Each summer, my officiating organization evaluates non-varsity officials for potential promotion. The event, the Summer Evaluation Program (SEP), is by invitation only. Three-person crews officiate highly physical and intense boys' varsity games. We are evaluated on game management, crew/coach/player communications, call accuracy and quality, court demeanor, physical fitness, and ability to apply suggested changes. I will be evaluated over a ten game, five week period. A decision to promote me (or not) to officiate high school varsity games will be made by end of summer.
The next couple of blogs will feature report cards in which I will assign myself a letter grade based on what I thought of my officiating performance after each SEP set of games. No grades are given by the evaluators, but my goal is to merit "A"s by game number five, and by engaging in such self-evaluation, to help any sports parents who are thinking of becoming officials get a sense of what it takes to earn the right to officiate at the high school varsity level.
I am giving myself a C- grade for Games 1 and 2 of the SEP, which were held on June 13. I was disappointed that, despite all my mental and physical preparation, I still made fundamental errors that I swore I would not make. Our crew missed mistake by the timer in starting the clock five seconds too soon. Five seconds is LOT of time in basketball, so not catching that mistake can cost a team the game.
During a captain's meeting at center court we also missed a player dunking the ball before the game started (a technical foul) because our backs were turned. We should have been watching for this, but we weren't. Situational awareness is what they call it. We were "asleep at the wheel." So our crew was starting off the game already with two strikes against it.
At one point, one of our crew called a technical foul. The other official and I were puzzled by the call. We SHOULD have come together briefly to understand what occurred, but we did not, resulting in a brief period of confusion. We merited another black mark on crew communication.
On the positive side, I was comfortable with the level of play. I had a strong whistle and made some great calls, all skills honed from recent camps. But, at the end of the day, none of that mattered. The evaluators only point out what we did wrong. There is little to no positive feedback. That is their job.
I am processing the evaluations, sleeping on them, and waiting impatiently for SEP games 3 and 4, scheduled for Thursday. I cannot make the same mistakes. I cannot afford another C-.