Games three days a
week, association meeting once a week plus that every-other-week
association board meeting. Sound familiar? Many officials have schedules
that keep them hopping every week.
officiating in perspective is one of the most important ó yet often
challenging ó aspects of officiating. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in
our officiating we forget critically important things, like family.
An association can
help its members by offering instruction not only in the nuances of
officiating, but in the real world of balance as well. Here are some
tips to make sure family life and officiating have a peaceful
1. Donít take the game
home with you.
Frustrations often mount in officiating. Think about the typical
horrendous event. The coach was screaming at you. The fans were brutal.
The game was a blowout. Your partner arrived late. The observer made you
feel like you did nothing right. You drove home in terrible weather.
That is not the time
to use your spouse by dumping all of your problems. Certainly, most
spouses are supportive and want to know how things went. Tell your
spouse, but be careful not to cross the line and heave mounds of emotion
on your spouse. If you need your spouse to act as a sounding board or
give you a pep talk every time you come home from a game, youíre
probably not have much fun officiating. Certainly, your spouse isnít
having much fun with your officiating either.
2. Have the children
plan a vacation.
Officiating often means spending time away from your family. One way to
make up for it is to spend your officiating money on a family vacation.
Let the kids in on the planning. Adding that little twist makes it a
true family effort.
3. Give your spouse a
Some officials might argue all the officiating money goes to the spouse
already! Seriously, consider giving your spouse an officiating check
when you come home from a game. Make it a surprise gift. Let the spouse
spend it on Ö whatever. Itís a small token of your appreciation and
acknowledges the spouseís understanding and tolerance of your
4. Call home when
When your officiating takes you on the road, call home when you get into
town. Most spouses would probably tell you they worry most about the
travel associated with officiated, whether itís across town or across
the country. If youíre spending time overnight, be sure to let your
spouse know you arrived OK. If youíre gone for a few days, check in
often. It eases your mind knowing everything is alright at home and it
eases your spouseís mind knowing youíre alright and you havenít
forgotten. Donít forget to say ďhiĒ to the kids.
5. Call if running
Arguably, few things get officials in more trouble with spouses than
getting home later than expected without calling home. If you were
running really late on your way to a game, youíd probably frantically
try to call your partner, your assigner, the school, etc. Why not have
that same emphasis when youíre running late going home? Thereís really
Thatís especially true
if you ďstop for a coupleĒ with your officiating cronies. Stopping at
the local watering hole to share war stories is a lot of fun and can be
great therapy. Just let your spouse know youíre doing it. Play a little
role reversal: How would you feel if your spouse was due home at a
certain time and showed up four hours later without calling home? Your
range of emotions would travel quickly between angry and worried. Donít
put your spouse through it.
6. Be careful when
Most officials have
desires to move up to another level or increase the number of games on
the schedule. Itís our competitive nature. However, before accepting
that promotion or working those extra couple of night per week, consider
the ramifications on your family. Many officials who have climbed to
high levels in officiating have sacrificed relationships with their
spouse and children. At the very least, discuss the changes in your
schedule and travel with your family before accepting the assignments.
Consider this: Thereís nothing wrong with working a local high school
schedule a couple of nights a week and having a tremendous family life.
There is something wrong with traveling all over the map for your new
college schedule and destroying your family life. What are your