Suggestions for Showing Appreciation

1. Emphasis at one event for each sport where there are officials-April 23 – May 4, or on another designated date.

2. Designate and promote “Thank a Ref’ night on your rSchools schedule, daily announcements or school social media accounts.

3. PA Announcements – prior to game and second half- sample will be sent electronically.

4. Press Release to local media – sample will be sent electronically.

5. Ad in game program when possible.

6. Special recognition before or after starting line-ups where captains or other athletes thank the officials and if possible present them with a thank you card or other token of appreciation.

7. Other ways to recognize and appreciate officials:
• MSHSL Thank a Ref Certificate (fillable PDF – attached)
• Coaches thanking officials and giving positive feedback – either before or after the game
i. Talk to the officials before or after the game thanking them and giving positive feedback
ii. Providing positive reinforcement – especially to younger and newer officials
iii. Send a thank you note
• Work with your Captains or Leadership groups to come up with other ideas, such as:
i. Students write personal thank you notes and present to officials before each game
ii. Captains do this for a special event, or have all team members do this and give one to each official
(or crew) for each game.
• Review the Hosting Officials brochure – do at least one more thing than you do currently
i. Copy of brochure will be sent electronically
• Recognizing officials prior to the game – presentation – small gift of appreciation before or after the game:
i. T-shirt or other school spirit or identification item
ii. Pizza Certificate or similar
iii. Something from concessions for the ride home
iv. Cookies or other snack and bottle of water for the ride home (team members or captains could
assist with this)
• Enlist the assistance and support of Booster Clubs to help provide the above.

8. Sportsmanship:
• Special emphasis with players and coaches to show great sportsmanship during the recognition event – especially towards the officials.
• Use this as an opportunity for the AD, or Coaches to discuss sportsmanship with athletes and assistant coaches.
• Emphasis on Sportsmanship at lower level events – working with the coaches of lower level teams to show great sportsmanship.
Thank and give lower level officials positive feedback at this level – coaches and players – this is key as many of these officials are younger and new officials.
• Emphasis on Why We Play — Purpose Statements, Expectations of coaches, players and fans, etc. as it relates to working with officials and game/site administration.

9. Show us what you did!
• Include photos or captions of the event on social media platforms using #ThankaRef and tag@MSHSL_Officials and @MSHSLjohn