Do You Have the Right Stuff to Officiate?

Officiating youth basketball requires a knowledge and understanding of the rules and mechanics of the game. But officiating goes beyond the rules. The package you present as you step on the court should be a complete one. Do you have what it takes to be an official?

Integrity. Always uphold the highest principles. Make sure the game is played fairly by both sides. At times you may make the wrong call (we're all human and it happens), but there may be times when you can correct yourself without making a major production out of it. Do what is right for the game.

Courage. Many situations in games will test your ability to be brave and to make decisions that you know in your heart are correct but that may not be popular. When you execute such judgments properly, you gain the confidence of those involved in the game.

Consistency. Each situation differs, but strength of purpose is shown in the evenness with which you make decisions. That doesn't mean foul totals must be even to have a "good" game.

An Even Temperament. It's easy to remain calm when nothing is happening. It's hard to do so when people react negatively to your performance. You must maintain concentration through thick and thin. You cannot allow anything or anybody to get under your skin.

Humility. There is a tendency among some officials to adopt an authoritative, defensive posture, but the official who gains the most respect admits that sometimes he or she could be wrong. You can be great with rules and mechanics, but if your ability isn't tempered with human-relations skills, there will be problems.

Decisiveness. When something odd happens in a game, pause to replay the event mentally. Then make a firm decision and communicate it effectively. You are there to make decisions -- popular or otherwise.

Hustle. There is no substitute for hustling into proper position for a firm call. People will appreciate that you're on top of the play. Be ready for anything. You will gain the respect of the players and coaches by way of your hard work.

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