A critical factor to being a successful official (referee or umpire.) is your game management or ‘people’ skills. Despite your good intentions, sometimes there will be disagreements between people involved in the game, and how well you handle these at an early stage will have a direct impact on stopping these situations from escalating.
How solid your game management skills are can play a huge role in your acceptance and ability to be a leader on the field. Look at the most successful people in officiating and life, and they will have this common trait – their ability to handle people in a respectful manner. You earn respect by giving respect.
This site contains learning resources for 2 key parts of game management skills:
1. Communication Skills
An important part of officiating is good communication. The official’s communication with participants and others is undertaken in a range of ways which include:
- voice - communicating decisions/rulings
- whistle - communicating to participants to do something
- indications - communicating a decision non verbally
- body language - communicating a feeling/emotion.
The Communication Skills resources will provide you with relevant information that will improve your communication with players and coaches, allow you to officiate with more confidence, and increase your enjoyment of the game.
2. Conflict Management Skills
The officiating environment can be challenging and potentially hostile. Dealing with conflict can be tough for a confident official, let alone an inexperienced one. Good officiating relies on dealing with conflict professionally and positively.
Conflict is likely to arise in a number of situations. These include:
- disagreement from participants over a penalty/infringement
- perceived bias shown by the official in the eyes of participants/coaches
- frustration shown by participants as a result of their level of performance or the competition result
- misunderstanding of instructions or rulings from an official
- sledging between participants.
The Conflict Management resources provide tips and techniques on minimising conflict, preventing conflict, and if an issue does arise – resolving conflict.