Author Topic: Why do we officiate.  (Read 297 times)

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Offline K. Sime

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Why do we officiate.
« on: February 21, 2021, 08:37:48 AM »
I'm doing research on "Why do we officiate". What prompts us do spend 6 hours a night (travel time) and receive a check for $45.00?  I will not use names-just want to get different perspectives on why?

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2021, 08:52:48 AM »
I started officiating because I love football and wanted a way to stay in the field after high school. I still officiate after 31 years because I love the guys on my crew and crave the fellowship. Officiating also give me a great relief from the stress of my day job.


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Offline Etref

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2021, 08:58:40 AM »
For me, it was to get back to the game I loved. The time with other like minded folks, friendships, the stories, the sights, sounds and smells (some good-burgers on the grill, some bad- some locker rooms) all make the memories.
" I don't make the rules coach!"

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 12:34:34 PM »
I started umpiring LL BB in 1994.  Most of the guys I umpired with also officiated football.  They asked me if I was interested and I thought sure, why not?  They seemed happy.

I had worked in sports all through school and college from keeping the scorebook for the 8th grade basketball team to being a manager and trainer.  I also did some game day admin stuff for football games during my college years.

After college, I spent about 3 1/2 years in sporting goods sales and a season working for a AA baseball club.  During all that time, I had some exposure to officials so it was not a foreign concept.  In fact one of the owners of the first store I worked was a SoCon FB official and eventually was their supervisor.

I think that most younger guys get into it with the idea that making a little extra income is good.  I used to save my umpiring money for buying season tickets at UT and my football money went to Christmas and vacation.

As we get older, it becomes more about self-fulfillment and the camaraderie that we enjoy.  Eventually I got out of the sports business as I preferred a better income and benefits so I took a job as a state parole officer from which I retired 2+ years ago.   A district manager once commented to me about how much crap we had to deal with daily in our job and that I then went out on Friday nights and put up with what he was sure was a bunch of Bullsnot.  I told him "No, you don't understand.  For 2+ hours on a Friday night I have to be totally focused on the game at hand.  I can't think about work, my wife, anything except the game I'm at."  It is an escape.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 12:36:21 PM by HLinNC »

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2021, 02:35:20 PM »
Agree with all of the reasons stated above.  One thing is absolutely essential; a spouse who's supportive and willing to give up Fall weekends, for what turns out to be "the long haul".

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 03:13:58 PM »
Agree with all of the reasons stated above.  One thing is absolutely essential; a spouse who's supportive and willing to give up Fall weekends, for what turns out to be "the long haul".
Absolutely agree. My wife has given up 31 years of Friday nights so I can go play.


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Offline JasonTX

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 07:15:17 PM »
The commraderie is high on the list.  My best friends are all officials.  I've been blessed to have a wife who likes the paychecks and a job that understands that officiating takes priority.  I wish I could find 100 more with the flexibility that I have.  Very blessed is an understatement.

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 07:34:16 AM »
My path is very similar to HLinNC.  Started in baseball (mainly because I thought I could do a better job than the guys I saw working my sonís LL games), then added football, then basketball.  Iíve made many life-long friends throughout the years, and learned a lot about handling situations that carry over to everyday life.

As Iíve told younger officials many times: I donít do this for the money, but I wouldnít do it for free.

Offline Covid 22

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2021, 10:11:41 AM »
I called a lot of city league and up slow pitch softball and some basketball.  When I moved to Mississippi a friend I played golf with asked me to be on his HS crew.  He was doing Gulf South or another league and wound up being a SEC official who participated in numerous BIG games including at least one National Championship.  I had never thought about calling football even though I played it from 1st grade through high school.  What really hooked me long term was the third year we were together.  We were chosen to officiate the 4a State Championship (it was a goal we set the first year I called with him). We had a great game and afterward there were some tears of pride and fellowship (if you have called a while with people you love being with, you know what I mean). 

As an introvert the fellowship with the men I have called with is probably the number one reason I continued for so long.  Second is the goose bumps I got EVERY Friday when the National Anthem was played and the crowd and players cheered at it's conclusion.   Plus getting to do games for some great athletes.  The two best known are Patrick Mahomes and RGIII.  But I can tell you that for every one of these special players there were hundreds of other outstanding young men that I got to see play.

I have always said that they should quadruple the sub varsity pay and I would call Friday nights for free.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 10:13:12 AM by Covid 22 »

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 10:41:48 AM »
Quote
a spouse who's supportive

I got out of baseball in '99 after my son was born.  I got a call one evening that fall from the lady that was arranging umpires for fall league baseball on Saturday afternoon.  It was a new concept to our area at that point.  My normal FB schedule was then Tues MS, Thur JV, Fri Var, Sat morning YFB.  I was also traveling to Knoxville for UT home games.  The caller made a comment about how she was having such a hard time obtaining umpires.  I explained that we were in football season and most of us were working football and probably had put our BB gear away for the year.

I was just getting ready to tell her I'd work it for her when my wife looked at me and said "You're gone doing games 4 times this week and now you want to go for a 5th?!  You are not leaving me to take care of this baby by myself!"  That was when I got told to pick one sport and be happy with it.  I chose football and never really looked back.




Offline riffraft

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2021, 01:03:17 PM »
Originally started officiating to stay in the sport(s).  I continue to officiate because of my crew mates, enjoy their company on and off the field.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Why do we officiate.
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2021, 02:25:20 PM »
I know how/why I got into officiating. Played intramural touch football my freshman year of college. When the season was over, I thought to myself, "I can do a better job of officiating than those guys, and get paid to stay involved with football, rather than playing for nothing." So, my sophomore year I got started officiating. After my junior year, I jumped into the local HS association, and the rest is history, as they say.
But, if the question is why did/do I continue to officiate, honestly, if I knew the answer to that, I probably wouldn't do it. It dang sure isn't the money (although my FBS days were reasonably profitable). For a struggling college kid, the $3 per game was sweet. Then the $12.50 per game for varsity was even better. After I got out of school, the money was just nice pocket change (at least until I got to FBS). Now, I'm back to it being just nice pocket change. I might not do it if I didn't get paid, but I am certainly not doing it "for the money."
I know I like the challenge of doing things right and well. I love the folks I work with. I retired once, but got bored, so I jumped back in. I'm not gonna blow smoke and say that I do this "for the kids." I do this for me. But the job is to do justice to the game, and to the players - be they kids or adults, and that I take very seriously.
Culture change within the sport is starting to make this more challenging, but I'm still hangin' in there. I suspect I'll be finally retired before the culture gets totally out of hand. But, for the time being, leading my crew onto the field, guiding them in their quests to 'get better' (a never ending quest for all of us, by the way), and working each game with the highest degree of integrity that I can possibly offer brings great personal satisfaction.
Well, there it is. I guess I do know why I continue to do this, after all.