The IAABO 173 officials recognized a big need for quality young officials. Most high school referees come out of the grade school or church leagues and lack many of the basic skills required to officiate at the high school level.
In 2007, IAABO 173 made a commitment to these new officials and began the first basketball official’s development program in the State of Missouri and one of the few in the United States.
Mark Halsell, the number one rated official in the State three years running, is the Director of the program and he is assisted by a number of veteran officials who volunteer their time and expertise in serving as mentors to these newer officials.
A three-year commitment on the part of the new official culminates in a full season mentor/mentee relationship that aids in the process of individualizing the program to the specific experience level of the mentee as well as on court assignments where the two work together or have schedules that allow them to be at the same school working early and late games as part of our evaluation and feedback program.
“My decision to become a basketball official came when I was 48 years old. I wanted to learn the art of officiating quickly, so I’d have a chance to officiate high school basketball before I was too old to run the floor. IAABO was a perfect fit for me. Their Officials Development Program gave me the opportunity to work in the classroom to get real instruction and share experiences. More importantly, I got instant feedback regarding my work on the court in live game situations. The ODP, along with plenty of Saturdays in the IAABO Junior Basketball program, allowed me to really shorten the learning curve. Within five years, I was working at the high school level with experienced officials – and getting good feedback from them on my work. I highly recommend IAABO’s Officials Development Program for any new official learning the game, or anyone who wants the opportunity to earn a better schedule from their assignor(s).”