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7 Characteristics of an Effective Referee: Do YOU have what it takes?

b2ap3_thumbnail_wooden_pyramid.jpgIn recent blogs, I have shared observations about what makes some of us “more effective” referees than others... such as being “Ready for Anything” or not rushing a call by “Counting to One.”  At the end of the day, wisdom and physical fitness are largely wasted if the referee isn’t effective in what he or she does on the field.  In sharing my thoughts, I’ve tried (in my own small way) to impart an idea or two that aspiring officials might consider working into their own officiating routine.


No free advice today.  And no one made the highlight reel, either.


Today, I would like to challenge every official to take timeout for some important introspection.  Think about how you reached your current level of officiating… and if you aspire to reach even higher, what do you need to focus on to achieve further advancement?


John R. Wooden, arguably the most successful collegiate basketball coach of all time, introduced his “Pyramid of Success” to develop UCLA student-athletes.  The “Wizard of Westwood” identified 15 key aspects, and then assembled them into a five-tiered pyramid, with the pinnacle being achievement of “Competitive Greatness.”


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Rushed Decisions = Errors! Could everyone please just COUNT TO ONE?

b2ap3_thumbnail_ar.jpgThe month of May is a blur… and I’m glad it’s in the rearview mirror.


I split my time between willing my Los Angeles Kings into their second Stanley Cup Final in three years (those overtime games were exhausting!), and overseeing the rather complex Clippers transition of power (it’s been damn-near impossible).  It’s a good thing I have Commissioner Silver, Donald Sterling, Steve Ballmer, Rochelle Sterling and V Stiviano all on speed dial. We hope to wrap it up soon so that everyone wins: the Sterlings get a check, the Clippers (and their followers) have a future, and V gets her book-and-movie deal.


Spoiler Alert:  Sorry, Seattle… you can’t have my Clippers.


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Is this DOGSO? Throw me a bone here!

b2ap3_thumbnail_lawsofthegame.jpgWelcome to February. The Sochi Games are off to a rather curious start… $50 billion apparently only buys you a half-assed half-pipe these days.  Fortunately, that sorry memory has been erased by the amazingly heroic efforts of several Los Angeles Kings representing their countries, especially the U.S. of A. 


The Midas touch of one Philip Anschutz is everywhere.


February’s other big story: Some idiot celebrated a goal by head-butting the Plexiglas covering of his team’s technical area.  This brilliant move was, of course, caught on video that went viral… about the same time my GI tract went viral and I spent 24+ hours in bed, reading why head-butting Plexiglas should/should not be considered Violent Conduct (which, the last time I checked, needs to be committed against a person and not an industrial-strength polymer).


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Will Referees be Demoted? New Certification Requirements are troublesome -- at best.

b2ap3_thumbnail_usreflogo.jpgA strange month of January has come to a really strange end.  As we flip the calendar, our attention turns to The Big Game in New Jersey and the Bigger Weekend in Orlando for our PRO brothers and sisters.


Strange month, indeed.  A week ago, after months of advance promotion, more than 50,000 local hockey enthusiasts filed into Dodger Stadium (and my Los Angeles neighborhood), “witnessed” a great NHL game (about half of them only saw the puck on the Jumbotron) and a totally thrilling fan experience… some even picked up their trash on the way out.


NHL Stadium Series:  Mission Accomplished.  Well done, Gary Bettman.  You found a way for the NHL’s per game attendance to surpass MLS’ (for now).


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Minnesota State Referee Committee in turmoil.


At the time of this writing, the battle lines remain drawn, but cooler heads appear to be starting to prevail, so all might not be lost in this beautiful little state that gave us Californians the 16-time world champion Lakers.


In fact, by the time I hit SEND, this sorry episode very well might have resolved itself... one can hope.


Nonetheless, there will be reflection, there will be wounds to lick, and for the sake of the Federation and its member state associations, hopefully there will be lessons learned... and not repeated.


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