Final Score Blog

News, Sales, Specials and Reviews from Final Score Sporting Goods!

20% Off Cliff Keen Cold Weather Football Officials Apparel

Click here for our newsletter about our 20% off sale for football officials cold weather gear!

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Umpires, Don't Try This at Home!

I just came across this video from a Major League game on May 31st.  Home plate umpire Laz Diaz actually changed a strike to a ball after the batter and his dugout complains. 

If you actually do something like this in your high school or summer travel game, be prepared to have a running commentary on any borderline pitches for the rest of the game! 

At the high school level on down, the only calls that should be eligible to be reversed are plays involving a swipe tag (usually at 1B or 3B) or a pulled foot at first base.  The manager should come out to talk to the base umpire in a respectful manner.  It is then up to the base umpire to come to his partner for help on the call.  Often times, in your pregame, it is good to discuss situations like this.  One thing the plate umpire can do is take his hat off if he has information to offer the base umpire. 

Many times if the home plate is hustling out from behind the plate (with no runners on base) down the first base line, he will have the best view of a pulled foot and a swipe tag at first base.  Obviously if the plate umpire was making his way towards third base to cover a possible play, he’s not going to have any view on a play like that at first base.  If the latter is the case, just come together for a brief second, shake your head no at your partner and inform the coach you were hustling down to cover third base and did not have a good view on the pulled foot or swipe tag there. 

Also, one more thing when it comes to reversing your own calls-- a MAJOR pet peeve of mine- DO NOT RUSH on calls!  There is nothing that makes an umpire at any level look terrible than an "OUT! SAFE!" call.  On a bang bang play at a base, take your time, point to the ball and wait to see that the defensive player actually has the ball, and then make the out call, or make the safe call if the ball is laying on the ground.  Take your time!



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Tips for a Successful Basketball Officiating Season

As the basketball season starts up, there are several things worth keeping in the back of your mind:

1. Keep an extra uniform in your trunk. You never know when you’re going to show up to a game without a shoe or a pair of pants. Even an old set will do. It will be better than nothing, and it happens to everybody some time!

2. Keep your rule and case books in your game bag. Often times, the best game situation discussion occurs in the stands before your game or during halftime of your game, and it’s always good to have on hand to refer to.

3. Put your partner’s phone numbers in your phone prior to game day, or have access to it on your phone in case of bad weather. Even AD’s now sometimes have their cell phones listed on the Arbiter or other websites. There’s not a more helpless feeling than being in a traffic jam with no way to get in touch with your partners as game time nears!

4. Take it easy on the pie, cookies, and Christmas Ale around the holidays. The Cliff Keen pants we sell have waistbands that only expand one inch!

5. Do the best you can every game you do. Keep in mind that game, whether it’s 4th grade or college, is the most important game to those kids, coaches, and parents.

6. COMMUNICATE with your partners, coaches, athletic directors and assignors!

Have a Merry Christmas and healthy basketball season!


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Keys to Officiating Success from a Big Ten Official

By Denny Morris

It does not matter if you are a first year official or a 20+ year veteran official.  It does not matter if you have never worked a postseason tournament game or have worked more tournament games than you can count.  Each season new goals should be established; both short term and long term goals.  Goals are not defined by the level you are currently working.  If you are working at the junior varsity level, work to become the best junior varsity official you can possibly be.  The first goal should always be to be a better official in tonight's game than you were in the previous game you officiated.  What will happen is with pure hard work, commitment and dedication to the craft of officiating, people will notice.  A coach may say, you know "Tom" has become a really good official, he works hard during the game and if I ask him a question, he will give me an answer, I would take "Tom" on any of my games.  Or, a fellow official will say, you know I worked with "Tom" last night and he is a good official.  He really cares about the game and officiating, I would work with him on any game.  When enough people start talking about you in a positive tone, you are going to advance.  You didn't start the season with the goal in mind that you wanted coaches and fellow officials to talk positively about your officiating.  It was a direct result of having a short term goal of being a better official in tonight's game than you were in the previous game.  It takes hard work, commitment and dedication!

