Personalities

Profiles and stories about officials and people close to officiating.

Personalities

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

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,...

Dale Scott Redemption

Half sleep-walking through darkness to the refrigerator in his Santo Domingo apartment in the dead of night in January 1986, all Dale Scott wanted...

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...

Ron Groover is In the Groove

L Life sometimes can hinge upon a chance meeting. That’s how it worked for NCAA basketball official Ron Groover. From relaxing after a pickup basketball...

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...

“I’ll Never Forget”: Officiating Legends Recall Their Most Memorable Game

  It is June 14, 1998, at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. The Chicago Bulls are playing the Utah Jazz in Game 6...

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...

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...

Iowa Wrestling Community Helps Official Get to Championships

In Iowa, wrestling is practically a family affair, almost a religion. It’s a place where every kid with a little ability and a steely attitude...

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...

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,...

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...

Ability, Not Disability

will Fried, a basketball official in the Wichita, Kan., area, recently earned a degree in conflict analysis and resolution, which on the surface makes...

Focus on the Future: Joan Powell

Joan Powell sees the scene, and in it, she sees something more. Volleyball courts, yes … they’re there, as far as the eye can see....

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...

Solid Stance: Gerry Davis Profile

The honor hardly could be more fitting. OK, perhaps having a behind-the-plate stance named after you — as Gerry Davis does — isn’t technically an...

6 Transcendent Moments for Sports Officials

For some of us, officiating is a vocation, for others it is an avocation. For almost all of us, however, it is a passion that offers feelings of...
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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...

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...

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...

5 Minutes with J.D. Collins

Hometown: Hartford City, Ind. Experience: NCAA national coordinator of men’s basketball officiating; former coordinator of officials for the Mid-American Conference and Summit League; former consultant...

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...

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...

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...

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