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Officials: Maintain A Level Head During Competition

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Part of your responsibility as an official is to maintain composure during competition. Parents, coaches and athletes will feed off your energy. If you’re upset or riled up during a game, everyone else will sense that energy and likely feel uneasy. If you remain calm and collected in the face of all that occurs during competition, it will help keep most everyone else's emotions down during games. Ultimately, keeping a level head during competition will help you effectively enforce the rules of competition – your number one priority as an official.

How can you keep a level head, when sport competitions become heated so easily? The first step is to prepare for handling any jeers, abuse or confrontation. Comments from parents, coaches and athletes are the biggest challenges to your ability to keep your emotions in check, so have a plan before competition begins on how you’re going to deal with yelling from the sidelines.

Another step is to help any fellow officials. If you are working on a team of officials, judges, umpires or referees, use them as support and help support them in return. Sometimes, it makes sense to use a play stoppage to check in with each other. Use this time to return everyone to a cool, calm and collected state of officiating.

Finally, prepare yourself for the inevitable excitements that occur at the end of competition. Athletes are working hard to win. Parents and coaches are shouting and cheering. The end of a game will often bring high emotions. Double up your efforts to maintain a level head at the end of a competition and focus your energy on calling the rules and keeping play safe.

For a further description of how you can maintain a level head during competition, see the PDF below.

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