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.