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Old Sun Dec 21, 2008, 01:31pm
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Begin Officiating at 50?

Great forum here everyone. Lots of good info.

I am planning on registering as a ref for next year.

I have a few questions:

1. 50 too old to start?
2. What one thing makes you love being a referee (or is official the preferred term?)
3. What one thing do you hate?
4. How long until you became proficient?
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Old Sun Dec 21, 2008, 01:50pm
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I'm new to this forum too, with that said. Welcome!

1. 50 isn't to old to start, just as long as you can get up and down the court.
2. I love the intensity of the game, the way the crowd either hates you or loves you. (most of the time, it's hate...jk)
3. i hate loud parents
4. and last but not least... practice makes perfect, i have been officiating since i was 15... I'm 19 now, doing Varsity boys games in my HS association. (it all depends how much time and effort you put in before you become "proficient")
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Old Sun Dec 21, 2008, 02:41pm
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Not too old to begin. I began [again] at 45. It is an age that is common for there to be an empty nest. As long as you work hard at improving, listen to good advice [and follow it], make sure you get in position [don't hang at half court if you are trail], and enjoy what you are doing [not there for the money], I say you should go for it.
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Old Sun Dec 21, 2008, 02:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsqrddgd909 View Post
Great forum here everyone. Lots of good info.

I am planning on registering as a ref for next year.

I have a few questions:

1. 50 too old to start?
2. What one thing makes you love being a referee (or is official the preferred term?)
3. What one thing do you hate?
4. How long until you became proficient?
1) Are you kidding? You're just a kid.
2) I love the feeling of total authority.
3) My partner eating burritos just before the game - for many reasons.
4) Still working on it since I began with Dr. Naismith.
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Old Sun Dec 21, 2008, 07:00pm
sj sj is offline
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Not to old at all. Make sure that you get yourself in shape. Especially stretching. Even if you've been active doing other things your body will be doing things they haven't done in years. Workout doing things that you might be doing on a court so you get used to doing those things under controlled circumstances. Start by going easy doing starts, stops cuts etc. The biggest bummer there could be is that you get some kind of an injury right out of the box. Start slow. Also consider putting in arch supports into your shoes. That will help you avoid plantar fasciitis a real common injury among officials. Just a couple of cents worth.
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Old Sun Dec 21, 2008, 08:06pm
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Originally Posted by sj View Post
Also consider putting in arch supports into your shoes. That will help you avoid plantar fasciitis a real common injury among officials.
Amen. I wish someone had given my arches that advice midway last season.
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2008, 09:34am
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I am in my second year and i started when I was 58. I am a life long runner, so being inshape was not an issue. The starting, stopping and constant change of direction was harder to accomplish.

I wear a pair of running shoes(New Balance 858) and that helps for the cushioning.

Get as many mid school games as possible, so you can hone your skill faster. I did about 55 games my first year and am ontrack for at least that many this year.

You don't have as much time to learn as a guy starting in their 30's + most associations are going to cater to the younger guys as they will be around for many more years.

life is a challenge, make this one of them.
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2008, 10:10am
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I was very close to 50 when I joined the local board and started to ref high school ball, so I feel very qualified to speak.

1. 50 is not too old to start as long as you are in good physical shape or can get there with reasonable effort.

2. There are many things I love about being out on the court, but just running up and down the floor and being a part of the game when many people my age are finding it hard to just get off the couch is rewarding in itself.

3. The thing I dislike most is not being able to stop the game and educate folks who do not understand the application of the rules.

4. How long before I become proficient? Maybe never (LOL), but I do enjoy trying to make every game a little better. Some folks move up quickly because of many different reasons (some of which you can control and some that you can't). I was allowed to develop at my own speed (slowly) and was never thrust into a game over my head. I became a "rules person" as I continued to develop my floor skills, and now do a mixed bag of JV and V games.

Don't be afraid to give it a try. Officiating any sport at any level offers challenges that keep the brain and body active. My only regret is that I didn't start sooner.

It takes most folks a while to get comfortable on the floor, but once you work enough games and start to relax it gets better and better. Learning to officiate (like raising children) can be the most flustrating and most rewarding thing you do in your life.
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2008, 10:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsqrddgd909 View Post
1. 50 too old to start?
That depends on your goals for your officiating career. If you aspire to NCAA games, then 50 is probably too old to start. If you just want to be active and work young kids and JV, then it's no problem. Depending on where you live, you might get some Varsity games eventually. (Around here, it's usually at least 3 or 4 years to get Varsity, but it varies widely in different areas.)

Quote:
4. How long until you became proficient?
15 years, and I'm still working on it. Took me 4 or 5 before I felt I was pretty good.
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2008, 10:48am
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Age is only a mindset

1. 50 too old to start?

