become a better official this year.
As an official in the
state of Michigan we each work as an independent contractor.
That in essence means we
are a business entity and we provide a service to schools as an
official. Normally when a school hires a contractor to do work
for them, they look to hire a person who has good credentials,
knows his or her job well and can be expected to do a job that
will meet the schools expectations. Most contractors are licensed
by the state and have to meet a certain level of proficiency in
order to get their license. In addition they are required to take
continuing education classes at their own expense to keep their
proficiency up to current standards.
Let’s examine what an MHSAA official has to do to become
an independent contractor official. You must pay a minimal fee
and attend an on-line rules meeting that includes answering a few
multiple choice questions. If you miss any of the questions you
simply need to go back and retake that part of the test over and
with only 3 or 4 possible answers to choose from, you would need
at most 4 tries to get any question correct. You are now a registered
MHSAA official. You could be legally blind; you could be confined
to a wheel chair; you don’t need to know a single thing about
the sport you are registered to officiate. However, you are registered
to officiate a MHSAA sanctioned event in your sport as an independent
contractor. Would you consider hiring an electrician to rewire
your house that doesn’t know what they are doing?
The problem the state has is there are not enough officials in
any give sport so they can pick and choose only the best to work
their events. We likely have all worked with or perhaps are an
official who is very deficient in the skills required to be a great
or even good official in your sport. How about if this year you
make a commitment to fix that problem? Become a better official.
You are trying to sell a service. Why not make it a great service?
Here are a few thoughts to consider;
Do you regularly sit down after an event and discuss with your
officiating partners what went well and what didn’t go
so well in the event and what should or could be done differently
• Did you have to sanction a coach for getting out of line? Perhaps
had you done your job better, you would not have had to issue
• How many times have you read the rule book for your sport? I would
suggest that 1 or 2 or 3 times is not near enough.
• Are you in good enough shape physically to get where you need to
get to make the calls you need to make in your sport, if not
try fixing the problem?
• When was the last time you attended a camp or clinic that was designed
to make you a better official in your sport?
• Have you purchased a new shirt, new pants or a new pair of shoes
in the last year or two so you look professional?
If I want to sell my services as a doctor, I had better be
a darn good doctor or I will not have many patients. If I want
to be a
plumber, I had better be good at my craft or I will not have
many calls to fix plumbing problems. So why not be a good official?
Stop complaining about not getting assigned to good events
only getting crappy assignments. Do what you can to become
official. It’s the only thing you can control that will
get you better assignments. Read the rule book again and again.
some weight and get in shape physically. Spend some time and
money and attend a clinic to get better at officiating your
athletes you officiate deserve it.
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