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Old Tue Oct 31, 2006, 04:07pm
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The next big step...or at least the first one

Having just finished my first year as a football official, and already being an official in two other sports (baseball and basketball), I realize that this is the sport I want to commit myself to, to get the "big games," not just at the high school level, but ultimatly, NCAA and perhaps a shot at the NFL.

From you guys who do college ball and perhaps have looked into tryouts with the NFL. what advice can you give me? I am young, 23, and just finishing my last year of college. Hopefully getting started early will be to my advantage.

my main questions are, what is a realistic set of goals for moving up, time wise? My goal in my high school organazation is not to be the WH for the finals, but to best gain expieriance nessecary to move on. and also, are there clinics that I def need to attend to have a shot to move up?


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Old Tue Oct 31, 2006, 04:34pm
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If you want to move up, BE GOOD. Everything else will take care of itself.
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Old Tue Oct 31, 2006, 04:57pm
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Keep in shape

Read the rule constantly make the call before they make it on television

Work games get snaps review tape

As for getiing to NCAA find a mentor and work spring scrimmages at every school in your area (let them know your interested)

Be lucky
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Old Tue Oct 31, 2006, 09:59pm
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Be a sponge. Soak in all you can from the guys that have done it all before you.

Keep reading these boards.

Work as many games as humanly possible.

Be patient. Setting a specific time table might be setting yourself up for disappointment. When it seems like you're going nowhere, keep working hard.

If you're still working Pop Warner after 10 years, you might consider committing yourself to basketball.
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Old Wed Nov 01, 2006, 09:30am
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Originally Posted by radwaste50
As for getiing to NCAA find a mentor and work spring scrimmages at every school in your area (let them know your interested)

Be lucky
The two most important!!!

There are many very good officials competing for a limited number of slots. Without a mentor (with pull) and without a degree of luck, you are not likely to be noticed or considered.
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Old Wed Nov 01, 2006, 11:27am
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Don't try to move up too fast. "First impressions are lasting impressions" holds true in officiating. When you think you are ready to move up and you get a shot to impress the supervisors be 100% that it is time because you'll likely only get one shot. The general rule of thumb is to work at least 10 years of high school ball and then 5 years of major college ball. In years past the NFL wouldn't even give you an application if you didn't meet those requirements.
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Old Wed Nov 01, 2006, 01:14pm
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Something that helped me learn a lot and network was charting penalties for a college crew. Once you find a college official in your area, ask them if you can tag along on a Saturday afternoon. It might seem like a waste of time, and you might get a little bored, but you can learn a lot by doing this. I went along with two different crews last year and they were night and day. In fact, I got picked up by one of them.

Check these boards and some of the other boards, namely There are many college level officials there. Not to discount those of you that check here too, there just seems to be more of a NCAA focus there.

Go to clinics in your area and even those not in your area. Heck I went to one 650 miles away from me. Yeah I felt a little out of place but I learned a ton.

Lastly, listen more, talk less. The more you listen and the more you ask good questions the better. Don't be the guy at the clinics that makes a (bad) name for himself by talking when you're suppose to be listening.

Good luck. Have patience. John Bible, Big 12 referee, wrote an article in Referee mag that I reread often. His main point was don't be in a hurry. He feels that an official should have 10 years of HS experience before moving to the college ranks. Then another 3-5 years at D2, D3, or NAIA ranks before applying to major conferences. Not sure that is 100% feasible all the time, but at your age, you have plenty of time on your side. Bible says that you really only get one shot to make it.
Check out my football officials resource page at
If you have a file you would like me to add, email me and I will get it posted.
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