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By Charlie Obermayer | @reflax53
This is the time of year when officials associations, boards and groups around the country start planning for next season, when we come to the table with big ideas about training, educating, assigning and recruiting lacrosse officials.
The biggest topic no one likes to discuss is retention.
Who is coming back and who hung up their whistles? Why? Why did we lose four first-year officials with potential? Why did we lose three of our veteran officials?
Individual officials, leaders and assigners all have a stake in the effort to retain officials and making sure that our population grows in tandem with the sport.
Wherever you fall in that spectrum, here are three ways you can help keep officials on the field.
The buck starts and stops here. Before each season, ask yourself, “Do I enjoy doing this?” If the answer is no, then why not? And can you fix it? You need to enjoy this avocation to excel at it.
Association and board leaders are catalysts. You owe it to your membership to provide them with a network of support and education. Officials are only as strong as their local leadership.
As an assigner, you put your officials in a position to succeed or fail. To retain officials, put them in a position to learn.
How have you found success in retaining officials in your local area? Let us know in the comments section.
Charlie Obermayer is the senior manager of officials education at US Lacrosse.
The US Lacrosse Officials Education Program offers numerous training opportunities, programs and tools to help develop officials across the country. From the men's and women's officials observation program grants, to the men's and women's LAREDO and LEAD/Developmental clinics, US Lacrosse aims to serve every official across the country.
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