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Author Topic: How to treat refs nicely?  (Read 134 times)

Offline ButtBlock_36

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How to treat refs nicely?
« on: March 14, 2017, 11:55:37 am »
0
I am a long time skater who recently took an interest in reffing. And it's a whole new exciting world that opens before me. I want to learn and master it all! (and this forum is helping me heaps btw - thanks for that) :D

But... as it seems it has been lacking for a long time in my league & I myself don't have the experience yet: what do refs like in terms of treatment? How can my league make refs like it? What do you consider best practices when visiting other leagues?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 12:05:47 pm by ButtBlock_36 »

Offline Stray Taco

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Re: How to treat refs nicely?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 02:04:03 pm »
+1
You can probably get as many opinions on what officials consider good treatment as you'll get officials, but here is #myopinion which is #reallywordy because I have #lotsofthoughts:

First, the basic things "everybody" does:
  • Fun goodie bags/baskets in the ref room
  • Snacks and water for the refs
  • Skaters saying "Thank you" to the officials before and/or after the game
  • Team cheer including "Thank you refs, Thank you NSOs"
  • Gas stipends/gas cards for officials who travel to help (especially when not affiliated with any leagues involved)

I put "everybody" in quotes, because while not all teams do this, most do or at least something along these lines. These are nice, tangible ways to show appreciation. In other words, if you're doing them, don't stop (Especially the stipends if you can afford them. It costs a lot to travel somewhere to ref!). But the reality is that these are tokens. When I leave a game wanting to return at every opportunity, it's because I felt like I was a genuinely appreciated part of making a successful derby experience for everyone there. And when I swear I won't go back, it's because Officials are afterthoughts or worse, treated badly by the teams or coordinators (NOTE: This is VERY rare, and no I won't say where I've experienced it).

It's really about making me feel that I was a valued part of the event and that there was growth by being a part of it. Not necessarily that everybody was happy and got along perfectly, but that I was respected as a person and as an official.

So, what makes me feel valued and respected? Well...
  • Teaching Skaters to treat officials with basic, human respect. Disagreement on calls comes with the territory, but constant arguing of every call or treating refs like they're biased or don't know what they're doing because calls don't go your way can be frustrating. Refs have thick skin but if that behavior is expected every time your team is around it will factor in when there are multiple places to go skate.
  • Contacting me far enough ahead of a game to be able to plan appropriately (Of course, things happen, but there's a difference between "we lost someone at the last minute" and "we forgot about needing refs until this week".
  • If I'm the Head Ref (especially when I'm travelling), making sure I know who my contact is with the league, who my Head NSO is, and what's expected of me as far as filling the ref roster
  • If I'm the Head Ref, giving me the freedom to make rostering decisions, are at least communicate concerns and changes I'd like to make
  • Good information before the game about the venue, schedule, teams, and any unusual circumstances I should be aware of
  • Not telling me how horrible the other refs were that you've had before (in my experience, if you're talking bad about other people to me, that's a good sign you'll talk bad about me to other people
  • Ensuring all Officials (refs and NSOs) have what they need to successfully do their jobs. (stopwatches, colors for the Jammer Refs), etc.)
  • Working with the refs to know what you'll provide or they need to bring to ensure they're properly nourished and hydrated (water to refill bottles is critical, snacks that actually help with mid-game or inter-game recovery are also good).
  • Clearly communicating what's expected for evaluations, where applicable (some refs don't care, other refs care a LOT)
  • If evaluations are requested, sending them to Cert in a timely manner.
  • This won't necessarily be seen by the ref (unless you choose to provide a copy), but actually taking the time to provide a thought-out evaluation, as opposed to drawing a line down the right side with no real comments.

I'm sure others have other things, and everyone prioritizes differently, but that's my list :)
Mike "Stray Taco" Straw

I know some things, but there's a lot more I don't know.

 

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