By Randy Vogt
You will know that you have become a good referee when:
• After the game, players and coaches go out of their way to say “Good job,” “Great job!” or “You were the best ref we’ve had all season!”
• People say to you, “Could you officiate all our games?”
• Your phone and e-mail account become hot with more and more assignments.
• You are assigned top games.
• You are asked to officiate tournaments out-of-state and maybe even abroad.
• You receive officiating awards from leagues and referee associations.
This means you have succeeded. Congratulations!
Now you come to an important fork in the road. Or as Yogi Berra has said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it!”
Some successful referees take the correct road. They know that they have succeeded because of their knowledge of the Laws of the Game and their application, their hustle, their positive attitude, their fairness and firmness plus their approachability. And they continue doing all these great things.
Other successful refs take the wrong road. Their success goes to their head and they somehow think the game is now about them.
I have heard these comments about refs:
• “He used to be really good and now all he wants to do is argue with the coaches.”
• “He was one of our top referees but he no longer runs and gives decisions that seem solely to create attention for himself.”
• “He’s a good ref. The problem is, he thinks that he is a great ref and lets everyone know it.”
• “She was a very good referee. Now people don’t take her seriously as her body has become as big as a house.”
• “He was one of our best referees. Now he hardly moves out of the kickoff circle.”
Which road are you going to take?
(Randy Vogt has officiated over 8,000 games during the past three decades, from professional matches in front of thousands to 6-year-olds being cheered on by very enthusiastic parents. In his book “Preventive Officiating” he shares his wisdom gleaned from thousands of games and hundreds of clinics to help referees not only survive but thrive on the soccer field. You can visit the book’s website at http://www.preventiveofficiating.com/)