Mason Referees Selected for Regionals

Posted: January 7, 2013 at 9:11 am, Last Updated: February 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Students Jake Kelley and William Adams brought their referee skills to College Park, Maryland for the 23rd annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Flag Football Classic.

Showing impressive skills and commands during just their first semester of being a referee at Mason, they applied to the Regional Classic and were accepted. “Both Colby and Paul were very impressed in how well Jake and I were doing in the beginning of the semester and asked us if we would like to apply to ref in this regional tournament at Maryland,” junior William Adams said. “We jumped on board so we applied and got accepted.”

Both Kelley and Adams became interested in becoming a referee from their love and experiences playing sports. Each has enjoyed the opportunities being a referee has presented them.

“I love it, honestly. I played football for my whole high school career. I was on the players side of it and now I am on the referee side of it which is very cool because I get to stay involved with the game,” sophomore Jake Kelley said. “It is just a lot of fun. It is a really cool way to meet new people. I have made a lot of great friends so far and it has brought me great opportunities like Maryland.”

NIRSA, also known as the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, hosted the Regional Football Classic over a three-day span from November 9th to the 11th at the University of Maryland. Nearly 40 teams were present from all across the Mid-Atlantic and Washington D.C area.

Referees from many different universities were also in attendance at the Regional Classic. Kelley and Adams were able gain other referees’ perspectives and learn from their peers. “It was a great experience. It was great to hear advice on how to be a better official from people who came from all these different places,” said Adams, who has also been a referee for futsal, soccer and volleyball at Mason.

Not only were they able to showcase their skills but they were able to learn new ones too. “It made me more confident in my calls and things like that. They were able to critique me on my positioning on the field and hand signals for a certain call or a certain situation where maybe a foul was not necessary but was called,” explained Kelley, who plans on becoming a referee for basketball and softball this semester at Mason. “It definitely affected my whole persona on the field.”

A lot of their early success was credited towards Mason’s training program for referees. “Our training was very well done. I knew the rules going in and whenever someone had a question about something, I could easily tell them this is how it is suppose to be enforced and so on. The fundamentals on where you should be position-wise and stuff like that was solely because of the training. It definitely benefited me,” explained Adams.

Above all, the two saw it as an honor representing Mason on a regional level. “I was honored to be able to do it. We represented the school and it was a really cool experience and I got to talk to a lot of people from different schools and see how their programs do it. It was a good learning experience for Mason’s program,” Kelley said. Adams also took this opportunity as a reward for his hard work. “I take it as a great honor that my bosses recognized me and how hard I was working and how quickly I was picking up on things. I felt very fortunate that I was selected,” said Adams, who plans to be a referee for basketball and softball during the spring semester.

Both Kelley and Adams said as they gain more experience, they hope to move even further in the referee rankings.

Story by: James Zembriski