As if I didn’t have enough to do or enough variety in my life, this past fall I became a basketball referee. I joined the association that officiates high school and middle school girl’s games for a four county region.
At the first meeting I attended, I was given a whistle (a real whistle, I was informed, not one of those cheap things with a pea that gets wet and sticks) and a very specific list of clothing expectations. Shoes, black, all black. If they happen to have a logo or something of another color, cover it with black marker ink. Black crew socks. Black ref pants, generally the polyester, elastic-waist, pleated-front gems you get at an athletic specialty store (and absolutely nothing like pants I would choose to wear). An official shirt that is obtained from the association, gray with black accents and an official official’s patch. And, optionally, a jacket. But if all referees at a specific game do not have official jackets, no one wears a jacket.
Within a few weeks, I had the uniform, had attended some training sessions and practice games, been given passwords into the web-based assigning system, read the rule books, taken and passed the online tests. I was officially a member of the association and had a schedule of assigned games. Officially, I was an official...
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