Tag Archives: LAREDO

I Wrote A Book!

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Advancement Rules

I can’t believe it but I just sent the final version of my officiating book “Advancement Rules: Improving Your Lacrosse Officiating” to my publisher! CGP is responsible for the design of the front and back cover, my mother took all of the photos, my sister edited the entire book, and my dad kept me focused on finishing! It has been a long year of writing, but I am proud to soon be calling myself an actual author! My book will be available for purchase on the Amazon store as an eBook, and will also be available to order a paperback version.

This is a short book full of advice, insight, commentary, methods, and strategies for managing a game and improving as a lacrosse official. I want any official who reads this book to feel more confident when they next step onto the field. I am looking forward to putting out future editions of “Advancement Rules” every two to three years. Those editions will go into more detail of specific officiating techniques, interviews with top NCAA officials, and more strategies that I’ve implemented in my game.

This book has been a great labor of love for me, and it could not have happened without the contributions, advice, testimonials, and stories from numerous officials. They are, in no particular order: Wade Lenicka, Brad Lapinski, Rick Eltz, James Eubanks, Dave Adams, Jim Kennedy, Stuart Smith, Jeff Green, A. Nick Brown, Bill Powell, Jon Oschner, Don Stoppenbach, Jeremy Redmon, Tony Rouse, Lou Diaz, Andy Halperin, Topher Lawson, Eric Sanders, Mike Gossett, Patrick Fecke, Harold Buck, and Brian Higgins. Any omissions are the fault of the author.

To the Georgia Lacrosse Officials Association – It has been one of the great pleasures of my life to officiate with the individuals that comprise this fantastic association.

To those that have shared a LAREDO event with me: Jeremy Redmon, Topher Lawson, Jeff Greene, Kurt Trampel, Jon Cisowski, Jeremy Bofman, Dave DuBan, Pat Finn, Nic Herriges, David Redfern, Ben Voskia. We went through the crucible of training and came out better officials. I had a blast working and hanging out with all of you.

Special thanks to the men who have mentored me over the years: David Clements, Peter Fleury, Trey Towery, Jeff Bruso, and Dale Hall. If it wasn’t for you taking me under your wing and advising me after games I would never have reached the goals I set for myself.

To every official I’ve ever worked with. I’ve learned something from all of you that helped to improve my game.

A special thanks to my sister, Caitlin Corsetti, for her hard work editing this book.

Finally, to my parents. My mother, Mary Jo, for all of her support and belief, and my father, Lou, who has always been my biggest fan.

I decided to put a little teaser of the book up on the AYL blog so here is the introduction to “Advancement Rules!”

My career as a lacrosse official began in the seventh grade. I helped run the scorer’s table during youth games at Atlanta Youth Lacrosse, one of the earliest youth lacrosse leagues in Georgia. On the final game of the evening, the scheduled officials did not show up. The players and coaches were ready to go, but we had no one to ref the game. I was the only person around who had read at least part of the rulebook. So I stepped down from the elevated scorer’s platform, grabbed a whistle, and soldiered onto the field for my first game.

I was alone, petrified, and had no idea what I was doing. I knew what a slash was, but I had no clue how to report it properly. I had a vague notion of the proper enforcement of a flag down slow-whistle. I had zero idea of how to conduct a play-on. At the very least, I knew how to signal a goal. I distinctly remember angering the head coach of the home team. A person who, up until that point, I had considered a friend and mentor in lacrosse. He was incensed that I did not award a free clear to his team after a foul by the opposing team in his team’s defensive half of the field. This is something I do without hesitation now, but I had no clue what he was talking about then. All I could do was stare at him as he yelled and gesticulated emphatically that I was the single worst official he had ever seen on a lacrosse field. That was the inauspicious start to my officiating career.

Despite that coach’s opinion of my officiating abilities, I found that I liked wearing the stripes for two primary reasons. One, I liked getting paid. It was a marvelous first experience to be handed cash after the game by the league administrator, and I was making a terrific hourly rate at roughly $20-25 per game. It definitely beat working retail. Two, I liked the authority. Not many middle and high school students get to exercise authority and command. The authority of being an official was intoxicating. I blew my whistle and play stopped. I threw my flag and handed out swift judgment. I reported fouls and people listened. For a young kid, the general deference people showed me when wearing stripes was just plain cool.

While my officiating career began in my early teens, I did not consider it a profession until I joined the Georgia Lacrosse Officials Association, GLOA, in 2008. When I hit the field for my first game as a newly certified GLOA official I was a nervous wreck. But, game by game I got a little more confident, and a little more sure of myself. I was also incredibly lucky with the officials I was partnered with. Those individuals, many of whom contributed to this book, were my first mentors and they helped navigate a hapless first year official through the treacherous terrain that all new officials must go through. By the end of that year I was a better official. Mainly due to the experience I gained on the field and the advice I received from my mentors. However, I was far from being the official that I wanted to be.

