“The key to learning is feedback. It is nearly impossible to learn anything without it.”Steven Levitt

“I learned aspects of officiating of which I wasn't previously aware. I was provided feedback on small things that can make the difference between being a good official and a great official.” – 2015 LAREDO 2 Official

“Criticisms were fair, honest, and needed. The clinicians wrote down much and then provided blunt feedback to the officiating crew after the game. They always provided specific examples of where we had done something wrong, which helps the officials internalize what we did wrong and correct it next time.” – 2015 LAREDO 3 Official

Officiating is a uniquely individual effort. Yes, officials work as a crew but we are all responsible for our rules knowledge, mechanics, positioning, and fitness. Some areas of the country are fortunate enough to have veteran officials observe and evaluate up-and-coming officials on JV and Varsity games. Most, however, must focus on covering games with their pool of officials and there are no extra veterans to spare for evaluations. Because of this most officials are responsible for their own improvement and integrating post-game feedback from the experienced partners they work with. The difficulty with that is the veteran official on the game also has to ref the game and cannot always split attention between you and the game.

You can improve your game by studying the rules, watching more experienced officials ref games, and by incorporating the occasional feedback from the veteran officials you work with. What you will miss is the little things you and your partner don’t notice you doing: the missing dead ball signal on the out of bounds whistle, or the lack of consistent end line or crease coverage as the lead official. Those are only a fraction of things that every official in their career has erred on.

Attending a LAREDO 2 or 3 puts you squarely under the eyes of experienced clinicians whose sole mission is to make you a better official by the time you leave. You will be observed and critiqued by officials who have seen it all and know why you need to be in a particular spot to make the right call. You will be reminded time and time again to get your eyes on the players during dead balls and off your scorecard. You will be praised for exceptional hustle and signals and marked down for walking or forgetting to communicate with your crew.

Above all you will be watched by a critical eye and held to the highest standard in each game you officiate. Because of this you will be a better and more confident official by the time the final game horn sounds.