Students combine what they love with work by becoming referees


Rachel Lyons

Sophomore John Lance made the decision to become a lacrosse referee and has enjoyed being a part of the sport in a different way and participating in the game in a new uniform.

Lizzie Ambre and Kasey Desmond

George Benning

Sophomore George Benning has played baseball for ten years, two thirds of his life. Because he loves the game so much, this year, he decided to go back to the little league program he played in as a kid to work as an umpire.

I really like baseball, and I played for ten years, and I decided to go back and sign up for little leagues.”

— George Benning

Benning did not have to go through training to become a little league umpire because of his extensive experience with the game.

He did receive a handbook on umpiring, but most of the skills he uses he has learned over the past ten years.

The job isn’t always easy. “I have to deal with parents when they get upset about a call I made,” Benning said. All in all, however, this is the perfect job for Benning because he gets to spend time around the game he loves.

John Lance

Last June, after getting laid off from his former job, sophomore John Lance made the decision to become a lacrosse referee. After considering employment in retail, Lance realized that he wanted to have a real passion in his job. “Heck, why not ref the sport I play?” Lance said.

Lance had to pass a rigorous training course before becoming a certified Lacrosse referee. He spent a week in the classroom, then he had to complete several online classes, and finally, one day of on-field training with an experienced ref.

Balancing his commitment to the BSM JV lacrosse team and his job as an official is not difficult for Lance.  “The way it works is you sign up for games when you are available,” Lance said. Because Lance is new to the field of lacrosse refereeing, he often is offered the least desirable of games. “I usually get the games out in Delano,” Lance said.

In the past, Lance has refereed mainly players who are under 11 and, like any youth official, he has to deal with upset parents, which puts a damper on the job. Overall, Lance enjoys lacrosse reffing. “It’s nice to get outside in the summer, and it pays really well,” Lance said.

Maria Van Hove

Maria is very involved in soccer and has played for BSM’s varsity girls’ soccer team since her freshman year. She got the idea to referee soccer from her brother, who told Van Hove it was a great way to make extra money.

My favorite part is telling sassy parents the actual rules because they are usually wrong.”

— Maria Van Hove

Training to become a soccer referee has previously included a two-day clinic and a test.

For Van Hove, the preparation consisted of just a 50 question online test paired with couple hours of videos.

Van Hove has experienced challeges balancing her busy schedule and dealing with angry viewers. “I don’t like dealing with know-it-all coaches who harass you all the way down the sideline, because they are just annoying,” Van Hove said.