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Coaches Working With Officials

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"I’m not the type to yell at game officials or badger them for calls during the game, but I feel like I could do a better job communicating with the officials before, during and after games. Any advice?"

PCA Response By Kelly Cagle, PCA Trainer – Phoenix
One of the ways we can Honor the Game is by respecting the Officials, and figuring out a way to communicate effectively with them on game day. A good way to do this is to break the game up into three parts:

  • Pre-game
  • During the game
  • Post-Game.

Pre-Game: Make it a point to introduce yourself to the officiating crew during the warm-up. Not only will this humanize the relationship between coach and officials, but it will also demonstrate to the officials that you see their role in the game as an important one. This is also a good time to talk to them about expectations, and to find out from them if they prefer you to communicate with them in a certain way.

During the Game: Once the expectations are set and the game is in motion, refer back to the recommended way to communicate. Catch the referees being good ("Great call, Terry"), and really pick and choose your moments to ask questions, saving the questions for the really important topics.

After the Game: Once the game has ended, and regardless of what the scoreboard says, you should be one of the first to shake the officials' hands, and preferably thank them by name.

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