Lessons From a Room Full of Zebras. The Future of Sports Officiating.

Kyle Armstrong

The zebras we’re speaking about are sports officials, umpires and referees from nearly every sport

Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby to the National Football League.

At the end of July we sat silently, eyes wide, in a room filled with zebras from all over the world.  And we learned a lot! Not just about sports but confidence, integrity, and life in general.

Late on a Friday night we traveled down I70 West. Zebras from all over the world were converging on St. Louis, to a smattering of “boos” I might add, for the 2015 Sports Officiating Summit. The conference’s title was “The Right Call – Evaluations and Officiating Performance,” and we came together to seek insights from one another and some of the industry’s best.

Naturally – at Zooom – we were thrilled to be launching our new brand, as a title sponsor, particularly for this event.

Our brand exists for the same purpose as this conference, both focused on how crucial evaluating officiating performance is to accelerating officiating development.

At Zooom we help officials get better every single day, and no group has been advocating for the same longer than theNational Association of Sports Officials
with its 33rd annual Summit.

Countless speakers spoke of the importance of video to the development of officials – in every sport.

Numerous sessions focused on the roles technology and video play in sports and our duties as referees.

Fellow officials – technology is here to stay.

Video is a key developmental tool. And gone are the days of, “I can’t get video” or, “coach won’t share it with me”. We as officials play a vital role in the games which make up the fabric of our society. It’s time we take things into our own hands.

There’s a lot to learn in a room full of zebras, and veteran Big Ten Football Referee John O’Neill put it best –  “Video has to be a self evaluation tool.. It’s going to get you from good to better, better to best.”

Learn how, and connect with your fellow officials, at

Try ZOOOM for free today.