April 4, 2019 TASO REAFFIRMS CODE OF CONDUCT AND NONDISCRIMINATION POLICIES May 7, 2019 TASO PROPOSES GAME-MATCH FEE INCREASE April 23, 2019 48 TIPS FOR ALL OFFICIALS March 19, 2019 TASO CONTINUES START PROGRAM March 25, 2019 7 STEPS TO BETTER CONVERSATIONS March 21, 2019 2019 UIL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS March 4, 2019 ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENTS THAT IMPROVE PERFORMANCE February 15, 2019 2019 TASO BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL ANNUAL MEETING VIDEO March 2, 2019 Football Board February Meeting Recap February 11, 2019 RED CASHION PASSES January 30, 2019 SAYING THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME April 21, 2019 48 TIMELESS TIPS January 23, 2019 IS THERE STILL ROOM FOR PERSONALITY IN SIGNALS? November 27, 2018 2018 UIL STATE VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS October 26, 2018 SOMEONE IS ALWAYS WATCHING December 21, 2018 BASEBALL 2019 ANNUAL MEETING GUEST SPEAKER October 2, 2018 HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS PARTICIPATION INCREASES FOR 29TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR September 26, 2018 Baseball 2018 Elections September 11, 2018 ESSENTIALS OF GAME SECURITY July 24, 2018 SELF EVALUATION IS CRITICAL August 17, 2018 2017-2018 TASO MEMBERSHIP STATISTICS June 14, 2018 LISTEN TO EVERYTHING YOU HEAR May 30, 2018 MAKE A POSITIVE FIRST IMPRESSION WITH NEW COACHES May 10, 2018 Six Points of Simple Wisdom May 15, 2018 TASO OFFICE CLOSED ON May 28, 2018 April 27, 2018 WHY COACHES YELL April 6, 2018 Showing Emotion Isn't a Bad Thing March 29, 2018 Integrity: What We Do vs. What We Say April 13, 2018 UIL STATE SPIRIT CHAMPIONSHIPS DRAWING RECORD PARTICIPANTS March 19, 2018 AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO END THE ARGUMENT February 7, 2018 TASO - BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP February 7, 2018 TASO WELCOMES NEW AUTHORIZED VENDOR February 20, 2018 TASO OFFICE HAS MOVED January 28, 2018 DEFINING THE "IT" FACTOR January 16, 2018 TIPS FOR WORKING IN COLD WEATHER January 10, 2018 Know the game temperature November 29, 2017 Healthy Lifestyles: Getting Rid of Excess Weight in the Offseason November 2, 2017 NATIONAL ANTHEM November 29, 2017 30 Basics of Officiating October 31, 2017 Q&A WITH JOHN PARRY March 7, 2018 Sign up to volunteer for the NFL Draft December 26, 2017 BE A TEAM PLAYER December 9, 2017 Five Lessons on Leadership September 6, 2017 TASO MEMBERS NEEDING ASSISTANCE AFTER HURRICANE HARVEY October 25, 2017 TASO ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR August 30, 2017 HURRICANE HARVEY ASSISTANCE FOR TASO MEMBERS September 6, 2017 BASKETBALL ANNUAL MEETING LOCATION CHANGE September 7, 2017 ARBITERSPORTS STEPS UP WITH DONATION September 6, 2017 Move on From a Mistake September 6, 2017 Learn Lessons From Sports You Don\'t Work August 4, 2017 Setting Up an Officials Mentor Program is as Easy as 1-2-3 August 4, 2017 Are You Addicted to Officiating? June 27, 2017 TASO OFFICE CLOSED FOR THE 4TH July 19, 2017 TASO TO ADD ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION January 30, 2017 MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL AND NEW MEMBER APPLICATIONS May 18, 2017 TASO Executive DIRECTOR DISCUSSES SHORTAGE OF OFFICIALS ON JEFF CRILLEY SHOW April 20, 2017 ILLEGAL BATS April 6, 2017 TASO BOARD MEETING February 23, 2017 INCOME TAX INFORMATION March 24, 2017 TAPPS STATE SOCCER TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS January 18, 2017 TASO STATEMENT CONCERNING UIL SEC DECISION January 15, 2017 BRICE CHERRY: LET'S CUT THE ZEBRAS SOME SLACK December 7, 2016 The Officiating Crisis: What Can I Do January 3, 2017 TASO BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL ANNUAL MEETINGS August 10, 2016 UIL GAME/MATCH FEE INCREASES October 26, 2016 Provide-A-Ride Update November 21, 2016 Schools ENROLLED IN ARBITERPAY October 28, 2016 TASO position concerning our national anthem October 18, 2016 UIL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL SUMMARY August 10, 2016 TAPPS GAME/MATCH FEE INCREASE August 24, 2016 What Your Appearance Says About You - A Cliché That Sums It Up August 9, 2016 When is it Time to Retire from Officiating? August 17, 2016 Sports Rush: The Big Leagues of Officiating August 2, 2016 OFFICIATE TEXAS DAY A SUCCESS May 24, 2016 NEVER LEAVE ALONE March 10, 2015 TASO Partners With LIFELOCK July 12, 2016 NASO GIVEWAY July 25, 2016 ON-SITE REGISTRATION June 22, 2016 BITE YOUR TONGUE June 6, 2016 NEVER SAY "CALM DOWN" May 11, 2016 KNOW YOUR PURPOSE April 27, 2016 FIRM VOICE CONTROL April 14, 2016 Annual TASO Board Meeting March 22, 2016 BODY LANGUAGE CAN BE A CAREER KILLER March 8, 2016 BE A "PEOPLE PERSON" February 24, 2016 HAVE A PASSION FOR THE RULES February 24, 2016 TASO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR APPOINTED TO ADVISORY BOARD February 9, 2016 HONOR YOUR OBLIGATION TO BE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD February 1, 2016 DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY January 18, 2016 UNDERSTAND THE INTENT OF A RULE January 5, 2016 Don't Have mad Signals December 22, 2015 HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS PARTICIPANTS INCREASING December 15, 2015 BASEBALL / SOFTBALL ANNUAL MEETING October 21, 2015 UIL APPROVES GAME/MATCH FEE INCREASE October 16, 2015 OCTOBER 15, 2015 UIL SEC HEARING UPDATE September 25, 2015 UIL SEC 9-24-15 HEARING UPDATE September 26, 2015 TAPPS SUPPORT November 8, 2015 HAPPY VETERANS DAY


