3. Arrive early

As with appearance, arrival time is a first-impression issue. It should surprise no one that the official who comes running up to the field a few minutes before game time creates a terrible impression on everyone at the location.

Plan your game days carefully to ensure that you’re able to observe the 15-minute rule for arrival time. The absolute latest you should arrive is 15 minutes early. Most games at the high school level and above will require you to arrive between 45 minutes to an hour and a half early. If you arrive 15 minutes earlier than that, you will always be on time. You will need to properly warm up for your duties, inspect the playing surface, equipment and teams before the game and conduct a managers’ or captains’ conference in addition to your own pregame conference with your crew.

4. Meet the teams

Don’t underestimate the potential value of a meeting with coaches and captains, which gives you an opportunity to get the game started on the right note.

Know what you’re going to say before you talk to the coaches. That diminishes the possibility of you stumbling over your words, creating a negative opinion of your ability or comfort level. Speak in a confident, yet friendly tone, introduce yourself and give a firm handshake. Cover everything you need to cover completely, offer to answer any questions
(that indicates a willingness for two-way communication) and always adjourn your conference with an earnest “good luck” to both parties.