Remember how I started this blog a few years ago – sharing how the rules to my game had changed (Rule Book for Life). Well, as the saying goes, “the only thing that is constant is change.” It is once again time for the rules to change, but this time I’m talking about the NCAA changing the rules.
If you haven’t yet heard, the proposed rules changes are out for our review. http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-women/article/2015-05-15/rules-committee-recommends-moving-womens-games-four-quarter
What immediately happens when big rules change is that people begin asking referees about their opinions on the new rules, and we start spending our time giving reasons why we like or dislike the new rules. In reality, our opinion of the rules changes does not matter; it is our job to carry out the role of administrating the new rules as written. Period. The end.
The reason I think this point is so important to remember is that at the end of each season we are asked our opinion on new rules in the way of a “proposed new rule” document. At that time, officials are allowed and encouraged to suggest new rules. After that time, the rules committee, made up of coaches and administrators from universities. There are no voting officials on that committee (see link for current committee members) http://web1.ncaa.org/committees/committees_roster.jsp?CommitteeName=WBBRULES
The fact of the matter is that once they determine the rules changes, it is no longer about our opinion. Especially the opinion of us mid- tier Division I officials and lower. We are simply to enforce the rules as written. We are to adjust. We are to change and adapt to the rules.
This summer, you will be asked to administer new rules. You will be asked your opinion on the new rules. And I’d like to give you a little suggestion: Like them, adapt to them, and administer them as written. Because the truth is that no matter what you like and don’t like, these are the new rules and the officials who adjust to, adapt and enforce the changes will survive. Those who choose to dig in their heels and not change will not advance.
As I look back to my original blog post from more than three years ago, I can honestly say that I am proud of myself and my ability to adapt and adjust to the new rules life handed me. Just today, I hired a painter and handled my own drill and electric stapler for a home improvement project. And I kissed a great guy goodbye at the airport as I headed off on another trip. All in all, the changes have been good. But had I not been willing or able to accept the changes…whether I liked them or not… I would not be where I am today.
I challenge you to embrace the changes life hands you, and embrace the changes to the rules of the game you love. Accept them, understand them and enforce them. Learn to adapt in order to succeed.
“Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent.” –Nolan Ryan