By: Glenn Brown
As sports fans we don’t agree with a lot of calls that we see on television and in real life concerning sports and sporting events. We like to think of ourselves as experts and referees when viewing a particular sport. This can come down to being fans of the sport or if you played the sport we like to compare experience with the future.
A lot of people believe that they can make the right calls during crucial times of the games. This is the general consensus among many sports fans. There’s jokes about referees as being “blind” when a particular call isn’t made in their teams favor or one that can effects the game greatly. As a former intramural and youth sports referee, I can tell you that it is the opposite when you step on the field or court wearing that zebra stripe shirt.
While sitting down with a few of my Rowan University Intramural referees, we noticed that we had a lot of things in common regarding referring, but the most common trait that each member possessed was patience. In order to become a good referee or even an average one, you need to have patience and confidence.
After talking to my friend Morgan Olsen who has been a referee for over three years at Rowan University, she had this to say about the job and experience.
“As referees we have to keep our composure and be patient with the participants at all times,” said Olsen. “They (the participants) will hurl insults at you all game and we have to deal with that my continuing to be stern and making the right judgment calls.”
Another one of my colleagues is Wayne Roberts, who referees in intramural basketball. Roberts has a great take on being a referee and sports fan.
“Sometimes it can be weird stepping on to the court and not playing, but without your calls and direction, the game cannot be played correctly,” said Roberts. “We pride ourselves on making the correct calls when it comes to each sport that we’ve played or the sport that were a fan of.”
It’s a respect factor that we have for the game and no matter how annoying or disrespectful the participants may be, we have a job to do at the end of the day. I can honestly say that when the games are close and tight, that is the most enjoyment I have refereeing as I feel like it’s the real thing.