Basketball referee Zach Altman offered a referee’s take on sportsmanship and the impact of fans’ behavior on the officials.  The speech was part of a TEDx talk held in San Antonio, Texas. Though Altman plies his trade on the hardcourt, much of his experience also applies to those wearing stripes on ice.

Altman worked with the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) for background and research.

Nineteen-year-old Basketball Referee Zach Altman was no stranger to the uniformed lectures and snide remarks that came along with his job on the court. What he initially interpreted as seemingly innocent comments from overzealous parents and coaches, quickly escalated into physical confrontations towards him and his colleagues. Young enough to have an unwavering passion for the game but old enough to realize when there is a problem, Altman set out on a course to find a solution. His endearing talk provides both a witty and a sobering look into to the growing epidemic of referee abuse and what can be done to improve the entire culture of youth sports.

Thanks to the crew at for sharing this terrific speech.