Age is only a mindset. Be in shape, find a mentor. Be prepared to watch as many games as you work. Ask short concise questions and then ask. Not everyone will help you. You will learn quickly who will and who will not.

2. What one thing makes you love being a referee (or is official the preferred term?)

I love the game and want to give back. I grew up in a basketball crazy state, Indiana and developed a great passion for it. I do not play much anymore and love staying involved. It is all about FUN for all.

3. What one thing do you hate?

8th grade parents are the worst. I have come to believe that there is a gradient that increases until eight grade. After that time, the parents seem to get wiser and quieter. Maybe it is just because there are more people in the audience. Try to block them and thier lack of knowledge and big mouths out. Their child will not be the next Michael Jordan as they believe.

4. How long until you became proficient?

You will always learn. Proficient is a mindset. Learn the rules and their application. The biggest thing to learn and is not in any book is game management. Everyone is different and needs to be handled different. You will have to find what works for you. You will get told lots of stuff. Listen intently. Disgest what you were just told. Understand it and then try to apply what works for you. 80% of what you are told is good stuff, some of it will work. That which will not, say thanks and discard. Some of it you will not be ready for. It will come with time and games. Watch a lot of games and understand what they call but also understand what they do not call. What is not called is just as important as what you do call. Find some local camps this summer and go to them. You will lessen your learning curve greatly.
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2008, 11:44am
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1. 50 is not too old to start and way to young to quit.
2. You should love the game to even think about getting into it. I love the challenge that every game brings.
3. I hate annoying people, whether they are coaches, fans, players, or even partners, who think they know it all.
4. It will take at least 50 games to begin to feel comfortable, and I don't know how many games it would take to ever be "proficient".
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2008, 12:28pm
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1. Like Scrappy said, it depends on your goals. If you go in willingly accepting that you're not going to be on ESPN, then you'll be fine. You also need to be in decent shape physically. Even your average 4th grade games require quite a bit of running on the official's part.

2. Official, referee, zebra, stripes, blue, whatever is fine. Official is kind of a generic term and doesn't imply a specific assignment within the crew. But we generally use official and referee pretty interchangeably.

What really drives me is the challenge. It's like a whole new sport, with its own skills to master. Can you see everything, and call only what matters? Can you perform under pressure? Can you come up with the proper rule in the very moment you need it when something unusual happens? And then can you go out next game, and do it all a little better?

3. I really despise those people who act as though the game is all about them. Be it the wreck ball warrior who berates you for not covering his shortcomings with your whistle. Or the wannabe coach whose team is getting beat and he has nothing left except to ride the official. Or little Suzie's daddy in the third row who truly believes the only reason his princess isn't getting calls from the WNBA is that incompetent refs are holding her back. Or partners that come into a game with the mentality of "I hate these games but I condescend to work them so I can get the games I want." Or worst of all, partners who come into a game with the mentality of, "This is only a [whatever kind] of game, let's not call anything, let's not bother with mechanics, let's not deal with coaches. Just get this over with so I can collect my check and go do [something else] tonight."

4. Proficiency is an elusive and ever changing goal. It took me about three seasons before I was "proficient enough" to handle most sub-varsity games with no issues. I'm in my sixth year now, and I'm still actively working on officiating some aspects of the game. I have plenty to keep me busy for a long time to come. I worked a game earlier in the year with a 40 year veteran. I'd be willing to bet lunch that he's got things he's working on too. I'd also be willing to bet that the things he's working on won't even appear on my radar for many years yet.

Then again, if it was easy enough that you could learn to do it all in a year or two, where would the challenge be?
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2008, 09:52pm
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Who You Gonna Call ???

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Originally Posted by ranjo View Post
The thing I dislike most is not being able to stop the game and educate folks who do not understand the application of the rules.
That's why we have the Mythbusters.
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Old Tue Dec 23, 2008, 03:33am
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Originally Posted by Mark Padgett View Post
1)
I love the feeling of total authority.
I got into after age 50. The feeling of total authority is not to be taken lightly, especially among those of us married for a few years -- we get to exercise authority we don't have, and never will have, at home.

Also, take lots of kids travel team games. Most are on weekends. It will get you out of all sorts of weekend chores. Remember, since if you're not doing it for the money, you can toss the spouse the extra cash, and this combined with the absence required to bring her/him the extra cash is a wonderful way to justify not spending Saturday morning re-grouting the tub or some equally tedious nonsense.
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Old Tue Dec 23, 2008, 07:17am
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Originally Posted by CaRef5 View Post
I'm 19 now, doing Varsity boys games in my HS association.
Perhaps we should be discussing what age is too young to start.

I've never agreed with making someone so close to the age of the players the game official. The ability to control the situation just isn't there.
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