Volume 1..................................................................October 2000

Welcome from The Editor
WELCOME to! It is with much professional pleasure that I begin the second phase of this adventure. It is my intent to provide a monthly forum to share information, insights and opinions in to several areas of the great game of basketball. While most subject matter will pertain to officiating, I will also touch on aspects of playing skills and coaching . I hope you will become a regular reader of the newsletter and participant in the information sharing. Spread the word, share your input, and enjoy the ride!

 Review of 2000 Officiating School
The 12th Annual 2000 George Toliver Basketball Officiating School was a terrific success. An outstanding staff including Tom Washington, Tony Brothers, Scott Foster, Leroy Richardson and Sean Corbin from the NBA, and a solid core of collegiate officials with excellent teaching skills, combined with a great environment at James Madison University to make for a great week . I don’t remember who won the golf tournament, but I am sure several of the staff will claim to be the top player. I do know, FUN WAS HAD BY ALL .

From the signal stations at 7:50 AM to the staff rap at 10:00 PM, the emphasis of the week for the 50 campers in attendance remained focused on “learning and doing the work properly and efficiently”. Several collegiate supervisors were in attendance as well as a visit from Joe Borgia, NBA/CBA and Ed Rush, Director of Officiating NBA/WNBA. Dates for the 2001 school will be given at a later date.

Topic of the Month

Are you ready for the season? The question would be better stated, are you prepared for the season? It is amazing when I talk to officials and find how many different ways referees prepare for the season. Beyond the regular pre-season meeting you attend with your association, really what are some things you can do to get ready. Lets think about the mental, physical, and social readiness for your upcoming season.

Mental Preparation

1. Individual review and study of your rule book, case book and manual. Use your special private time (like when you go to the bathroom !) to study a chapter of the rules and the appropriate applications in the case book. Your regularity could determine the pace that you get through the books . A better plan is to do a rule per day. WORK ON YOUR AREAS OF WEAKNESS, REVIEW YOUR AREAS OF STRENGTH.

2. Group study. If you have other officials in your area, invite them over for a group study session ( I suggest that you use your living room or den for this session rather than your bathroom). Lots of good discussion can come from communication with other referees . Don’t make it a who is right or who is wrong session. Let you goal be to make yourself and your officiating friends better in rules knowledge and application.

3.Talk about plays . Discuss plays and application no matter what game you work. I spend a lot of time talking to high school and college officials about their game situations, and then take the same play and apply NBA rules. This is just another way to keep the thought process stimulated. Don’t let different rules be an excuse for eliminating discussion. Be willing to share, learn, and enjoy one another.

4. Review old tests. Take your old tests and if they are true-false, make them corrective. What that means is this: If the answer is false, change the information in the question so that the question would result in a true answer. This is really a good personal or group activity. Go back to one of the fundamentals of education---- MAKE LEARNING FUN. The ultimate goal is to learn the information needed to do the work. A TEST SCORE HAS IT’S PLACE, BUT THAT PLACE IS NOT AHEAD OF THE KNOWLEDGE THAT RESULTS FROM THE PROCESS OF TAKING IT.

5. Review Past Game Tapes. The beauty of history is that history gives you a base from which to realize the positives and negatives of the past, evaluate it, and take the information for use improvement. Your past game tapes ( or any game tape ) is a step into an officiating past which can be an excellent tool to your personal growth and improvement. Review the tape with an open mind and evaluate with the desire to correct and improve. Educate yourself so that you get closer to working the elusive “perfect game”.


Physical Preparation

1. Get a thorough annual physical. During the physical, be honest with what is health information. At that moment, treat the physician as your best friend. Ask questions, and follow the advice you are given. Leave the examination with the peace of mind that you are ready to live the rest of the day to the fullest. If you are injured or ill, you need to know right now. Your general health is far more important than your desire to work one more basketball game. Remember the love of your family and friends is far more important than what you want to do between the lines. Let basketball be a part of a beautiful life, not the life.

2. Keep yourself involved in a year round workout routine. As you approach the beginning of the season, do more stretching and flexibility activity and some sport specific walking, jogging and running. Don’t let the first sprint you run be on the opening tip of your first game. A physician or personal trainer can help develop a program for you. Your goal should be to have the ability to run the floor for the entire game and get the best position to cover the plays. REMEMBER, some games go overtime !


3. Get in front of the mirror and practice your signal presentation. The image doesn’t lie. Do you like what you see when you stop the clock, when you call a foul, when you have a jump ball ? How do you like your table presentation (color, number, nature of the foul, shots, or spot) ? Are your signals for a push, block, hold or hack strong ? These are physical skills that you should work to near perfection. And by the way, report to the table the act that occurred on the court. Don’t have, and use a “pet” signal when reporting to the table. Try this exercise: For one week, stop at every mirror you pass and do a report to the table. The people that observe this might think you are a little strange but it might make for interesting conversation. BE PROUD OF YOUR PROFESSION OR AVOCATION AND LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT YOU WORK AT YOUR CRAFT.

4. Whistle and voice. When your blow your whistle everything stops. Blow it with strength and conviction. Use your voice in the same manner. Exude confidence, certainty and clarity. Practice using voice and whistle whenever you can. And don’t forget to practice your ball toss!!

Social Readiness

1.Evaluate your officiating wardrobe. Have you worn the same pants, stripes and shoes for the past FEW years? Do you have to suck in your tummy to zip the zipper? Is there a black patch under the arm pit of your shirt? Does the height of the hem on your pants reflect that you are in a flood plain ? Are your shoes glowing on the outside, but you have used your 5th new innersole purchase from the local pharmacy on the inside ? If any of this is true it might be time to evaluate you travel bag and invest in a new outfit. Proper shoes will help the pounding you do on the court. An annual change of new shoes is certainly in order (by the way I am not in the shoe business, but I can recommend some friends who can help you) to keep the reduction of joint stress injuries. You can’t go wrong with a new wardrobe to help improve your presentation and comfort when you hit the court. DRESS FOR SUCCESS. FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF WHEN YOU HIT THE HARDWOOD.

 Thought for the Month
Too often I hear of many negative thoughts referees feel for many different and often justified reasons. Officiating like many things in life is not a pure venue with the guarantee of universal happiness. My suggestion is to realize which things are in your control and which are not. Be your own best friend and do the very best you can do with what you do control: your reparation and your effort. I will offer the following thought for the month . This is a Georgeism “Take every negative situation you encounter, find a positive in the experience, and learn from it” 

 Question of the Month
Question of the Month: How long should a high school official have to referee before they can work varsity basketball? If you have an opinion visit and respond. I will offer my thoughts in the NOVEMBER newsletter. Stay well..... gt 
Copyright 2000. Toliver All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any article without permission is prohibited. The thoughts in this newsletter are the property of the writer. I will not be responsible for anything contained as it reflects my opinion. While topics may be cutting edge in content it is the intent of the newsletter to stimulate positive interaction and growth for the readers.

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