Getting the Call

By Roger Caulfield


Most aspiring CABO officials are hoping to get “the call” to become a panel referee and work CIS basketball games. ​​ Canada has a talented group of officials who do not want to hear the message from the old Simon and Garfunkel song, “Slow Down,​​ You Move​​ Too Fast”. ​​ They want to get “the call” now. ​​ Below are some helpful suggestions that may help referees​​ to get the call​​ sooner than later.


Know the Supervisor


It is important to get to know the people who are in charge of assignments and making decisions. ​​ Ask them questions and share your goals with them. ​​ Supervisors enjoy inquisitive minds and love officials who want to learn and develop. ​​ Open discussions on advancement in a professional​​ manner​​ are​​ always good. Remember the value of being specific and sincere.




The pace of today’s game demands that referees are in top physical condition.​​ Physical training needs to be a priority throughout the year. ​​ Officials need to recognize the importance of knowing the rules and​​ doing well on​​ the​​ national exam. It is necessary to attend camps and clinics to ensure that you keep updated with the most recent changes.  ​​​​ Remember that supervisors always give special notice to those who​​ focus​​ on improvement in the off season. ​​ This adds to your overall portfolio.


Positive Attitude/Professionalism-


Remember to display an eagerness to learn and demonstrate a positive rapport with fellow officials. ​​ It is often easy to point fingers and blame others. ​​ A team player accepts responsibility for his or her mistakes. ​​ This quality never goes unnoticed.​​ Top officials are always punctual and are engaged in pre and postgame conferences. Reviewing game tapes and watching videos will help your growth as an official.


Find a Mentor-


Our country is filled with outstanding officials with years of experience. ​​ Find one that you would like to emulate.​​ Listening to senior officials who have already “been there and done that” is always of great value in growing as an official.​​  ​​​​ Mentors can give you honest feedback on your strengths and weaknesses.​​ They​​ can also provide strategies to manage games at the elite level​​ and share their wealth of knowledge and experience in handling coaches and players.​​ It is nice to have a mentor to share your​​ journey in​​ officiating. ​​​​ 



In summary, getting “the call” is the first step in being recognized as one of Canada’s elite basketball officials. ​​ Remember to enjoy the journey, control what you can control,​​ and be the best that you can be in each and every game. ​​ Someone is always watching.