Official's Guide: Your Pre-Game Conference with Coaches and Captains

Most games require a pre-game meeting with coaches and captains. This is an opportunity to introduce yourself to the captains and coaches. While the pre-game meeting isn't the most important aspect of officiating basketball, having a good pre-game gets the game off on the right foot.

There are a couple of approaches on how the pre-game should be conducted. There is the long approach and the short approach. The experience and level of the game to be played might determine which one can be used.

The long approach. This way of conducting the pre-game involves the officials going into great detail about numerous variables: what line will be the out-of-bounds line, what color the line is, basic ground rules and extraneous information about your officiating style. That type usually takes more than a minute. While the abundance of information may seem like a good idea -- especially in a youth game -- players and coaches usually have other things on their mind than listening to an official's long-winded pre-game. Seek and answer questions at that time to avoid problems during the game.

The short approach. This type of pre-game is short and to the point. It lays out the groundwork for the game (good sportsmanship, lots of hustle, etc.) and leaves the door open for players and coaches to interact with the officials during the game. It often lasts less than 30 seconds.

Either type of pre-game is acceptable. Choose one that fits your style and level of the game and use it. A good pre-game is often the foundation to having a smooth game.

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