“This referee asked me to print out his paperwork for him and just have it for him at camp to sign. Another referee emailed me just to tell me he’d been working out and running all summer, like they wanted me to congratulate them. I just don’t think they understand,” the officiating assignor tells me this morning.
While I didn’t ask for a complete venting session, it is what I received. Not only do I empathize, but I believe many assignors feel the same way. I feel the lines have become unclear between boss/contractor when it comes to officiating, because generally the promotions come from within. What I mean by that is that most assignors either were officials or are still officiating the game, which makes us feel like they are our friends.
We have seen her grow up. We’ve seen her advance. We know her. She is our friend. Well folks, she is now your BOSS. You must communicate with her differently. You must respect her new title, and figure out how to communicate with her in this new role. The greatest officials, receiving the greatest games and assignments have figured out how to properly communicate with assignors, fellow officials, and other stakeholders in the game.
This morning a news story about one of the great NBA officials, reminds me of our duty to know our role, and then to be even better. It is our role to know the rules, to workout, to do our paperwork, to keep our availability current, and to communicate effectively with our supervisor or boss. These are the mandatory – no recognition or applause warranted – duties of being an official. If you want to be recognized or you want to advance, don’t look for the applause in the little, totally necessary skills and requirements. You must demonstrate more than the minimum job requirements I have listed below. No supervisor is applauding your off season workout regime (unless of course you drop those unnecessary 40 pounds).
In the Quartz article, Danny Crawford is lauded for his communication skills, in addition to his excellence in calling games (the required minimum).
“Danny is good because he’ll talk to you,” one player told the Times. “If you’re asking a question, even if you’re questioning his call, he doesn’t take it like it’s an affront to his manhood.”
Crawford, one of the NBA’s all-time greatest referees, made his 23rd straight NBA Finals appearance in 2017’s game one, as the Golden State Warriors drubbed James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. Quartz crunched the data: It’s the longest streak on basketball’s biggest stage by a referee since 1975.
That is greatness, Dannyboy, that is greatness. Danny handles his business and knows his role, and people recognize. They have recognized it for more than two decades. Do you know your role? Do you do the minimum or do you do more? noticeably more?
When you speak to your supervisor at camp, or you communicate with their staff, are you giving them all the respect they deserve? Check yourself. Check your communication with your supervisor. Maybe she doesn’t need to hear about your exercise routine, and she for sure doesn’t need to be showing you how to use your online scheduling tools… that’s your role. My encouragement to you this camp season is to know your role, excel at it, and know that it will be noticed, without you pointing it out to anyone. Do your job. Be kind. People will notice.
Have a great camp – know your role.