Are you an association leader looking for valuable instructional content for an upcoming meeting?

Have you considered checking out NASO’s 2021 Summit@Home? If you haven’t, you certainly should, as the annual event offers a one-stop shop for material that can educate your association membership in a variety of ways.
This year’s Summit, held virtually over a three-day span in the first week of August, included dozens of sessions on topics such as diversity in the officiating workplace, law and legal issues, peak mental performance, recruiting and retention, and more. However, the meat-and-potatoes core of every Summit is the sports-specific content offered in the six sports — baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and volleyball — featured each month in Referee magazine.

This year’s Summit featured a “mini-clinic” devoted to each of those six sports. Each mini-clinic included roundtable discussions about hot topics featuring experts in their respective sports, video breakdowns, quick tips and “You Make the Call” playcalling opportunities — all of which might serve as great sources of content for a local association meeting.

Let’s take the video breakdowns, for instance. Every association is looking for ways to better utilize video in the training of officials. As an instructor, you can now log into, click on your respective sport mini-clinic, open up the video breakdown, and you have an instant lesson plan at your disposal.

Watch a clip and hear what the on-screen experts have to say. Then, open the play up for discussion among those in attendance. Do you agree with the ruling? Does the ruling apply under your particular rule code (i.e., NFHS vs. NCAA), or are there additional considerations that need to come into play?

Let’s say it’s a basketball play and it features three officials, and your association primarily uses two-person officiating mechanics. How do you officiate this same play given those differences? Is the same official responsible for making the ruling, or does the primary coverage area change on the play with two officials instead of three?

The roundtable discussions are also goldmines for good information. Let’s face it, over the course of a season and a series of association meetings, some officials are going to tune out what’s coming from the podium or lectern, convinced they have heard it all before. However, introducing new voices that come with an added sense of stature and credibility can help keep your audience attentive and engaged.

And if you want to generate lively discussion and some good-natured banter, pop up the “You Make the Call” plays for everyone in your association to vote on. Perhaps make it a contest — if someone gets every ruling correct, he or she gets an extra raffle ticket for the association prize table at the year-end banquet.

Officials and assigners throughout the country working at the highest levels have teamed with NASO to create hours and hours of helpful, instructional content in the name of helping officials be the best they can be. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. Commit to using the Summit@Home as an ongoing source of education and training.