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Old Wed Sep 07, 2005, 12:28pm
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I am currently taking classes (2 so far) to become a football official. I officiate basketball and baseball but in these sports Iwent through all the classes and took the test before working a game. In football they have us take the classes and work games (Pop Warner) before taking the test. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should work on first? What is most important? By the way in Massachusetts we use NCAA rules with several modifications.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Wed Sep 07, 2005, 12:40pm
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if you are starting on flanks, pick a POE for each game like a) squaring into the ball b)counting players c)positioning. the only way to get better at officiating is to see more snaps.
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Old Wed Sep 07, 2005, 12:44pm
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In my opinion, the very first thing you should learn are the "Football Fundamentals". It gives you a common sense view of the game. I found it to be tremendously helpful.

Good Luck to you!
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Old Wed Sep 07, 2005, 01:12pm
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REPLY: The NCAA code has nothing akin to the Federation's "Football Fundamentals" except for a short section entitled "The Football Code" that pretty much extols the virtues of ethics, sportsmanship and fair play. Not really the same thing as the FF section of the Federation book.

Rely on experienced officials for your PW games and concentrate on mechanics. When it comes to rule study, concentrate on Rule 2 (Definitions). As you know from your other sports, unless you know the definitions 'cold,' you can't make sense out of any of the other rules. The NCAA rules are, in my estimation, considerably more complicated than their Federation counterparts. However, they are fairly well thought out and presented logically.
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Old Wed Sep 07, 2005, 03:20pm
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Ditto what michaelpr says, really concentrate on one aspect of your officiating. I had a basketball "mentor" teach me this. When we would work together, though not often enough, he'd ask me "What are you going to work on this game?"

We'd choose one area and concentrate (emphasize) that particular mechanic.

I'm ordinarily a wingman but did start working BJ on our first V game. As BJ I concentrated on my key (TE), fist signal for 11 man count on B, and made a point to take note of the ineligible receivers.

As a HL/LJ forward progress is a big one to work on. Mechanically stay parallel to the play until you reach the forward progress point then cut straight in at a 90 degree to make your spot. Hand signal the down/doublestakes to your crew. If in a 4-man crew (LJ),choose a scrimmage kick and work the bean bag and "first touching".

There isn't an official around, new guy or veteran, which couldn't benefit from doing this each and every game regardless of the game level.

Be athletic, hustle, get there, make your call, listen to the coach a bit, smile, nod, and act as if there is nowhere else you'd rather be right now! It'll pay tenfold for you.

WM
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