WHY IS…Communication With Officials Important?

How would you evaluate your relationship with officials?

As we wrap up our month-long series on communication, it’s important to discuss proper coach and official communication.

Here are three reasons why your communication with officials is important:

  • Model for players – it’s essential for coaches to understand players follow their lead. Coaches must be conscious of how their interactions with officials impact players. The best way to have players treat officials with respect is to model it for them. In order to show respect, coaches have to mindful of their tone when communicating with officials. Coaches should also project positive body language towards officials and avoid eye rolling. It’s important for players to see their coaches greet officials before the game, and thank them afterwards. We can’t expect our players to treat officials with respect if we don’t model it for them.


  • Model for parents – coaches should discuss behavior expectations towards officials at the first parent meeting of the season.  Once the expectations have been shared, the expected behavior must be modeled. Fans in the stands tend to follow the demeanor of the head coach. It’s important to limit the amount of times a call is argued. Yelling, shouting, and waving of arms are also behaviors coaches should avoid. In order to make the game experience enjoyable for all in attendance, coaches must model the appropriate behavior and communication towards officials.


  • Grows the game – let’s face it; we can’t play the games without officials. The sad reality is many states are short on officials. Many lower level games are being canceled due to lack of officials. In order to grow our game we must properly communicate with officials. It’s essential for the growth of youth, high school, and collegiate sports. Instead of inciting parents in the stands and starting confrontations; coaches must create a healthy dialogue with officials. It’s not enjoyable to officiate any contest when you’re constantly questioned and under attack. Help grow your sport by thanking the officials, complimenting them on a good call, and modeling proper communication for players and parents.


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