Many officials, especially the younger ones, are starting to officiate football and one day want to go to a college Power 5 conference or the NFL to officiate. However, when they start out they are probably refereeing peewee or high school football and have many years and promotions until they get the chance to be on a big stage like this. Here are 8 things football officials can do to help move up the referee ranks.
1. Prepare well for anything.
If you want to progress, you have to show your colleagues that you care about what you do. If other public servants see the work you do, they are more likely to speak highly of you to supervisors, which opens new doors for you.
2. Perform well.
It should be a little obvious, but officials have to do their job well. Every football official will make mistakes, but try to make sure you get the easy calls. Missing a judgment call is one thing, but missing a simple call makes it harder for supervisors to look beyond to see your positives.
3. Get to know others and the network.
Networking is not just for the business world! If you are a football official looking to improve, the more people who know you and care about you, the better. Many officials who have served longer may have a relationship with supervisors where they will recommend you for promotion.
4. Make contact with supervisors.
If you ever want to take arbitration to the next level, the supervisors will give you this opportunity. Make sure you introduce yourself and try to let them know.
5. Go to clinics.
Clinics are not only great places to learn new skills to help you become a better official, they are also great places to network. Use these clinics to show off your skills and introduce yourself to supervisors in person.
6. Practice and improve.
Listen to what other officials tell you and what you learn in the clinics. This is how you improve. After you take this new knowledge, put it into practice. Then it will come naturally for you in the field.
7. Take as many opportunities as possible.
Sometimes you may be offered to work on a game at a higher level, even on the day of the game. Take advantage of this opportunity, accept it, and perform well. It will impress teammates and supervisors by letting them know you are ready for this level of football.
8. Keep track of what you are doing.
Keep a list of the matches you officiate. Sometimes supervisors want to see what you have officiated and it’s easier to give them a list. It also shows that you were prepared for it and wanted to progress.