SDM-Ref Crop.jpg

Howdy ... 

Welcome to the Social Ref, a simple home for recreational officials. We hope you find the best ideas and techniques, that others have already learned.  

7 Simple Tips for New Refs and Umps

7 Simple Tips for New Refs and Umps

7 Simple Starts for those confusing first few shifts.


Quick thanks to everyone who made the Social Ref Book a #1 new bestseller in the Softball Category on Amazon. Get the Ebook or Paperback here: https://geni.us/SocialRefBook


We’ve all been there. Those first few nervous games when you forget to even bring out a whistle, lose your pencil, and have no idea where to even stand or what to look at.

Years ago, I got thrown into a high school football game as the 2nd ref in only my 5th game of reffing. Let’s just say the 4 games of middle school football I did before were not great preparation for the high school field with hundreds of parents and some intense coaches.

I had no idea what to watch, or where to stand. I showed up 15 minutes late on my bike because I went to the wrong field and had no idea I got promoted to high school. I had a “homemade” yellow penalty flag with nickels and pennies inside for weight and yellow fabric cut into a square that I bought at the store.

It was a rough game.

When you are first getting started, you want to keep things as simple as possible. There are hundreds of ideas when it comes to rules and positioning and leanring to defuse. Here are 7 simple starts we teach as part of the Social Ref program that can help you get started as a new ref or ump, no matter your sport or your rulebook:

7 Simple Starts of a Social Ref:

  1. Start by Standing

  2. Walk (And Run) Backwards

  3. Try Gifting Information

  4. Avoid the “Oppo Response”

  5. Drop Assumptions

  6. Ask For Help

  7. Use “I didnt HAVE it!”


3 "First Day" Fears

3 "First Day" Fears