Students go Behind the Scene in Sports as Referees

Logan Potts, Staff Writer

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When people think of sports, they usually think about players, coaches, and fans. When people think this, they are forgetting about some of the most important people in sports: The officials. As a teenager, it is hard to find jobs that you can work flexible schedules, make decent money, and not have to work countless hours. Being a referee or umpire is one of the few jobs where you can have all of that.
“I became a soccer and basketball referee because I wanted to make money so I could hang out with friends and not really have to worry about how much money I’m spending,” sophomore Chris Stephens said. “I like soccer and basketball, so I did some research to find out how much I would make, saw that it was a good amount of money, and applied for the job.”
Stephens played soccer for the school the past two years and played basketball from Kindergarten to 8th grade. As a ref, you have to make decisions that aren’t easy and no matter what your ruling is on those tough calls, you will receive backlash from parent, players, and coaches.
“Parents are easier to deal with than coaches personally because they usually listen to you after you threaten to toss them out,” junior Chris Huber said. “With coaches, they seem to get more heated and you have to write a report when you throw them out.”
As an official, you have to go through training that you usually wouldn’t have to do with other jobs.
“I had to go through indoor rules and position training with a Minor League Baseball umpire and then practice with real live scrimmages,” sophomore Jack Ford said.
Ford plays baseball for the JV team and he plays American Legion baseball in the summer. With the job, there are many ups and downs including the weather and how interesting the game is.
“Honestly, it’s worth it,” Huber said. “The pay and experience I get from being a ref is a lot better than some other places I could be working at.”
If you like sports, and need some money, this seems like the job for you.