Friday Night Lights

“CALLING ALL FOOTBALL OFFICIALS: Get It Right is partnering with the  New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) and New Mexico Officials Association  to provide a FREE 10 week virtual training course to tackle the new 2020 rules. There are limited spots available, so make sure you sign up ASAP! Click here for more info and to sign up:

For football officials, on-field success depends on preparation. While fans see officials only on game days, we know that much more happens away from the field.

Before the season even begins, officials dedicate hours of their time to nailing down new rules, perfecting their mechanics for their positions and boosting their physical fitness. During the season, the final whistle of a game marks the beginning of preparation for the next week. 

It’s our responsibility and duty to be at the top of our game in order to keep the players safe and ensure fair play. Don’t let obstacles stand in the way of your training. Let’s get this season right. No excuses. 

We teamed up with the New Mexico Activities Association and New Mexico Officials Association to offer this FREE 10 week officiating course so our fellow officials can tackle their 2020 training despite social distancing. We’ll use Get It Right 3D simulations to teach you the rules and mechanics in a way that’s more innovative and safer than ever before. 

Join our series of webinar trainings utilizing 3D simulations of the rule book to nail down the new 2020 rules and make sure you’re at the top of your game this season. 

What do NFL referees Land Clark, Tony Corrente, Scott Novak and Brad Rogers have in common with major league umpires Doug Eddings and Mike Everitt?

All of them have donated their time to give webinar talks to New Mexico high school officials.

“It really has caught like wildfire,” said Dana Pappas, the commissioner of officials for the New Mexico Activities Association.

Pappas said two of the state’s central region football officials, Ken Adent and Dennis Barela, began putting together an occasional webinar session, including one headlined by Albuquerque’s Clark, the NFL’s newest white hat for the 2020 season.

Since then, those two, plus Pappas at the NMAA, have been staging regular webinars with officials at the highest level of sports.

Corrente, one of the NFL’s longest-tenured referees, was one of the recent guests, as was Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s only female official.

On Thursday, Eddings, who is from Las Cruces, is scheduled to speak. Last October, Eddings was a member of the World Series umpiring crew.

There are currently officials in seven sports – football, baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, wrestling and softball – participating in these webinars.

What is unusual about them is that they have been created and driven by New Mexico. These webinars are not regional or national in nature.

The guests have been speaking on various technical aspects of officiating, plus overall themes. Among them: adversity in football officiating, which was included in Corrente’s presentation, and communication/relationships between coaches and officials, which was central to the talk given by Mike Pereira, a former NFL official and now Fox’s NFL rules analyst.

The webinars are free for New Mexico high school officials. Pappas said all the guests have gladly volunteered their time, and also taken questions afterward.

“There are officials who felt there was this void in their lives and they wanted to stay connected,” Pappas said, adding that officials who miss a specific guest speaker can watch it later as they are all recorded.

“It’s just such an impressive forum and a cool idea that officials were wanting to stay connected in the offseason,” Pappas said.

Field Judge V. Land Clark signals during the second half of an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Off-season time needs to be spent in the rule book, film review, gym, camps/clinics, and mental preparation. Don’t let the rules get away from you: 

2020 Preseason Preparation should have already began:

There is an old saying in officiating that states: “Officials can never stay the same. They are either getting better or they are getting worse.” Thankfully, most officials strive to improve. That can be attending off-season camps, working leagues or just keeping in shape for the rigors of the season ahead. Regardless of off-season goals, officials begin planning for the season long before they reach their locker rooms.

Most officials do not wait until the day prior to an assignment to check on uniforms, pants, shoes, whistles, etc. After all, an official needs to know sooner rather than later if those pants are too snug.

Preseason preparation includes registering with the state association, taking an online concussion training course, viewing an online rules meeting and completing certification by passing an NFHS rules exam. An official also does not want his or her first time on the court, field or rink for that season to be a regular-season game. Participants practice to prepare for their first contest. So, too, should an official. Finding scrimmages to work prior to the start of the regular season is an opportune time to sand off the rust and get in “whistle shape.”

Developing a plan and setting individual goals for the upcoming season is oftentimes crucial to the successful journey of an official. Reviewing past performances and constant visits with the rules books can also ensure growth.

The New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA), New Mexico Official Association (NMOA), and the Albuquerque Football Officials Association (AFOA) continues to recruit and accept new football officials all year long.

Contact us to register with the NMAA and AFOA and start attending pre-season rules study session.

Recruiting: Joe Diz 505-401-0559 OR register at the NMAA 6600 Palomas Ave. NE 87109

Phone 505-923-3110

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