Category Archives: Game Management

Setting Expectations before the First Whistle

We have all heard it before; communication is an essential skill that a referee must develop in order to be successful: be a people person! Listen! Match energy levels! Take charge! But what exactly does all that mean? How does one learn how to do it?  As a referee you must realize that your goal is not to control a game but to manage it and that means, managing people.  That is managing player, coaches, table personnel, fans, parents, and even fellow officials.  Often, I hear officials say that they clearly and concisely communicated what they wanted, but the coach or player just would not listen.  And so began a chain of events that lead to rising tension, an outburst, a penalty, a fight and an ejection.
letmeexplainOfficials often equate communication skills as coming into play once a conflict or crisis has started.  They regale us with stories of how they swooped in and took charge or expound on how they defused the situation with their charm and calm demeanor. Continue reading

Things I learned at the Vail LAREDO 3

USL TrainingThis summer I attended my first US Lacrosse Referee Development (LAREDO) clinic.  The LAREDO program began in the late 1980s as a way to teach two and three-man mechanics to officials in areas new to lacrosse. Clinics are led by experienced clinicians, all of whom are elite officials with years of experience both on the field and in the classroom.  The program has evolved to provide opportunities for officials at various points in their careers and now serves as a means of standardizing best practices throughout the country.  Level 1 clinics are primarily aimed at rookie officials and reinforce basics two-man mechanics.  Level 2 clinics are geared towards officials with three to four years of experience who have a solid grounding in two-man mechanics. These clinics introduce a more nuanced understanding of game management practices and principles.  The Level 3 LAREDOs are for experienced high school officials looking to master three-man mechanics and are often seen as a stepping stone to the collegiate ranks. Continue reading

Communication Maintains The Threshold

This is an examination of three separate body checks in one Varsity game from not too long ago with a three-man crew. Region game between two skilled teams that were up and down through the season. It was going to be a good game if both teams showed up with their “A” game. They both played strong and it turned out to be a barn burner of a game with lots of up and down action and some very hard hits. It was a night game under the lights and a very loud crowd for each team. As a ref this is a game you remember for a while because the atmosphere was electric all the way to the final horn. Continue reading

Inconsistency

Before the 2013 season I was interviewed for an article about US Lacrosse’s Officials Education Program to give my take on how the OEP benefits new and experienced officials around the country, especially those in developing areas.

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