A message to our members


One of the greatest challenges we face as officials is communicating effectively. The slightest comment or gesture can have a lasting impact on your audience. Therefore, good communication is an essential part of a successful officiating experience. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we work to improve our communication skills:

  • Communicate with your partner. Get to know each other before a game to become better teammates. Support your partner at all times. Officials who disagree on the court and don’t work together affect everyone’s reputation as an official. As SSOA members, we frequently discuss the importance of improving our skills - so ask for feedback. Accept constructive criticism and be prepared to give it when asked.
  • Set a positive tone with coaches, players and scorekeepers. Conduct pre-game sessions with professionalism. Provide leadership and be a role model to these young, impressionable players. Communicate your expectations to scorers and timers.
  • Signal clearly. Use the proper signals and don’t rush them. Use the National Federation signals. Don’t make up your own. Using proper signals will help gain you the credibility that every official needs.
  • Use the IHSA forms. Share your positive and negative experiences by completing the forms provided to you by the IHSA. This feedback helps to improve overall sportsmanship throughout the state.

Little things make the difference to the teams, to the fans and to other officials. SSOA is established to improve officiating performance, which includes effective communication. Consider making the SSOA team stronger by participating in your association. For more information, contact any SSOA Officer or Division Coordinator.

Thank you for your dedication to sports officiating. Have a great season.