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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 11:51am
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 58
Ok, after much consideration I have applied to become a basketball official. I believe I am doing it for the right reasons, I enjoy the sport, enjoy working with the kids, believe I can put up with the parents and coaches and I am not looking to get rich in the process.

I have a decent knowledge and understanding of the game but have found a lot of very useful information on this boards and a had a number of laughs also. I also know there is much to learn regarding exact rulings and proceedures.

My questions to you are:

1. What first steps would you recommend I take to help me become a good official?

2. Would a clinic be of use and where do I find a good one in my area (Southeast Mich.)?

3. What are common mistakes new officials tend to make and how do I avoid them?

Thank you in advance.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 11:57am
M.A.S.H.
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,024
Quote:
Originally posted by mopar60
Ok, after much consideration I have applied to become a basketball official. I believe I am doing it for the right reasons, I enjoy the sport, enjoy working with the kids, believe I can put up with the parents and coaches and I am not looking to get rich in the process.

I have a decent knowledge and understanding of the game but have found a lot of very useful information on this boards and a had a number of laughs also. I also know there is much to learn regarding exact rulings and proceedures.

My questions to you are:

1. What first steps would you recommend I take to help me become a good official?

2. Would a clinic be of use and where do I find a good one in my area (Southeast Mich.)?

3. What are common mistakes new officials tend to make and how do I avoid them?

Thank you in advance.
Welcome to the forum and officiating!!!

1. Listen to other and senior officials. They want to pass along everything they've learned. You've already made a good step by reading plays and other situations on this forum, it's a great place to learn! Also, if you ever wonder about something or wonder what the ruling is, look it up...you'll be surprised how much you remember by doing this. If you can't find it in either books, don't be afraid to ask on here, we are here to have fun and help fellow officials!

2. Clinic would be of use because you would be able to get instant feedback on what you are doing wrong.

3. Common mistakes: most new guys try to do too much. Just go out there, relax and have fun! If you do this, you'll find it a lot easier and more enjoyable.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 12:05pm
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Location: Just north of hell
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Quote:
Originally posted by mopar60

My questions to you are:

1. What first steps would you recommend I take to help me become a good official?


Here is some advice given to me at a camp a few years ago, it's served me well: "Watch Chuck. Whatever he does, do the opposite."



Serious answer: learn the rules.
Quote:


2. Would a clinic be of use and where do I find a good one in my area (Southeast Mich.)?

3. What are common mistakes new officials tend to make and how do I avoid them?

Thank you in advance.
It's never too early to attend a good teaching camp. Maybe the biggest mistake made by rookies is they think they need more experience before they start going to teaching camps.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 12:19pm
Do not give a damn!!
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: On the border
Posts: 29,029
Quote:
Originally posted by mopar60


1. What first steps would you recommend I take to help me become a good official?
Set a long term goal and a short term goal. Find a mentor or someone on a level that you have not achieved yet.

Quote:
Originally posted by mopar60
2. Would a clinic be of use and where do I find a good one in my area (Southeast Mich.)?
Go to as many camps as you can afford and have time for. The more advice, the more opportunities to work games. Do not be afraid to work 3 person. The earlier you learn the system, the more likely you will be able to step in when you get a chance. You might move up quicker depending on where you live.

Quote:
Originally posted by mopar60
3. What are common mistakes new officials tend to make and how do I avoid them?

Thank you in advance.
Buy your uniform at an officiating outlet or retailer. Do not go to the local sporting goods store and buy equipment. Talk to veterans about what to buy and what not to buy. Ask more than just one official.

Peace
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Charles Michael “Mick” Chambers (1947-2010)
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 12:22pm
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,592
Get you hands on the state tests for the last couple of years, sit down and answer every question. If you're not 100% positive on the answer, then look it up. This will really help you get into the rules.

In the beginning, find out where you can ref rec level games with qualified knowledgable refs. Don't get hooked up with career rec refs because they will give you bad habits that you'll have to break. Once you have a place to do this, get some games under your belt.