Keep Away From the Mechanics Buffet

By Jon Bible 

Over the years, I\'ve seen and worked with officials who seem to think that mechanics manuals are like buffet lines â€" chock full of items to be chosen or ignored as the consumer sees fit. The attitude that they know the one "true" way and will follow it regardless of what the prescribed mechanics require afflicts veterans more than younger officials, but some of the latter group are a so guilty. And lest I come across as holier- than-thou, I will own up to some freelancing on occasion. 

I submit, however, that approach is wrong for several reasons. While we may disagree with the mechanics, it is incumbent on all of us to adhere to them. We can go through channels to try to get them changed to reflect our notions of how the field should be covered and how crew members should interact, but if we are unsuccessful we should bite the bullet and go along. 

Although sometimes mechanics committees either are empowered to promulgate mechanics that reflect their own views or are in agreement about what they produce, the more likely scenario is that they were faced with conflicting views on particular points and, in the interest of uniformity, had to arrive at a compromise. The bottom line is that if you believe a mechanic is unworkable or just plain stupid, chances are that some people involved in its drafting felt the same way. Either 
another group succeeded in securing enough votes to get it adopted, or the mechanic was really favoured by virtually no one and instead was the product of a last-ditch effort at 

One problem with deviating from the mechanics manual is that it can lead to even more inconsistency in on field calls. Some members of a crew would have different looks at the players\' actions than they would have had if they used the mechanic everyone else was using. Mechanics mavericks also cause problems for other members of the crew in a game who might be used to doing things the proper way. Even if a crew stays together all year and perhaps for several years, there may be occasions when a member has to be replaced for one or two games, and if the officials have decided to go their own way mechanically, chaos can ensue when the replacement joins them. Adjusting can be especially difficult for younger officials who have enough on their hands to master what the prescribed manual says without having to deal with the new twist that the maverick brings to the table. 

Then there is the "copycat" syndrome. If one crew or individual deviates from the mechanics manual and word gets around that has been done and has brought on no repercussions, others will infer that they are free to do the same thing. The next thing you know there will be several different crews or officials striking out on their own, thus destroying any semblance of consistency within that group. Freelancing can also bite you in the backside if there is an observer or officials\' scout in the stands. The perception that a crew or crew member is "going it alone" is not calculated to result in kudos or in career advancement. 

A word about officiating clinics and camps. The ones that feature NFL and top college officials can be especially good in many different ways. The problem is that sometimes the information about field coverage or position mechanics that is imparted at those clinics is inconsistent with the approved mechanics. It may well be that what you learned at the camp is better, but the best approach is to try to convince the powers-that-be in your area that is the case. Most officials have healthy egos, and the longer they work, the greater the tendency is to think that they know best how particular play situations should be handled. However, in the interest of uniformity, among other things, the best approach is to check your ego at the locker room door and do things "by the book. We can cause many problems for ourselves, our crews and the other crews in our league or association if we don\'t.


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