Hey Ref!

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I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Hey Ref”, from the stands, the sideline, or the bench. Officiating any sport is not easy. You need to know the game, learn the rules, get in shape, deal with conflict, and make split second decisions under pressure. Most fans don’t know the rules or how a game should be called; but they think they do. They have no qualms about expressing their opinions. It can be a challenge.

But here’s a secret from someone who officiated for over 35 years. It’s worth every second.


The officiating profession is nearing a critical time. Many long time officials are leaving, and not enough younger officials are taking their place. The results of this shortage will effect sports at all levels. In the St Louis area, the shortage is in all sports, at all levels. Here is what may happen at the high school level. Freshmen sports eliminated; football games on Wednesday and Thursday night, officials working too many games. What about CYC? Some parishes are telling us that due to a lack of officials they will no longer be able to provide gyms or fields for games.


• Stay active in a sport you love.
• Be involved in the game.
• Make lasting friendships with other officials.
• Make a positive contribution to the sport.
• Great way to get in shape and make a few extra bucks.

Sure, we all hear about the wild games and crazy fans and coaches. But, like most things, the positive memories far outweigh the negative. There is nothing more exciting than a close game. Officiating allows you to be an integral part of the excitement.


On April 4th, at 6:30pm, at Parkway West High School, there will be an Officials Recruitment Night sponsored by St Louis SCORES. There will be representatives from all the high school sports in our area. They will let you know the in’s and out’s of officiating. Current officials in each sport will be on hand to answer questions.

At the CYC level, contact your parish sport representative. They will let you know what you need to do to officiate at the CYC level. Many local high school officials started out as CYC officials. It is a great training ground. Talk to those who officiate at your parish gym or field. Get out there and have some fun!