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Three Keys to Being a Great Line Judge

January 4, 2017


Do you love making important calls?  Take pride in making sure the right team gets the point on every call?  Here are three ways that you can make sure that you are the hero and not the goat next time you are a line judge for a big match. 


1.  Stay involved with the play
Follow the play with your eyes.  Move a little if you have to to make sure that you can see the ball at all times.  Make a call on every ball that is near one of the two lines you are responsible for, even if it seems like an easy one for the up ref.  


2.  Understand Your Responsibilities

Line judges are responsible for calling the two lines that they stand at the intersection of all the way to the other end of the court, but there is more to the job than that.  Line judges are also responsible for

  • Calling foot faults

  • Seeing if pancakes are down

  • Calling if the ball touches or travels over the antenna

  • Seeing the touch off the block

  • Potentially helping the officiating crew see touches on the ceiling 


3.  Train Your Eyes to Watch the Line, Not the Ball
A great line judge will get their eyes on the line as soon as they know where the ball is going.  This ensures that there eyes are not "following" the ball and potentially missing a situation where it just barely touches the line that you might not see if your eyes are tracking a little behind the ball.  While doing this, the line judge will have to see the touch call by the down defender with their peripheral vision.  Take a few minutes during the teams warm-up to practice getting your eyes to the line before the ball and you will be able to make even the closest calls confidently. 


Bonus Tip:  Make all of your calls confidently.  Being confident in your calls erases any doubt of players, coaches or spectators that you are paying attention and doing your best to give them the best match possible. 


Want more information about how to be a great official?  Check out

for tons of free training courses designed to give you all the knowledge you will need to be a great official. 




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