That off-season I was consumed with improving my officiating skills and reaching that next level. I read as many books as I could find on officiating. I watched the college officials on television. I called my mentors after fall ball games if I had questions. I even practiced signals in the mirror. My goal was to get assigned varsity games, and I wanted to do everything possible to get to that level. Eventually, I put in enough work and started seeing assignments pop up every so often with a varsity tag next to it. To say I was both thrilled and nervous is an understatement. Having reached my goal, I needed a new one. Which became how do I become the referee on games instead of the umpire? Once I started getting referee positions, the next thought was, “Maybe I could be a college official.” I am proud to say I was recently recommended to become a collegiate official, and will have some college games in the 2013 regular season on my schedule.

Every year there is a new goal, a new level to reach or place to advance to. The question you must ask yourself is how do you get to the next level in lacrosse officiating? Whether you want to move from youth games to junior varsity, JV to varsity or varsity to college. This book will help you advance and reach your goals in this fantastic profession.

I’ll do another post once the book goes to print and is available on Amazon!


Rockin’ the USL LAREDO Training

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The following article may be found here: http://www.uslacrosse.org/TopNav2Left/Officials/MensOfficialsInformation/RockintheUSLLAREDOTraining.aspx

I get to toot my own horn a little bit here! I am very excited to report that I am attending a LAREDO (LAcrosse REferee DevelOpment) clinic in Vail, Colorado this summer. US Lacrosse did a short story on the LAREDO program, and I was asked to contribute a few quotes about it. Here is the full article:

Officiating a high school boys’ lacrosse game in Arizona in late April, Ben Vosika and the rest of the crew came upon a call that confused them.

“We were dumbfounded for a second,” Vosika, 26, said.

“But then I was talking with my fellow officials, and I was like, ‘Well, I’ve been in this situation before. I know what to do,’ he said. “We talked about that in Florida, so I knew exactly how to handle the situation. That happens all the time.”

So Vosika made the call, and he made it with conviction. He was referencing his experience at the 2011 US Lacrosse Level 2 Lacrosse Referee Development (LAREDO) program in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at the US Lacrosse Under-15 National Championships, presented by Champion.

Since the late 1980s, LAREDO clinics have provided training for lacrosse officials across the country. Initially hosted at the Vail Lacrosse Shootout in Vail, Colo., the LAREDO program was designed to teach three-man mechanics to officials on the West Coast.

US Lacrosse in January announced its newly redesigned certification and training program for men’s lacrosse officials. As part of the changes, Vail now is known as a Level 3 LAREDO. It is designed for officials ready to make the jump from two- to three-man mechanics and join the ranks of the US Lacrosse Collegiate Officials Committee.

Vosika was one of eight officials selected from a group of 28 applicants to attend the 2012 Vail Shootout, the premiere Level 3 LAREDO for the “cream of the officiating crop.”

US Lacrosse supports the promotion of amateur lacrosse by providing men’s officials nationwide for games at all levels. Through its men’s officials training program, US Lacrosse gives training, services and representation for those who wear the black-and-white stripes. The LAREDO clinics play a significant role, as more than 250 officials will go through the program in 2012. In turn, the LAREDO program aids in US Lacrosse’s standardization efforts.

“Consistency is huge,” said Charlie Obermayer, officials program manager at US Lacrosse. “As the game gets bigger and bigger and we’re more visible, the pressure is on us to grow the game the right way. The LAREDOs bring everyone together and gets everyone on the same page.”

On an individual level, the LAREDO programs provide instruction on mechanics and game management, but also “nit-pick the little itty-bitty finer details of officiating to make each official the best they can be,” Obermayer said.

Like Vosika, Gordon Corsetti attended a Level 2 LAREDO in Florida and will complete the Level 3 LAREDO in Vail this summer.

“The best thing I gained was confidence,” Corsetti, 24, said. “It was a night-and-day difference. Clinicians with 30-plus years of experience looked at me and said, ‘Hey, you’re doing a solid job. Keep it up.’ That was huge on top of the intricate teaching methods.”

Corsetti and Vosika raved about the relationship-building benefits of their Level 2 LAREDO experiences, and they’re both looking forward to Level 3 at Vail in July, as it will position them for future NCAA assignments.

“I had a blast. It was a rockin’ time. It was a lot of fun,” Corsetti said. “My only thing was I wished it hadn’t ended. I wanted to keep going. Overall, I would give it two thumbs up. And I would give it more if I could.”

For interested officials, space still remains in several of the July LAREDOs, including the Level 2 clinic in Florida that needs 25 members, and several Level 3 events in Ann Arbor, Mich., Springfield, Mass., and Chapel Hill, N.C. More registration information can be found by clicking here.

— Matt Forman

Now onto my true purpose for posting this article. We need more adult and youth officials! Do you want the best seat in the house? Do you find stripes attractive? Then officiating may be for you!

If you are interested in being trained in officiating lacrosse in Georgia head to www.galaxref.com/contact, and fill out the contact form. Please select Adult Officials Training, or Youth Officials Training for the subject line menu.

Featured Image Credit – www.uslacrosse.org