8 Things Football Officials Should Do to Move Up the Officiating Ranks

Many officials, especially younger officials, start officiating football and want to someday make it to a power 5 college conference or the NFL to officiate. However, when they are starting, they are most likely officiating pee-wee or high school football and have many years and promotions until they get a chance to be on a big stage like that. Here are 8 things football officials can do to help move up the officiating ranks.

1. Prepare for everything well.

If you want to move up, you need to show fellow officials you care about what you are doing. If other officials see the work you are putting in, they are more likely to speak highly of you to supervisors, opening up new doors for you.

2. Perform well.

This should be somewhat obvious, but officials need to do their job well. Every football official will make mistakes, but try to make sure you are getting the easy calls. Missing a judgment call is one thing, but missing a simple call is harder for supervisors to look beyond to see your positives.

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3. Get to know others and network.

Networking isn’t just for the business world! If you are a football official looking to move up, the more people who know you, and think highly of you, the better. Many officials who have been officiating for longer times may have relationships with supervisors where they will recommend you for a promotion.

4. Get in contact with supervisors.

If you ever want to move up to a higher level of officiating, Supervisors are who will give you that opportunity. Make sure to introduce yourself and try to let them get to know you.

5. Go to clinics.

Not only are clinics great places to learn new skills to help you become a better official, they are also prime networking spots. Use these clinics as places to show your skill and introduce yourself to supervisors in person.

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6. Practice and Improve.

Listen to what other officials tell you and what you are learning at clinics. This is how you improve. After you take that new knowledge in, practice it. Then it will come naturally for you on the field.

7. Take as many opportunities as you can.

There are times you may get offered to work a game at a higher level, even on the day of the game. Capitalize on that opportunity and accept it and perform well. This will impress crew mates and supervisors letting them know you are ready for that level of football.

8. Keep track of what you do.

Keep a list of the games you officiate. Sometimes supervisors want to see what you have officiated and it is easiest to give them a list. It also shows you were prepared for this and want to move up.


by Bill Zebra