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Facility Management: Hiring the Right Officials
Facility management is a time-consuming venture. There is nothing more exciting than opening your own sports complex until you realize that you have to keep it running smoothly. Scheduling tournaments, hiring staff and cleaning bathrooms are not what inspired you to open a sports facility. Hiring officials also isn’t exciting, but at the first yelp of parents and fans, it becomes very important. Hiring trained officials is a major part of facility management and will impact whether or not teams continue to come back to your complex. The Sports Facility Management blog is here to chat about the importance of hiring the right zebras.
Why Hiring Referees is Important
It should be noted that hiring officials is not a requirement. Volunteer officials run many leagues across the United States, alongside paid, un-trained officials. This is all well and good in a certain context. If the league is a parks and recreations league or an early elementary league, the need for trained officials for facility management isn’t there. However, those leagues are typically city-run leagues, who already have volunteers on staff. Most non-competitive sports leagues don’t use third-party facilities to host their games because most of them are run by the city.
It is also likely that you built your facility specifically for higher-level, competitive sports leagues. With that being the case, skimping on referees is one of the fastest ways to scare away coaches, parents, and their respective teams. While it is is cheaper to pay volunteers by the hour or by the game, the quality of the officiating will be drastically lower. If you want your sports facility to be a place where teams come to compete, you need to have legit officials.
Now, there is also a balance to this. You certainly don’t want to enable an environment where coaches, players, and parents are hostile towards officials or where winning is the only focus. You have to maintain a healthy balance between competition and sportsmanship. The best way to do that is to have professional officials. Having good officials can the difference between a game being intense and competitive in a constructive way or in a destructive way. When officials are making the right calls and keeping the game under control, players and coaches are less likely to get frustrated.
How You Can Hire Quality Officials
Now that we have established the importance of hiring quality officials, we are faced with the tougher end of the equation: finding quality officials. Unfortunately, youth sports don’t have immediate access to the same state officials that high school sports do in your state. However, those officials are often still available and looking to ref games. Legion summer baseball is a good example of this. Many of the same umpires that work school league games in the spring also work summer league games, despite those leagues not being run by the schools. So finding the right officials will be more about you researching and getting connected with these organizations.
One thing you can do to find officials is to get in touch with your local high schools and research the officials they use. They may have personal suggestions for you and they likely have players from their school that play in non-school leagues. Another thing you can do is contact your state’s athletic association. This is the vehicle that runs all high school officiating and will have the best officials.
Let Sports Facility Management Help With All Your Management Needs
Facility management is an all-encompassing task and we want to help you with it. Contact us today at (727) 474-4476 or visit our website for more information.