You have taken on a tremendous responsibility in agreeing to officiate youth basketball. Done right, it will be among the most rewarding roles you will ever undertake.
Officiating is a noble avocation and a remarkable challenge. One basic tenet separates you from all the others involved: You don't care who wins! Many participants -- coaches, players and parents -- have a hard time understanding that.
No game could be played to its highest standard without the work of the men and women, boys and girls, who officiate the game. You are in fact the keepers of the spirit of the game and the intent of the rules.
The eventual goal is to gain the respect of the players and coaches. There is a difference between respect and popularity. Respect is more difficult to attain and it has more meaning.
During any one game, you're going to take on the role of police officer, judge, jury, psychologist, counselor, teacher and mentor. You'll be a good listener while at the same time a strong decision-maker.
Officiating builds skills for a lifetime. Reacting under pressure, dealing with emotional situations, communicating effectively with people, being punctual and decisive -- those are just a few of the things officiating brings to the table that you will be able to apply at home, your job or anywhere.
Use this Official's Guide as a tool. You'll find all sorts of tips and techniques to get the job done well with a sense of fairness and safety.
Danny Crawford NBA Official
Lisa Mattingly WNBA Official