Sports Officiating and Coaching

Colin Koot

Being a sports official takes a lot of work.  Knowing the rules is just the start of it. An official needs to have confidence, possess great leadership skills, and be able to communicate effectively.

New for the 2019-2020 school year, Andrew Chapin is starting a class, sports officiating and coaching, that will give prospective referees and umpires all of the skills necessary to be a trusted official.  Students will also be able to learn the skills involved with becoming a good coach.

The Mason High School Athletic Director, Greg Lattig, originally had the idea for teaching students how to be an umpire or coach.  He proposed the idea to Chapin and asked if he could incorporate it in his advanced physical education class.

“I thought it was an awesome idea when Mr. Lattig first presented me with it.  I was super intrigued with it and obviously this was right up my alley,” said PE teacher, Andrew Chapin, “When he got the idea last school year and came to me, he asked if we could fit it in to our advanced phy-ed class.  It’s actually such a neat idea and there are so many ways you could go with the class, we decided to make it it’s own course.”

Chapin plans to cover baseball and softball, soccer, and basketball in his new class.  Since it was the first year, he didn’t want to dive into too many sports and not have the time to properly cover each one.  

“We chose those sports because males and females can participate and they are played a lot in our community.  If we feel like we could maybe teach more sports and have time for that in upcoming years, than we might make some adjustments,” said Chapin.

The obvious impact of the course is that students will be able to have a full or part time job as an official.  However, Chapin thinks that students will also learn critical leadership skills that will help them later in life.  In order to be a great umpire or referee, confidence in your calls and abilities are a must.

“It requires a lot of confidence to be a good umpire. You need a lot of good leadership and communication skills, and that is what you can apply to a lot of walks of life.  That’s going to be the long term payoff of the class. After a while, after they get out on the fields and the courts, they will really see the long term benefits,” said Chapin.

As soon as scheduling opened, students flocked into the course and it filled up within the first week.  Everyone was trying to fit sports officiating and coaching into their schedule.

Chapin had put something out on Twitter advertising for students to sign up because he didn’t know if they had even heard about it or not.  Once his tweet went out, it exploded with other people from various communities excited about the idea.

“I was really surprised with the amount of people that wanted to know about the curriculum and thought it was a great idea for schools.  It was crazy how much people were interested in that tweet, after that happened, I wasn’t surprised that it filled up that fast,” said Chapin.

With the course, Chapin plans to not only help out students with officiating and coaching, but also to enhance their confidence and leadership skills that will affect them for the rest of their life.