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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Communication: Reach out to the officials to introduce yourself, verify the game details, and ask if they need any further information.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Provide necessary support: Provide officials with any necessary support, such as water, towels, or shade during breaks.
- Maintain communication: Be available to answer any questions or address any concerns that the officials may have during the game.
- Monitor player and coach behavior: Make sure that players and coaches are following the rules and behaving appropriately. Address any issues that arise promptly.
- Stay organized: Keep the game running smoothly by making sure that everything is organized, such as substitution procedures, timeouts, and scorekeeping.
After the contest:
- Express appreciation: Thank the officials for their hard work and dedication. Express your appreciation for their efforts in ensuring a fair and safe game.
- Gather feedback: Ask the officials for feedback on the game and how things could be improved. Consider implementing their suggestions in future games.
- Address issues: Address any issues that arose during the game promptly and constructively.
- Pay promptly: Ensure that officials are paid promptly and accurately for their work.
- 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.