Be a Ref...or at least Thank one.
(Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash )
I'm off to ref a couple more high school basketball games tonight. I've got a girls and boys Varsity doubleheader that actually pays $190 so it's not a bad little check for a few hours of work. But that's not why I do it. I do it because it's fun, and it's necessary for the kids.
How many of you remember playing sports growing up and also remember how bad it was when the officiating was poor? I know I do. It seemed like you put in all the time and effort and then some bozo in stripes who never got off the bench in high school made arbitrary decisions that took away all your hard work. That is mostly why I do this.
Having played the game, I understand what the players are going through and the subtle little things they're doing that may or may not be legal. The little bumps, holds, grabbing of jerseys, etc., that they try to get away with to gain an advantage. You can't call them all, obviously, but if you call a couple early in the game, most of it goes away for the rest of the game. And then when you do have to call it later when the game is in the balance, at least you can point back to those early ones and stay consistent.
Reffing is not easy. You basically have half the people mad at you for one call, and the other half mad at your next one. You can't win. Your best-case scenario is to remain unnoticed as much as possible. But, there are a lot of people who appreciate it and understand that the games can't be played without refs.
If you ever played the game, I strongly encourage you to look into being an official. Here are few reasons why:
- The kids need it. Never underestimate your importance to the game. You are an impartial observer. I couldn't care less who wins the games I ref. I'm just trying to work hard to be in the right spots so I can make the calls that need to be made. My judgement can be criticized (and it will be), but if I'm where I should be, most times I'll have a better view of the play than anyone but the players themselves.
- It's fun. There's nothing like being back in that high school gym atmosphere. The bands, the kids, the cheerleaders, the students...it's fun. And you're right in the middle of it.
- You meet some great people. I know doctors, lawyers, judges, business owners, etc, etc, who all ref. When the game is over, you go out and tell war stories with your crew and meet up with a few others. Lots of networking and camaraderie to be had.
- You make a little money. It is a little money, don't get me wrong. Unless you start doing high-level college or pro, there are probably other things you could do with your time that would make you more money. But for me, instead of sitting around at home on a Friday night or going out and spending money, I actually make a little something and then can have a cocktail or two after. Win/win.
- You get some exercise. It's not easy chasing 15-18 yr old kids up and down a floor. Boys or girls, they're both in much better shape than I am and have boundless energy. So, getting a little run in for a couple hours certainly doesn't hurt.
- You have the best seat in the house. You are right in the middle of all the action and you get to see some incredibly talented players in action, up close and personal. I've reffed almost a dozen future pros in my 30 years of doing this, and it's amazing seeing these kids perform.
So, in conclusion, if any of those reasons above appeal to you, I highly encourage you to look into getting involved. Officials are in short supply and are desparately needed at every level. Kids, middle school, high school, and even college.
If it's not for you, at least realize that good or bad, refs are out there trying to do the best job they can. As with anything in life, some are better than others, but I have yet to meet one that purposely made mistakes.
So, be a ref, or if not, at least thank one. It's much appreciated.
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it's fun to know that you are a referee :) Hive is fun when you start knowing people. I used to play football (soccer) and table tennis when i was at school as part of the required sports engagement. I was never a good player but managed to get into the game.
You raised really valid points. I will never be able to officiate a game but I value the effort you are showing. $190 for 2-3 hours is not bad at all either:)
Well, counting the driving it's more like 6-7 hours but still not terrible. It beats sitting at home. You should be a soccer ref. Like I said, they're in short supply (at least in the US). It's a great place to network, get some exercise, and give back to the kids. Plus, a little extra cash never hurts.
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Seems you got a good deal to me.
I remember the old good days of playing in high school, it is always great to have an official around, I never officiated before but I honestly appreciate people like you putting in the work to make everything goes well as much as he can possibly do.
I enjoy it. It does get a little old with the yelling, but it comes with the turf. The problem is that everyone watching has a bias so they tend to view things only in their direction. But, its still fun. You should try it. :-)
That is so true and one of the challenges.
Maybe one of these days I will join hubby when he is going to ref his students.
Do it! It's something you can do for the rest of your life if you want. I could probably live off of reffing if I wanted to do all the summer stuff too. I plan on doing it even after I retire (which is hopefully in the next 5 years when Hive goes to $25. :-)
I will give it a thought, thank you.
Doing things we love and not just for the money is the beauty of this life. I'm glad you find that in doing ref and also spreading positivity on the chain.
I can remember when I was younger, I got the opportunity to ref a football match. It was exciting for me and I felt a little bit powerful because I call the shots 😂😂, but it was fun and amazing experience.
Haha! Yes, unfortunately there is definitely a small percentage that likes the power of it. They hold the whistle and they're never wrong, no matter how obvious it is they missed one. It is what it is. You hope they eventually get weeded out by the people assigning the games.
If you liked it though, you should think about giving it another shot. There is definitely a big need.
When I was in school, I was very fond of playing football and used to participate in the matches that were held in our school. I remember one time I didn't have enough money to fill the entry so I couldn't play that match and I was so sad I just sat and watched. Such games are very important for children's health and because of their love, children's brains work much faster in the future.
There you go. Not only could you help the kids by reffing, but you could also donate some earnings to helping more kids who can't afford to play. Another great reason to ref. Thanks for sharing!
Yeah you are right. I used to love to play football but due to lack of money I couldn't play, now I try to give money to such children so that their passion can be fulfilled. Most welcome dear. Have a nice day.
I think no matter what sport, a referee is always one of th emost important parts, especially when it comes to professional sports!
Yup, without them you would just have a bunch of grown men bitching at each other. lol