New virtual reality training to better equip football officials

“What it does, it just puts you looking through the eyes of an official.”
WAFF 48's Georgia Chambers reporting
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 7:53 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama football fields have experienced a gradual decrease in registered high school football officials in recent years. Could a new type of digital training for football officials help fight ever-decreasing numbers in their ranks?

“There are other parts of the United States that they have to move [high school football] games to Thursday and Friday just because there are no officials to man those games,” Bob Arnone, founder of Get It Right training, said.

To try and keep that from happening in Alabama, Get It Right is a virtual reality training system designed to help better equip officials.

Alabama High School Athletic Association Coordinator of Football Officials David Bell saw improvement in numbers last season, but says it’s all about staying consistent.

“We got a little over 200 last year that’s come on board with us, the issue is, is keeping them. It’s tough when you go out there and you get hollered at, especially when you’re new and you’re not real comfortable out there. We lose a lot of them the first few years,” Bell said.

Bell said the key to keeping officials lies within training. He’s been training officials for forty years, but sees more advantages with the virtual reality approach.

“What [Get It Right Training] does, it just puts you looking through the eyes of an official, and it tells you what you’re supposed to be looking at according to what position you are,” Bell said.

Get It Right is designed to be a fun learning tool to help get more officials ready to go for Friday Night Lights. It also allows for more people to receive the training at once.

“Instead of talking to you after the game or at halftime, I can talk to you right now. If we do that in a classroom environment, now everybody gets to see what’s going on and what corrections need to be made,” Arnone said.

Training for this upcoming football season will pick up in the summer. Arnone encourages those interested to give it a shot.

“For those of us who played, or those of us who plain love the game, it’s an opportunity to go out there and be part of it,” Arnone said.

To get more information on Get It Right Training click here.

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