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Rose students make a new call in the job field

THURS. | 03-10-22 | SPORTS

     Getting a job is common among high school students, but some Rose athletes have taken this to a different level and approached a job relating to their athletic skills. These students have become referees for parks and recreational leagues in sports such as baseball, basketball, soccer and a Pitt Lacrosse league. 

     Ives Howard and Owen Boyd, both juniors at Rose and members of the Rose baseball team, have become referees for basketball and baseball (and Howard for soccer too). The two have found enjoyment when working these games. 

     “It is actually kind of fun,” Boyd said. “I have built some relationships with the players by getting to know their names and kinda joking around with them on the court.”

     As Howard picked up refereeing for a sport he did not play, he had to Zoom into an instructional training session and then had to attend two on-field training sessions and shadow referees. By taking on this job, the two new referees prepared themselves with the necessary information before stepping onto the court. 

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Contributed photo

     “I had to learn the fouls, then I had to learn where to position myself on the court in relation to where the ball is, and I had to know what hand signals to tell the table,” Boyd said.

     With this job came some challenges, particularly dealing with parents and coaches of the players who may have disagreed with the call of the referee. 

     “The coaches are always yelling at me, probably because I am younger,” Boyd said. “I will run down the side of the court and the parents are just chirping at me, but it is not bad because I will just give them a glare and they will stop.” 

     In addition to learning the rules and regulations of the games, the boys also learned personal lessons that they can apply to their own lives. 

     “I learned how to handle myself in stressful situations, because you’ve gotta make a call and not everyone is going to like it, so you are going to have to deal with some people,” Howard said. 

     Other Rose students are developing an interest in the refereeing job and picking it up themselves. For example, Rose lacrosse player Riley Schmidt is in the preparatory stages of becoming a Pitt Lacrosse referee for elementary-aged girls. 

     “I volunteered with Pitt Lax with the coaching last year and thought that was really fun,” Schmidt said. “I also saw some of the older girls from the Rose team refereeing and I thought it looked fun.” 

     Schmidt is a bit nervous to start refereeing because she feels as if she will doubt herself when it comes to making calls. Despite the nerves, Schmidt is excited to begin this process as she believes that being on the field with a different role will be interesting, and she also loves the little girls she will be refereeing for. 

     The three Rose athletes and referees all intend to help better the younger players’ skills. 

     “When I was younger, the referees would help me out with the game, and so I just want to do that for the kids,” Howard said. “When they figure something out or learn to get better, you see this smile on their face running back looking at their parents and it is pretty sweet.”

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