Eventually you will come across a coach who doesn't see eye to eye with your exemplary adjudication of the rules. In those cases, you will need to make sure you are prepared and equipped to have those discussions. Although there is never a simple recipe to de-escalate every situation, the following guidelines will help you as you handle these coaches and ensure the most professional outcome is obtained.
1. Foster open communication from the beginning. In a clear respectful way, let the coach know that you are available to answer valid questions about rules, what you might have seen, or details about a call. This starts before the game ever begins. Greet the coaches and let them know you are there to facilitate the best game possible.
2. Don't engage in long discussions. Explain in short brief comments and move on.
3. Clarify that you will be happy to answer questions - not discussions or debates.
4. Know your limits. Don't allow one coach to cross that line while the other coach sees no boundaries being administered.