Tools of the Trade for a Referee
It is important to know the required tools of the trade to be successful in your chosen professional field. The job of a referee is no different and beyond the referee uniform, the job can be stressful. Hence, if you are looking into starting a career as a referee, it is important to know what kind of skills you need to ensure that you can build a successful career as a referee.
A referee, regardless of the type of sport, needs to be extremely patient. You will encounter players and coaches that will oppose your decision and if you’re unlucky, they will contest every decision you make.
As a referee, you will also encounter players and coaches who will waste your time. There will be players and coaches who will try to argue their way to reverse your decision. There will be players who will take their sweet time to retrieve the ball or throw the ball inbound. There will be players who will take too long making that free throw or that free kick. It can’t be helped.
You will also encounter players or coaches who will get in your way during your career as a referee so patience is really a virtue in this profession. There will be times that players will deliberately block your line of vision or accidentally bump or tackle you during a play.
This is also why it is important for refs to be alert. If you are the type to doze off in class during a boring history lesson, you might want to rethink your desired career path. However, if your heart is set on being a referee and wearing that referee uniform, it is important for you to always keep your head in the game.
It is not acceptable to find refs daydreaming during the game. You are not even allowed to glance around the crowd to see if your family or friends came to see you officiate the game. It might cause a team their win and if you are proven to have neglected your job, you can kiss your referee career goodbye.
Good communication skills are also a must for any sports official to succeed. These individuals need to be able to communicate effectively with players and coaches alike and a referee with good communication skills can encourage cooperation amongst competing teams and players.
A blabbing referee does not elicit respect and credibility from players, coaches and the public. Moreover, coaches and players are more likely to question and contest your decision if it wasn’t communicated properly and effectively. This will give rise to them losing their respect and questioning your ability as a referee.
It is also important for a successful referee to be able to be decisive. There is no room for second-guessing or after thought in the profession. A referee should be able to make decisions within a reasonable amount of time based on what he or she saw. The key is to be decisive because second-guessing your decision will raise doubts among the teams and before you know it, your decision is smeared by controversies.
Integrity is also important when you want to put on that referee uniform. Refs are expected to be unbiased and impartial hence it is absolutely unforgiveable if the integrity of a referee is put into question. This is why Lu Jun and Tim Donaghy did the unthinkable as refs. Betting on the game your officiating and receiving bribes to fix the outcome of the game is the probably the ultimate treason for a referee.
It is also important for these individuals in referee uniform to be elegant and composed during the entire duration of the game. Any competitive game can develop to be highly emotional especially for its players, coaches and fans. The referee must always remain cool and calm even if it is the last ten seconds of the game and there is only a point difference between the two teams. Although it can’t be helped to get excited along with everybody else, it is important for refs to keep their composure until the end to be able to make sensible calls and decisions.
As with any other profession, it is also important for refs to employ common sense. People often take common sense for granted and one should not make that mistake especially if you are aspiring to be a referee. Common sense will help you make those quick decisive judgments during those crucial moments and this is what differentiates the competent referee from the rest.
As you might have noticed, being a referee requires a lot of mental preparation. You might be wondering why. Aside from the aforementioned characteristics, it is important for these refs to be able to keep their concentration for the entire duration of the game. These sports games last at least two hours and even for normal folks like us, you can’t help but let your mind wander around during those boring moments. These refs don’t have that kind of luxury and they need to be 100% focus on the game at hand no matter how boring or uneventful it may be.
Of course the most important of all is to have a very comprehensive knowledge of the rulebook and its guidelines. You won’t be an effective referee if you missed to call out violations and you will find a lot of people who will question your competency as a referee.
It might seem hard to memorize the rulebook and its guidelines but refs aren’t required to memorize the rules; the key is to familiarize oneself with the rules. This can be achieved with constant practice over a long period of time. Nothing is ever instant in this world and if you are planning to officiate in the big leagues, it would do you well to start as early as possible. You’ll be surprise to notice that soon enough, all this tools of the trade for being a referee will become second nature to you.
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