Saturday, January 25, 2014

Officially done?

I started officiating high school sports in 2005. I got the idea in my head that I would like to be a wrestling official after my retirement from the military in 2004. So I went to a local kids wrestling tournament and asked one of the officials how to get started. He gave me a phone number and the next season I found myself on the mat wearing the stripes. I was so nervous and probably wasn't very good but I learned and by my second or third year I think I turned into a competent wrestling official.

Some of the other wrestling officials  suggested I try other sports. So my second year I started football and the third year I added baseball. I was now officiating High School sports year round. I threw myself into officiating. I learned, I studied, and I officiated at every level in all three sports. Little kids,Junior High, High School it didn't matter. I prided myself on not being a snob and taking every assignment. I officiated hundreds of games/matches. I was mentored in all three sports by some outstanding officials.

Then came the beginning of what might be the end. 3 years ago my mentor and baseball partner retired. That sort of took the wind out of my sails as far as baseball. The next year I only umpired 4 games and then this past season I took what is probably a permanent hiatus. Similarly I started cutting down in football. I quit doing youth football two years ago because the parents just pissed me off. I was tired of dealing with the stupid comments and poor sportsmanship. Last year I only did Varsity football because my work schedule didn't allow anything more. This year I had to resign from my Varsity football crew due to my school schedule and other responsibilities. So no football for me at all this season, although they have asked me to come back for next year.

Then there is wrestling my first and most favorite sport. Last year I probably cut my officiating dates in half and this year I just finished the last of only two dates this season. Once again this was due to my school and work schedule. I felt like I was on the verge of getting a post season assignment in wrestling 3 seasons ago. Now I will basically have to start over. If your name is not out there coaches don't nominate you.

So I have been setting myself up to quit officiating for a few years now. I really enjoy some aspects of officiating still, but some parts really irritate me. My original motivations for becoming an official no longer exist and my life has changed in the last 9 years. I have more job responsibilities than 9 years ago and a lot more other activities crowding my schedule. Maybe it is time to move on.

I am not totally out the door but it is wide open.

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