reffing next--then go watch.

The more of these type of officials you can observe and learn from the more opportunitites you will have to improve. This is often refered to as finding a mentor (someone you trust, admire who is well recognized as a good official and who is willing to take the time to help you along the way); one of the best things that you may do in advancing as an official.

Good luck, and we look forward to you reporting back.
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:25pm
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Learn from everyone you work with. Some will be good, some will not, but they all offer something to be learned.

As a 2nd year official I know I have lots to learn. Last night I worked with a partner that didn't hustle and thus was frequently out of position. I know he called several phantom fouls. The lesson I learned, always hustle for good position.

He also called several fouls and violations in my area, despite them being right in front of me (and clearly wrong). Lesson learned, try not to call in your partners area unless you are 110% sure it's both right and necessary.

I witnessed several of those phantom calls even though they were not in my area. Lesson learned, stop ball hawking and take care of my own primary.

As I said, you can learn something from every partner. I hope he learned from me as well, both from my good work and from my mistakes.

Grail
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:29pm
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First of all, great to have you here on the discussion forum and in the officiating family. I will somewhat echo what others have said with this:
*Work hard to get better and do things properly each time out, regardless of what level the game is. You don't want to do develop bad habits. You will probably not know all of the 'right' things to do right away, so try to seek out those who do know and then add those good habits to your game.
*officiating is so complex and multi-faceted, so you really can't fix everything in one game, nor can do everything perfectly in a given game, so be patient and stay focused on improving.
*Mistakes will surely happen, but try not to get discouraged-simply learn from them
*I was told when I first started to listen to the advice that others give you respectfully and take what you can use and incorporate into your game, humbly and respectfully entertain that which is not good for your game, and work to educate yourself. This forum is a great place to do that. If you have a situation come up that you dont understand, come here and bounce it off these folks. This stuff is in our blood, so we love to talk about it and we get to help others out in the process.

Good luck!
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:42pm
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Michael, here's my humble suggestions for improving as a brand new official. Seems to me that there are only 2 or 3 things that you totally control when you're just starting out. They are: 1) your knowledge of the rules; 2) your mechanics; 3) your appearance.

1) Know your rules cold. Read the book all the time, read the cases when your not reading the rules. Talk to fellow officials who know the rules and pick their brains about situations. Listen to your board interpreter at meetings. Know the rules cold.

2) Practice your mechanics as much as possible. Do this at home in front of a mirror. Watch yourself. Say "Tweet" (don't actually blow a whistle, or you'll go deaf) and make a foul signal. Or stop the clock and give a traveling signal. Do this as much as you can. If you can see yourself doing it, you'll know if your arm is really straight. (If your arms get tired, take a break and study your rule book.) You'll get into the habit of using a fist for fouls and open palm for violations. Get your signals right out in front of your chest. Practice reporting the foul to the table. Again, try to do this in front of a mirror if at all possible. It feels silly, but it helps, honest.

3) Don't scrimp on your uniform. Get black beltless pants (I prefer non-pleated Sansabelts, but you can buy other brands that still look nice). Get a good pair of black shoes and make 'em shine! People really do notice. If you have long hair or a slightly "unusual" hairstyle, get rid of it. (My first year I didn't want to cut my hair and I was called "pretty boy" by a fan. That convinced me real fast.) If you wear jewlery like a bracelet or chain or a watch, don't wear them on the court.

Finally, you just have to go out and work games. Lots and lots of games. See as much baskeball as you can. If you're not workig a game, go to a HS game and watch the officials. Take your rule book so you can study the rules during the time-outs. Then talk to the officials after the game, if they're available. Ask them about a situation from the game and why they handled it as they did. Then offer to buy them a couple beers at the local watering hole. Ok, that last part is probably not as important as the other stuff, but you get the idea.

Best of luck to you. Let us know how your first few games go. Have a great season.

Did I mention that you should study the rules?
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:42pm
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Welcome to the club! One thing that made a huge difference for me when I was just starting was to go to a good camp. Pick one run by respected officials, where you'll get good training and a bunch of games. They'll watch you and give you advice on how to improve. Then work hard every time you take the floor.
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:49pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChuckElias


Did I mention that you should study the rules?
So, should he know the rules? (And by the way if his arms get tired practicing in the mirror he should leave the book & go do some [email protected] pushups!)

BTW, I'll add one more thing: if you find yourself in camp with Chuck & he asks to borrow $50 don't do it. You'll never see it again.

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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:50pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChuckElias
SNIP
See as much baskeball as you can. If you're not workig a game, go to a HS game and watch the officials. Take your rule book so you can study the rules during the time-outs. Then talk to the officials after the game, if they're available. Ask them about a situation from the game and why they handled it as they did. Then offer to buy them a couple beers at the local watering hole. Ok, that last part is probably not as important as the other stuff, but you get the idea.
Chuck gave great advice his first 3 points about rules mechanics and appearance are right on. Don't take his last comment quoted above lightly either. It is more important that he would let on. It doesn't have to be beer, but in my neck of the woods that is the preferance. It is more about spending time with the right people. After I knew the rules and all it took spending time at the watering hole to advance my "game". Not only do you get to listen their philosophy and such, that makes them comfortable enough with you to invite you along to do their JV game or if they need a fill in you might get a shot to work with them if the situation is right. Knowing and doing the 1st 3 things is important to calling a good game, but being around the right people at the right time is almost as important..
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 02:57pm
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Welcome!

This is a great place to get info, sometimes opinions get a little heated but thats all fine too. Remember, theres never a dumd question.
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 03:24pm
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Welcome and congrats on starting to officiate the greatest game on Earth!

The three things that I would say is:

1. Don't argue with the old(er) guys even if you think they are wrong. Just say thanks, I will work on that...

2. Go to camps, ask and find out who is doing camps in your area.

3. Do as many games as you can no matter how much you get paid.

Oh, and HAVE FUN!!!!
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Old Wed Feb 04, 2004, 04:36pm
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Sure, talking with experienced officials is a great way to learn the nuances of officiating beyond the rule book. But take everything with a grain of salt. Some of the older guys are so set in their ways that they haven't really come up to speed with the rules as they've changed over the years. If you hear something that just doesn't seem right, check with your rule books later on and if you're still unsure, talk to the rules commissioner in your association or whoever is in charge of rule interpretation and get the proper instruction from them. Just because someone has been doing this for 25 years doesn't necessarily mean they know everything. Most do, but a few don't.
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