Volunteer officials maintain intramural program, referee crucial football games

Jonathan Ervin, freshman nursing major, runs with the ball as Blake Mashour, senior athletic training major, gives chase. | Photo by Deanna Santangelo

By Tyler Cox

College students can feel overwhelmed with homework, study or any other school-related activities they may be involved in. So why would students want to referee flag football games? Do they do it for the money, or do they want to help out and the money is an afterthought?

“There are about 37 referees for flag football,” said Seth Kincaid, student intramural coordinator. The students interested in officiating flag football games go through a simple training course before they are able to officially umpire a game.

The course includes a training video about certain penalties and the consequences of those penalties. A quiz tested what they learned. The students get paid $7.25 for one game.

“The students would job-shadow the first half of the game just to get a feel of how to do everything, and then they would do the second half by themselves,” Kincaid said.

“The games can be time-consuming, but are not stressful,” said Jacob Forrest, sophomore psychology major. “I have done two games a day, or about six games a week, but it is a good way to make money on the side.”

So how do officials handle the referee situation for the most intense games?

“The more experienced referees do the upper-division games,” Kincaid said. “We don’t want to throw someone into his first game and it happen to be upper division.”

Football is an intense sporting event in itself. A player may not get crushed coming across the middle by a bruising, but the intensity and love for the game is still there 100 percent. Players will talk trash to one another, tie their flags and do absolutely anything to defend themselves and their goal. Many games get heated, but the referees do a great job to keep the tension under control and the games fair.

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