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Men's Officials News

Men's Officials News

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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The Perfect Game

May 8, 2017 - It is impossible to work a perfect game for a number of reasons. First is human error; a variable that must be factored into any expectation of performance. The second is subjectivity. Officials may be lampooned by the fans, rated average by the coaches, and still receive a good evaluation by an observer. The third and final reason is the unknown. Each game is completely different from the game before, and it is impossible to predict what will happen.

But what would happen if a crew actually refereed a perfect game? 

It is a curious question. Officials all know that working a perfect game cannot be done, but imagine that the impossible is possible. That the next game you work the crew is perfect. The coaches and players know it, and even the fans admit they witnessed the finest officiating ever seen.
The follow up question to this hypothetical situation is simply; “so what?” It’s a harsh question that puts the achievement of a perfect game into context when you consider the numbers.
US Lacrosse has approximately 450,000 members. 300,000 of which are players. Further assume that every team at every level has twenty players. That equals roughly 15,000 teams. If every team played on the same day there would be about 7,500 games. Your crew was the only one to work a perfect game, and the 7,499 other games had some amount of error.
Your perfect game impacted 0.000133% of the players nationwide. That minuscule percentage of players will not remember your crew’s performance in their next game because they are too focused on playing to reminisce about the perfectly officiated game of yesterday.
While perfection is not achievable, what if every official in those thousands of games dedicated themselves to working the game to the upmost of their abilities? Every official hustled to where they needed to go, gave clear and deliberate signals, and kept themselves focused on one play at a time. That would impact 300,000 players for the better.
Now imagine yourself on the field for your next game. You won’t be perfect and nobody's expecting you to be. But you can be better than you were yesterday. What is one thing you wish you had done differently in your last game? Did you lose focus during the 2nd quarter? Were you walking to position in transition? Every time you step on the field is an opportunity to honor the game and your fellow officials. You have to decide whether you will take advantage of that opportunity or squander it.
It’s not about doing everything perfect. It’s about doing the little things as well as you can.
You control your appearance, your effort, and your attitude. You will never get to say you were perfect, but you should always be able to say you gave 100%.
Men’s Officials Development Task Force                                                                                                                                                       

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