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Old Mon Jan 15, 2001, 12:38pm
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I live in a large metropolitan area and I have been involved in a youth basketball league for several years - both on the governing board and as an official. In the past we contracted with an officials' association to supply officials for our games. This year we hired our own scheduler and have been trying to hire for ourselves. As part of that process we have recruited several high school students and have started training them. My teenage son attended a couple of clinics and I worked with him for several games. He regularly officiates third and fourth grade games (with a more experienced official). In a conversation with the scheduler I learned that there were several father/son officiating teams (mother/daughter?) in our league and throughout the broader area. Do you all see a lot of father/son officials (parent/child?)in your areas? In our area it seems the kids have developed and have progressed very quickly. This topic may be worth an article by the owners of the web site. Feedback?
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Old Mon Jan 15, 2001, 12:56pm
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I too am on the Board of our local rec league, and have been for 12 years. My son started officiating with me when he was in 7th grade (he is now a sophomore in college). We had a lot of father/son duos and a few father/daughter and mother/daughter ones, too. However, we never had a mother/son combo. I don't know why.

The experience my son gained by officiating at a relatively early age was invaluable to him. In fact, a few years ago, he was profiled by Sports Illustrated for Kids Magazine as the outstanding teenage sports official in the nation. He also has done baseball all those years. BTW - he also played high school basketball.

I would encourage all of you out there who have kids of middle school and/or high school age to get them involved in officiating. It builds self confidence for young people and also prepares them to get yelled at by persons in authority, like in the real world.
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Old Mon Jan 15, 2001, 03:47pm
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Smile Excellent.....

My son is on the early fringe of this age group, but it sounds like I have another option to consider...
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Old Mon Jan 15, 2001, 04:55pm
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williebfree, my interpretation of the "other option" to consider is that you have a teenage daughter. If I guessed incorrectly, I still want to make the point that all you dads who have daughters might consider recommending officiating to them. A couple of weeks ago, I attended a boys varsity game with a three-person crew, one being a young woman. She called a beautiful game - great mechanics, great judgment and was on top of her game. It's rare that I see women calling boys' games, but I think we will see a lot more. If I had a daughter, I would be happy to get her involved. We need more good officials men or women.
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Old Mon Jan 15, 2001, 09:07pm
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My son is 13 and does soccer for 3rd and 4th graders (started as 7th grader), but around here he has to be 14 for bball, at least in the rec dept. Then I think he has an 8 hour day at the gym, trading table and floor duties, all for relatively low wages. Soccer has been great, because he gets done in a couple of hours, 10 bucks a game. He is a junior ref now. Next year he can be a full-fledged ref and get more league options and higher paying games. For about 5-6 hours a weekend I think he can pull down 100-140 bucks. This gives him a job with some serious responsibility, but also allows time for his athletics and his academics (he golfs and plays hoops).

For a kid, it sure beats working at Burger King, in terms of 1) pay, 2) what you put into it, and 3) what you get out of it. He is the captain of our bball team and not because I coach it. His ref experiences improve his composure under pressure, his ability to communicate to the rest of the team, leadership etc. No matter what he chooses to do in the future, these experiences will serve him well.
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Old Tue Jan 16, 2001, 08:48am
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Lightbulb Age Requrired

How old do you have to be. I have 6 kids, they all play sports(the ones that are old enough). Basketball, basebal or softball and football. I think it would be great for them to get involved with offiating. I am in the Houston area, plenty of games all over town.

I guess I could check with city leagues etc. to see what their requirements are? Any Suggestions?
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Old Tue Jan 16, 2001, 10:48am
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My son is 14 years old and started reffing youth basketaball for the first time this year. The youth league he works in said they preferred the minimum age to be 16, but they agreed to accept him since I said I would work with him to help in his training. If I were you, I would start with local youth sports leagues and your local officials association. Youth leagues i.e. basketball, baseball, soccer are always screaming for officials. If your association does not have a "youth recruiting and training" program, you might talk with the leaders about the merits of starting one. Let's face it, what better way for an officials association to ensure a good pool of qualified refs coming up in the ranks than recruiting and training them. Good luck!
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