Author Topic: Help for an aspiring official  (Read 956 times)

Offline higham85

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Help for an aspiring official
« on: October 13, 2017, 10:19:50 AM »
Looking for some advice. I have been coaching football for the last 4 years and plan to do it for one more season. I am very interested in becoming an official when I am done coaching. As a coach my only real gripe I have ever had with the officials is when they don't know the rules. My biggest apprehension/fear is being that official who impact a game because he didn't know a rule. I have read the rule book several times but much of it is hard to follow. What are your recommendations for and aspiring official? How do you learn the rules? Online courses? Books? Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks.

Offline ChicagoZebra

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 10:25:13 AM »
Find Redding's study guide. It is - by leaps and bounds - the best book to help new officials understand the rules and how to enforce them.

After that, attend local association meetings to understand philosophy and mechanics from good, experienced officials.

Finally, prepare to work a year or two at the JV level. There is nothing like game experience to get you ready for the big time.

Offline FLAHL

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 12:01:55 PM »
Welcome to the dark side.   8]

As you've already seen, the NFHS rulebook isn't the easiest thing to read.  Break it into chunks.  With the exception of Rule 2, most of the rules are less than 10 pages long.  Study them one at a time.  "Today, I'm going to spend all of my study time on Rule 6."  As you read the rules, ask yourself how you'd explain that rule to a player, or coach, or casual football fan.  If you can explain it in your own words, you've got it.

Study the Case Book as well.  It's easier to read than the rule book and makes many of the rules more clear with real game examples or situations.

Google "Aloha Football Clinic" and watch the videos that they've posted.  This will help you with the letter of the rule versus the practical application (no, they are not the same thing).

Find a mentor.  Shadow a crew that is willing to let you ask questions, sit in on their pregame and halftime sessions, and go to the post-game debrief (aka beer & burgers).

Find a friend.  Get to know another new official, and study together.  Explain rules and interpretations to each other.  Give each other quiz questions.

Try to ask questions that show you've been studying.  Don't ask "Is it legal to trip the runner?"  Ask "The defender can trip the runner, right?"  One question shows you've been studying, the other doesn't.

Verify what you're told.  If you get conflicting information from different veteran officials (and you certainly will), don't believe either/any of them.  Look it up.  That'll teach you the rule, and will also let you know who you should stop asking questions to.

Reddings - already been said.  It's about $12 and you can get away with only buying it every other year.

Hang out on this site, and pay very close attention to what Ralph says.  Unless he's talking about his beloved Sox or Pats.   nAnA
"Never argue with stupid people.  They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 10:17:53 AM »
Thanks for the kind words, FLAHL. Our chapter hovers around 50 members, of which 10 are former coaches. They are the stronger members of our chapter and their progression have always exceeded the non-coaches. IMHO, this may be caused by:
 (1) Understanding of the game = common sense, not a "walking rule book waiting to happen".
 (2) Ability to focus on duties = specialized coaching requires on watching certain players NOT watching where the football is sailing.
 (3) Dealing with kids = you can control players much better if you've had to control kids in a previous life.
 (4) Good physical condition = most coaches strive to stay in good share in trying to be a good role model for their players.

Coaching / officiating - our fellow former coaches has told me the advantages of their current choice:
(1) Time spent =- coaching is a week long event with practice every night -game night - followed by game review and game plan. Officiating requires a weekly meeting, working a sub-varsity game, working a varsity game.
(2) Much of the learning can be done at home with your family.
 (3) No PMS (parental meddling syndrome), you show up at the game unknown and unnoticed -except by the athletic director who my have your paycheck - and, hopefully, leave the same way.

Hope you choose to give it a try. tiphat: 

 

Offline animalspooker

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 10:01:01 AM »
Oh, we can't talk to you until you quit coaching.  You know, its that refs and coaches are mortal enemies thing....lol.

Good luck and read Redding's as advised.

Online carol1995

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 10:46:50 AM »
Google "Aloha Football Clinic" and watch the videos that they've posted.  This will help you with the letter of the rule versus the practical application (no, they are not the same thing).

All of the Aloha Clinic videos are here:  http://www.refereeclinic.com/videos

Offline Jackhammer

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 11:30:38 AM »
A lot of good advice here.

I guess I would add, WORK SNAPS. 

Approach this game with a humble heart and work.  As you note the rules are difficult.  No matter how hard you try there is no substitute for putting into practice what is meant in the rule book with practical experience.  After almost two decades doing this, I still find myself after a game (from pee-wee to Varsity) referencing something I saw and looking it up and saying to myself, okay now I understand what that is saying or finding a different perspective on it.

In the end, the goal is providing a fair environment, so that the teams can determine the outcome.  We all get in situations where we may not know the rule, mis-remember the rule, or forget.  In these cases, common sense, experience and judgement about the situation can usually get you to a fair result.

Good luck.
"The only whistle that kills a play is an inadvertent one"

"The only thing black and white in officiating is the uniform"

Offline InsideTheStripes

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2017, 02:58:06 PM »
A lot of good advice here.

I guess I would add, WORK SNAPS. 

...

Good luck.

I would echo this. 100x.

I spent my first 5 years working any game at any level that I could get my hands on and couldn't be happier I did it. It taught me how to manage games, communicate with all sorts of different people, and put me in so many situations that you simply can't get by reading a book (or even several books). You will never really know the depths of the rule and casebooks until you experience them on the field in real time with people screaming at you.

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 09:43:03 AM »
I dont think anyone said this yet:
go to a game...and watch the officials, not the game itself.
See what each are doing for particular plays.
I'm sure if you contact your local assn they will be glad to have you out.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Help for an aspiring official
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 09:48:08 AM »
Great advice, but a gentle reminder - sometimes we officials mess it up too. I was watching an NFL game yesterday, and on replay from a backfield angle caught the WH with his eyes downfield watching the other end of a pass play..