Ensuring Your Officials Have a Positive Experience Before, During, & After

Feb 28, 2023

Athletic Directors here are some recommendations for athletic directors to ensure officials have a positive experience before, during, and after a contest:

Before the contest:

  1. Provide officials with all necessary information: Make sure officials have all the necessary details, such as game time, location, directions, and parking information, well in advance.
  2. Verify game conditions: Verify that the game facilities are in good condition, including the playing surface, equipment, and lighting. Notify officials of any potential hazards, such as uneven surfaces or inadequate lighting.
  3. Communication: Reach out to the officials to introduce yourself, verify the game details, and ask if they need any further information.
  4. Prepare necessary equipment: Make sure officials have all necessary equipment, including scorecards, stopwatches, and whistles. Ensure that equipment is functioning properly and have backups in case of malfunction.
  5. Set clear expectations: Communicate any special rules or expectations, such as pregame and postgame routines, game-specific protocols, and behavior standards for players and coaches.

During the contest:

  1. Respect the officials: Treat the officials with respect, as they are professionals who are there to perform a job. Don’t engage in verbal or physical abuse, either personally or by others.
  2. Provide necessary support: Provide officials with any necessary support, such as water, towels, or shade during breaks.
  3. Maintain communication: Be available to answer any questions or address any concerns that the officials may have during the game.
  4. Monitor player and coach behavior: Make sure that players and coaches are following the rules and behaving appropriately. Address any issues that arise promptly.
  5. Stay organized: Keep the game running smoothly by making sure that everything is organized, such as substitution procedures, timeouts, and scorekeeping.

After the contest:

  1. Express appreciation: Thank the officials for their hard work and dedication. Express your appreciation for their efforts in ensuring a fair and safe game.
  2. Gather feedback: Ask the officials for feedback on the game and how things could be improved. Consider implementing their suggestions in future games.
  3. Address issues: Address any issues that arose during the game promptly and constructively.
  4. Pay promptly: Ensure that officials are paid promptly and accurately for their work.
  5. Maintain contact: Stay in contact with the officials and keep them informed of future games and events. Build a positive relationship with them for future games.
I hope these recommendations are helpful for athletic directors to ensure that officials have a positive experience before, during, and after the game. Remember that officials play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the game, and treating them with respect and providing necessary support will go a long way in ensuring a fair and safe contest.


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