Personalities

Profiles and stories about officials and people close to officiating.

Personalities

Personalities
Profiles and stories about officials and people close to officiating.

Pati Rolf Moved From College Coach to High Level Official and Has Never Looked...

A lime green toy pig, gifted to Pati Rolf by the distraught motorist who accidentally struck her on snowy Minnetonka Boulevard in Hopkins, Minn., nearly 50 years ago, endures all...

Five Decades of Pam Young

When the U.S. Department of Education leveled the playing field for males and females in 1972 by ratifying Title IX, the agency did more than open doors and...

5 Minutes With Gerry Davis

Residence: Huntington Beach, Calif. Occupation: MLB umpire; owns Gerry Davis Sports, which sells officiating equipment and attire. Experience: MLB umpire since 1982; worked MLB World Series...

It’s Black and White

H ave you ever wondered why officials wear black and white stripes? In the early days of football, referees wore white dress shirts, bow ties...
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Frank DeFord, Longtime Supporter of Sports Officials, Dies At 78

We at Referee magazine and the National Association of Sports Officials are much saddened by the passing of Frank DeFord. Frank received accolades, honors...

John Wooden: An Interview

You might wonder why a magazine for sports officials interviewed a coach, even one as legendary as John Wooden. Through our decades of experience,...

‘I’m Still Here’

A boy with hoop dreams, the scope of which he could never have comprehended would one day come to fruition during those halcyon days...

Fighting The Pandemic With Skills Learned As a Referee

As a member of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), I had the privilege of working the Women’s World Cup in France in 2019. Being...

Muscles and Details Lead to Mike Defee’s Mastery

We'll waste no time addressing Mike Defee’s Popeye-the-Sailor-style arms in an effort to satisfy one of the rages on social media these days. Yes, perhaps...

NFL Line Judge Jeff Bergman is All Business

Just as Jeff Bergman was starting to relax under the soothing stream of warm water that early spring afternoon in 1983, he was startled...

NHL Referee Finds Success as Elite Amateur Golfer

At 7:18 on the morning of June 14, Garrett Rank stood on the 10th tee at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island, preparing...

Home Bruns

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tiger Woods and Randy Bruns have more in common than you might expect. All three have been to the pinnacle of their...

Defining the “It” Factor

Rules knowledge, mechanics and making the right calls are important. Missing any of those elements can break your career, but having them won’t make...

John Parry Mixes Business and Humor

It's 2007, and rookie NFL referee John Parry is tossing the coin for a game pitting the undefeated New England Patriots against the undefeated...

Silent Stands Teach Us A Valuable Lesson

The 2020 New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) State Basketball Championships were able to conclude last March, crowning 10 boys’ and girls’ state champions. The...

At Home — with Referee Staffers

Just because the COVID-19 pandemic has put a temporary halt to work at Referee’s physical offices hasn’t meant a stop to the work of...

Profile: NFL Referee Clete Blakeman

NFL referee Clete Blakeman lights up the room and the field. That’s what his crewmates say about him. Tripp Sutter, a Big Ten official,...

Kelly Dine Covers All The Bases

The year 2020 was, well, not a great one for many people. But at least Kelly Elliott Dine had wonderful memories of 2019 to comfort...

Hall of Famer June Courteau has Left an Amazing Mark on Women’s Basketball Officiating

A well-read woman with an insatiable desire to cram yet more knowledge into her mind was sitting poolside at an Aruba timeshare dwelling in the summer of 2015. Simply reading doesn’t...

Referee Gets Creative to Fight Cancer

Lou Levine always teased one of his friends about his friend’s thick nest of black hair. Before the start of the basketball season a...

Ron Garretson: A Life in Officiating

With the ‘Godfather of NBA officials’ as his father, Ron Garretson learned from one of the best in the business. Then he made a...

Gold Whistle Award Winner: UMPS CARE — Helping People is an Easy Call

It is often said every dark cloud has a silver lining. Good things come from the darkest places sometimes. In 1999, one of the...

Chance Encounters of the Life-Changing Kind

Today, Jim Reynolds is one of MLB’s most accomplished umpires. His resume includes 16 postseason assignments, including two World Series, plus two All-Star games. But...

Officiating is a Family Affair

Nestled between the San Diego Bay and the scenic splendor of the coastal mountain foothills in Southern California are the sprawling sun-kissed expanses of...

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