Have you ever thought about your first day playing basketball? It’s not playing really - it’s getting acclimated to the ball going up and down dribbling, it’s learning how to have enough power to shoot, learning the angles on how to pass. Then there’s 1 on 1, then playing in a team setting, all dynamics that anyone wouldn’t expect to acquire the skills overnight. Officiating is no different. First we have to learn how to blow the whistle, how to present, to learn what’s illegal and what isn’t, and control the crowd, clock, and yourself.

Imagine it’s an official’s first day. They never have the luxury of explicitly saying so. People can tell, YOU CAN TELL. However, we expect this first day official to be 100% ready. We yell at them as if they have experienced this before. This is a make or break situation as a first day referee - imagine if it was your first day at a new job. Everyone is helping you train; they understand it’s your first day.

Officials don’t have that luxury. Keep that in mind the next time you watch a game. For this may be the officials first day.