If you can go to at least 1 summer referee camp, that will really accelerate your learning curve. There should be camps for HS ball that will really benefit you. Maybe wait to go to the College camps because you don't want to get in over your head and get discouraged.

Where are you from? There may be someone here on the forum who can help.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 12:38pm
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wheeling, IL
Posts: 267
Watch and learn. When you're at a game, watch the officials to see what they do, and how they do it. You should be able to learn at every game you attend. Just remember that learning includes both what to do, AND what not to do. I've seen officials with good judgement and bad mechanics, bad judgement but good mechanics, and good judgement with good mechanics. There is always something to take away from what you've seen.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 12:49pm
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Location: Houghton, U.P., Michigan
Posts: 9,953
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally posted by mopar60
Ok, after much consideration I have applied to become a basketball official. I believe I am doing it for the right reasons, I enjoy the sport, enjoy working with the kids, believe I can put up with the parents and coaches and I am not looking to get rich in the process.

I have a decent knowledge and understanding of the game but have found a lot of very useful information on this boards and a had a number of laughs also. I also know there is much to learn regarding exact rulings and proceedures.

My questions to you are:

1. What first steps would you recommend I take to help me become a good official?

2. Would a clinic be of use and where do I find a good one in my area (Southeast Mich.)?

3. What are common mistakes new officials tend to make and how do I avoid them?

Thank you in advance.
mopar60,
Look at the attached link and contact a local association of your choice.

https://www.mhsaa.net/Officials/Associations.cfm

RE Equipment- Honig's WhistleStop in Ann Arbor.

mick
U.P. here.

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 01:23pm
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,910
Here's what I was told first. Get your mechanics right and don't take too much sh$t. It's a starting point. Also, camps are great, but I actually worked a season of jh games before I went to camp. I thought this was helpful since I had a better idea of why the things I was told at camp made sense. Just my opinon of course.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 02:12pm
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,910
Quote:
Originally posted by mopar60
Ok, after much consideration I have applied to become a basketball official. I believe I am doing it for the right reasons, I enjoy the sport, enjoy working with the kids, believe I can put up with the parents and coaches and I am not looking to get rich in the process.

I have a decent knowledge and understanding of the game but have found a lot of very useful information on this boards and a had a number of laughs also. I also know there is much to learn regarding exact rulings and proceedures.

My questions to you are:

1. What first steps would you recommend I take to help me become a good official?

2. Would a clinic be of use and where do I find a good one in my area (Southeast Mich.)?

3. What are common mistakes new officials tend to make and how do I avoid them?

Thank you in advance.
1) Get paired up with some vets for some rec or jr. high games. Listen and learn.

2) I'd recommend that you get a few games under your belt before attending a camp. If your first game is at a camp, you're going to get absolutely buried with input and it might lead to overload.

3) Most new officials go way too fast on both their calls (anticipating) and when reporting. Slow down!

Z
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Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 02:13pm
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Location: Western Mass.
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Hi Meat

Glad you found us here. Here's a post about what to focus on when you're just starting. Somebody posted it about 3 years ago, but it seems appropriate here. Hope it's helpful.

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 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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  #11 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 08, 2005, 02:47pm
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,674
1 and 3 have the same answer, have a strong whistle and use your voice. Officiating is about two things judgment and communication.

Judgment combines rules knowledge, consistency, common sense, and safety.

Communication is your whistle, signals, voice, and your overall presense on the court.

You can have great judgment, but it can be lost if you don't communicate well. Conversely, your judgment might not be great, but you communicate very well and your presense gets you through.

Judgment takes time to develop and you need to officiate to get there. You can practice everything else off the court.

As for camps, research before you go. Is it a teaching camp with an emphasis on TEACHING, or is it a competitive camp with an emphasis on getting hired? Does it have several levels of games to work?
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