About the Author:  Dennis E. Morris began officiating football, basketball and baseball in 1976. As a football official, Morris officiated in 1995 and 1997 state football championship games, the 1996 Big 33 (Pennsylvania vs. Ohio) All-Star game and the 1997 OHSFCA North-South All-Star Classic. Morris is in his 10th season as a back judge in the Big 10 Conference.  As a basketball official, Morris has officiated regional boys tournaments and four state tournaments, including the single game all-time attendance record game featuring LeBron James. In 2008 he officiated the NFHS/T-Mobile National Invitational Basketball Tournament. Denny Morris was inducted into the OHSAA's Officiating Hall of Fame in 2009. (Source:

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3N2 Reaction Lo Referee Shoe Product Review

b2ap3_thumbnail_3n2-football-shoe-400x400.JPGSince taking over operations of Final Score Sporting Goods in 2011, I’ve been asked countless times at officials meetings, “You guys carry shoes?”  And our answer was always, “Not yet…”  I’m glad to finally be able to say, “Yes, we do!”  When we first decided to carry sports officials supplies and uniforms, we told ourselves we wouldn’t carry anything that we didn’t want to wear ourselves, which is why we sell product from companies like Cliff Keen, All-Star, Dalco, and now we are pleased to offer shoes from 3n2 Sports

My dad and I tested out the 3n2 Reaction Pro Plate Shoe, as well as the Reaction Lo Referee shoe this past baseball season before deciding to carry them in our store.  We wanted to offer something different than the normal New Balance or Reebok shoes everybody else carries.  I want to take a minute to discuss the Reaction Lo Referee shoe.  The first thing I noticed when trying them on is that they fit very comfortably.  They didn’t take a couple of games to break in.  They were really lightweight to wear on the bases.  The next thing I noticed was the superior traction, which is good when having to pivot or stop suddenly on the field.  I’ve also had mild cases of plantar fasciitis recently, and after working a couple games in a day, my feet didn’t hurt like they did with other shoes.

As far as aesthetics go, a nice feature on this shoe is the fact that it can be worn for either baseball or football.  They come with a removable Velcro tongue that flips over, which you’d wear for more of a baseball look if you wanted.  Or you could take it off for football.  They also don’t seem to collect dirt in like some others I’ve had over the years.  They clean up very easily after games and shine up nicely!

Last but not least, the price is what sold us on this shoe.  Try finding another shoe for $49.99 that looks and feels like these do!  You will be paying $10-$15 more for Adidas or New Balance shoes from somebody else.  3n2 Sports is an exciting, growing company for us to partner up with, and we are exciting to see what else they will be offering in the near future.

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A new Blog from Final Score Sporting Goods

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSCF0425.JPGWelcome to Final Score’s blog.  This goal of this blog is going to be to entertain and inform the high school sports official.  We will have occasional product reviews on referee equipment and uniforms, as well as blog posts from professional and collegiate officials. 

Let me take a minute to introduce myself.  My name is Andy Goebel.  I’m the co-owner of Final Score Sporting Goods.  My dad and I took ownership two and a half years ago.  After a cup of tea in the corporate world, I quickly realized it was not for me.  We immediately gave the store itself a major facelift, created a new logo, and developed a website.    

The business originally sold only custom apparel, varsity letterman jackets, custom team uniforms, screen printed apparel, etc.  After taking over, we quickly added referee uniforms and referee equipment to our product offering.  I’ve officiated high school baseball and basketball in the Cleveland area for 13 years and knew there was a need for a umpire and referee supply store in Cleveland.  My dad has officiated basketball for 18 years, and my younger brother Tom, has officiated for five years.  Who better to own and run a business selling sports officials supplies, right?  That’s what we figured too!

We are proud to partner with first class companies like Cliff Keen, 3n2, All-Star, and Dalco to bring the officiating community quality product at competitive prices.  We recently rebuilt our website to make it even more user friendly and keep the business going in the right direction. 

Make sure to check our website regularly for new products and interesting blog posts or "Like" us on Facebook for instant updates on sales, news and more.  Also, don’t forget that if you need team uniforms or custom apparel for a team you coach or play on, we can definitely help you with that too!

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New website and blog now online!


We are excited to announce the launch of our new website and blog. Check back soon for updates and don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook for regular updates.

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