Improving communities through sport

Staff Development: How To Hire Officials

Official hired through staff development

How Should I Hire Officials? Our Staff Development Expert Weighs In

It can be frustrating as a facility manager to put in time and effort to make your facility the best it can be but not see the results you want to see. It will leave you questioning what you can do differently. Often times, people asking this question will be led to staff development and creating the best environment for their patrons. For athletes, one thing that impacts their experience at a sports complex is the quality of officials. One easy way to make athletes want to compete at your facility is to hire the best officials. In today’s blog post, SFM will look at how you can use staff development in your hiring to make sure your refs are the best in the area.

Why Do You Need Good Officials?

Athletic facilities often rely solely on volunteers to officiate their games and matches. While this is fine with youth sports, it will quickly frustrate higher-level athletes if your officials aren’t consistent and well-trained. So while it’s important to look for good officials, it does depend on the type of facility you are running. If you are a community center that exclusively conducts youth sports leagues, you don’t need trained officials. But if you are a more competitive sports complex, you need better refs.

How To Use Proper Staff Development To Hire Officials

The biggest reason why hiring officials is more difficult than hiring staff is that you will typically hire officials through their association. You don’t hire officials for your facility, you hire them for your league. However, you can still properly vet the referees that you bring in to officiate your leagues. You can use your contacts and connections to find out which officiating crews are the best and which associations are the most consistent. It is also useful to survey your coaches and players to see which officiating crews they have the least trouble with.
For the most part, officials coming from an association are going to be trained. However, that doesn’t mean they are going to be consistent or highly qualified. While it can be difficult at times, it is possible to create a system that employs the best officials for tournaments and leagues and it is done largely through our next point.

Creating An Atmosphere Of Accountability

It’s easy to confuse accountability with fear, but for any sports facility to exercise proper staff development, they will need some form of accountability. This should also be with the predisposition that most of your officials are not trained or qualified to officiate at the highest level. The best thing you can do in maintaining both accountability and trust between your players and your officials is to set guidelines and expectations. Referees are going to miss calls and that is part of the business. However, they are expected to maintain a consistency and composure to their performance.
So your accountability isn’t based on how many calls an official misses, but based on an expectation of proper technique and behavior that, if violated over a long period of time, may require changes.

Let SFM Help With Your Staff Development

Officials are just one of many moving parts when it comes to staff development. As a facility management service, we understand how difficult it can be to keep everything functioning. At SFM, we are here to help you run your facility in the best way possible, so contact us today at (727) 483-7910 or visit our website for more information.

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