Monthly Archives: June 2014

Bring Backups

I have backups for my backups. Extra whistles, extra flags, extra scorecards, extra pencils. You name it I’ve got it stocked in a verifiable Honig’s shop in the back of my hatchback. My very first scrimmage ever back in 2008 I pulled into the school parking lot and met the assigned referee. I thought I had everything I needed, but after looking into his car I realized I only had the bare minimum of supplies needed. Seeing the shocked expression on my face my partner told me he accumulated all of his extra gear after many seasons, and if I stuck with officiating I would have a similar collection. That wound up being  a very true prediction.

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New Official’s Training : Two Classes in September

TOUnfortunately, due to a lack of field training opportunities, ALO will be unable to hold a class for new officials this summer.  However, we plan to hold two classes in the first two weeks of September with multiple field training dates throughout the fall season.  We are looking to do a class in Decatur and one in Cobb  County. Once classroom sites are confirmed we will get the registration site up and running.  

For those who still need to complete their Field Training, we will have an online registration for fall dates.  ONLY this officials who have registered with USL, completed the webinar and taken and passed the tests will be allowed to sign up, so make sure you have your ducks in a row!

Please feel free to contact us at

Family of Fouls: Using Scaffolding to Teach Penalties to New Officials

lostThere is an old joke among refs about the three stages a young official goes through during the course of his career.   In the first stage, the rookie is nervous, not sure of where they are supposed to be on the field, unaccustomed to the speed of the game and terrified of making a mistake.  So, they call nothing.  A player could be decapitated in front of them and they would be loath to throw a flag.  After a year of working games and time spent diligently reading the rule book, the young official thinks he or she has “figured it out,” Comfortable recognizing fouls, they call everything! Hey that’s illegal: flag!  Oooh, another penalty: flag! Can’t do that: flag! Finally, after a few seasons and numerous discussions with trainers and mentors, the official “gets it” and begins to understand how level of play, type of game, time and place factor in the decision making process on whether or not to call a foul and what to call. They develop what we call game management.

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How I Deal With BS

This post was inspired by a recent article that US Lacrosse picked up written by an Idaho lacrosse official thinking about hanging up his stripes due to consistent verbal assaults from uneducated fans during his games entitled “Officials and Sideline Behavior: Something Needs to Change“.

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The Ball Will Distract You

I vividly remember one particular clear during the 2012 Vail Shootout while I was officiating at the LAREDO 3 clinic. I had reached the far cone as the single side official after starting my timer when the new trail official signaled reset once the goalie made a save. My feet were ready to take me down the other half of the field at a moment’s notice and I was focused on the clear coming towards midfield. All of a sudden the goalkeeper noticed his attackman on the far side was wide open and he launched the ball towards his teammate. I tracked the ball as it flew through the air and before it reached it’s apex I heard:

“You’re ball-watching!”

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