Mason Refs Go Beyond Intramurals

Posted: January 7, 2013 at 9:17 am, Last Updated: February 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Student referees are taking full advantage of all the opportunities Mason’s Recreational Department has to offer by earning additional certification to be a referee in local Fairfax County leagues.

Working with the local United States Soccer Federation and Cardinal Basketball Association, Mason referees are able to attend learning sessions to become certified referees at high school and recreational levels.  Tyler Fabian, who has been a soccer referee since 2004, is one of the 16 referees who has taken advantage of the program since it started in the fall of 2011.

“As long as you ask, you will get it.  If I wanted to pursue getting certified in basketball, Mason can definitely get me certified.  They are always willing to help and would find me a course so I can get certified,” said Fabian, who explained that the training sessions are free for referees.  “Another great incentive is that you do not have to pay anything for it.  Mason pays for it.  You get paid for going to the class.”

The training sessions not only teach students about the rules but demonstrates how to act like a referee.  “They not only prepare you for the rules of the game but also how to respond and act in the game.  How you treat the players whether he is upset with you, arguing with you or bickering at you.  They teach you how to respond in a professional manor,” Fabian said.

Chris Carr, a senior who has been a basketball referee since his sophomore year, looks at this program as just one of the many advantages towards being a referee.

“It is great working with Mason and the entire department.  Everyone is great,” said Carr, who has also been a referee for intramural soccer, volleyball, flag football and dodgeball.  “The hours are always really flexible and they always try to help you out anyway they can.”

Paul Bazzano, the assistant director of intramural and recreational sports, believes that this program not only helps out the student referees but Mason as well.
“This program allows our staff to gain the additional training needed to advance through the ranks and work local youth leagues and scholastic games outside of Mason,” Bazzano said.  “The individuals that have taken advantage of these opportunities have been able to bring the skills obtained outside of Mason to our program and has helped them emerge as leaders and mentors to our young staff.”

Not only has becoming a referee provided both Fabian and Carr with a part time job but with a job that they love doing.  “I am a sports management major and I love just being around sports.  It is great for me to be able to stay involved,” Carr said.  “Being involved in the sports industry is great.”

Being able to teach players the rules of the game is one of Fabian’s favorite parts about being a referee.  “With this type of level, everyone is learning.  You do have new people.  You have athletes who are very athletic.  They may not know the sport so you teach them the sport,” Fabian explained.  “I always find it very interesting to help those who do not know the sport or want to learn the sport and as a referee you can do that.”

Both would recommend to anyone who is considering applying to be a referee to give it a try.  “If you are interested in making money, you like sports and you do not have night classes, definitely consider it,” Fabian said, who along with Carr believes becoming a referee is a great way to earn an income. “If you want to take a leadership role one day, this is a good opportunity to build yourself up.”

For anyone who is interested in becoming a referee at Mason, contact Colby Grant or Paul Bazzano for more information.

Story by: James Zembriski