Have you even been a referee or an official for a sport? Have you ever been assessed as a referee or official? Or have you ever assessed a referee or official?

Referees and officials are very vital parts of sport competitions and have many various roles. They must know the rules inside and out and exhibit authority to control the game. I believe it is important that referees and officials are assessed on their performance in this role at least once a season or year, depending on the event.

The American Youth Soccer Organization has a ‘Referee Assessment Check-List’ that they use to evaluate their officials. This comprehensive evaluation includes the following categories: dress and appearance, pre-game duties, fitness, attitude, courage, character, consistency, position, mechanics, signals, accuracy, and game control. Evaluators are able to choose the game difficulty the referee is officiating. Then the evaluator makes choice based on his checklist results to decide if they referee can be recommended for upgrade or further observation. This checklist also serves as just a service assessment as well to evaluate referee’s overall performance. I really like this assessment because it assesses the referee as a whole person and provides a very insightful appraisal of his/hers effectiveness as an official.

I believe that referees and officials of all ages and levels should continue to be assessed by evaluators. The game needs to be kept as fair as possible for all parties involved in the sport. Having effective officials also allow for things to run much smoother by keeping parents, coaches, and athletes happy. I hope organizations and associations use and continue to use assessments to appraise their referees and officials to ensure they can provide a fair and safe environment for all sports.