Barbara Drake, Plattsburgh Professional, On From Athlete to Official: Making the Transition and Pursuing a Career in Officiating

Barbara Drake

This article was last updated on June 8, 2023

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Barbara Drake, Plattsburgh Professional, On From Athlete to Official: Making the Transition and Pursuing a Career in Officiating

Are you looking to make a significant change in career direction and pursue becoming an official? It can be nerve-wracking to make such a big adjustment from one job field to another. But if you take the right steps and seek out the right resources, it’s definitely possible. Here, expert Barbara Drake, Plattsburgh, NY, will discuss how officiating can become your new call of duty with some of the best tips on making this exciting transition. Keep reading for ideas on what steps should be taken first, as well as resources available that will help prepare you for life as an official!

Assess Your Skills and Abilities

Officiating is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It requires certain qualifications and skills to perform the role effectively. Understanding your abilities and what qualifications are required can help you assess whether you’re suited for the job. It’s important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and improve areas where you may need development. For instance, officiating requires excellent communication skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to remain calm under pressure. If you possess these qualities naturally or are willing to work on developing them, then officiating may be a perfect option for you. Remember, it takes hard work, dedication, and a true passion for the sport to be a successful official.

Get Certified

Do you have a passion for sports and want to officiate games professionally? If so, getting certified in the specific sport you’re interested in is the first step toward turning your dreams into a reality. Being certified means that you possess a comprehensive understanding of the rules and regulations of the sport, as well as the skills necessary to make fair and accurate calls during games. Plus, the certification process can help improve your confidence and prepare you for the challenges that come with officiating at a professional level. With many certification programs now available online for added convenience, there’s no better time to take the leap and become a certified sports official.

Join Local Organizations

Refereeing can be a challenging yet rewarding job. Whether you’re new to the field or a seasoned veteran, joining local organizations can make a big difference in your experience. These organizations give you the opportunity to connect with other referees and mentors who can offer guidance and support. Networking with fellow referees will provide you with valuable insights into the game and the profession. You’ll also have the chance to learn from those with more experience than you and share your knowledge with others. Joining a local organization can open many doors for you as a referee and help you grow professionally and personally.

Network with Other Officials

Aspiring sports officials who wish to succeed must develop strong connections within their community. Networking with other officials can open up opportunities that would otherwise remain closed. Sports officiating is a niche field, and the community is tightly knit. Thus, making connections is essential to access the information necessary for growth. A community of officials can also provide emotional support, advice, and mentorship to help beginners navigate the complex officiating world. By developing relationships with other officials, a new official can establish a presence in the community, gain more significant opportunities, and become a more profitable asset to various sports organizations.

Shadow Experienced Referees

Barbara Drake, Plattsburgh professional, says stepping onto the field as a referee for the first time can be a daunting experience. The rules and regulations can seem overwhelming, and enforcing them can be challenging. However, those in the field for years have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. Observing shadow experienced referees can provide invaluable insights into the finer points of refereeing. Witnessing how they position themselves, communicate with players and make crucial decisions can help new referees develop their own personal style. With time, effort, and the guidance of more experienced referees, one can become a confident and effective arbiter of the game.

Develop a Portfolio

In today’s competitive job market, having a standout portfolio can set you apart from other candidates. Whether you’re looking for a new job or seeking to advance in your current career, a well-crafted portfolio can showcase your skills, certifications, and experience in a clear and organized way. By collecting relevant materials, such as resumes, cover letters, certificates, and work samples, you can present yourself as a qualified and capable professional to potential employers. A portfolio highlights your achievements and demonstrates your commitment to self-development. So, take the time to create a complete and compelling portfolio that showcases your unique talents and opens doors to new career opportunities.


Refereeing is a wonderful way to bridge your knowledge of sports and officiating with your passion for being involved in the game. To become a professional referee, it is important that you assess your skills and abilities to determine whether officiating is right for you. Once you have determined that you are qualified to be an official, get certified in the sport that you are interested in officiating professionally. You can then join local organizations to explore opportunities in the field, network with other officials who have had success, shadow referees who have experience, and build a portfolio that showcases your qualifications and experience for future employers. With these tips as a guide, you will be well on your way to becoming an excellent referee!

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