Students officiate regional tournament
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 23:11
SMU’s intramural program sent referees Connor Angle and Nick Guiscardo to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Camus Champion Series Region IV Flag Football Tournament at Texas Tech that took place from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18.
“We [refereed] about ten games each,” Angle said. “The level of competition there is a lot better and it was good to experience that and actually ref with some more experienced officials.”
Angle and Guiscardo had to apply to work the tournament and were two of about 39 officials selected.
The better teams of each tournament advance to the national tournament in Orlando, Fla. in January.
“There will be about 50 teams there from all over the country—mostly intramural teams, but a few clubs,” SMU intramural official Clifford Israel said. “The winners move on and the same thing works for referees.”
There are a total of eight regional tournaments each year. At the close of each tournament three officials are chosen to advance to the national tournament, which adds a little extra incentive for all refs to be on their A-game.
“Obviously we are getting paid for each game,” Angle said. “But, this experience definitely makes me think about doing it again and going for that nationals bid.”
When nationals are finished 12 of the 28 officials will be named All-American.
Israel will be competing in the national tournament for the third straight year and hopes to finally achieve All-American honors.
“[The] first year I went to the national tournament, it was crazy,” he said. “You see some refs that have done it for four and five years. The guy I roomed with was already a college basketball official. So, for these guys it’s like a full time job. Being able to go back a second and now a third year, I’m really striving for All-American.”
Intramurals has been a huge part of Israel’s and Angle’s lives.
“Intramurals is probably something people take for granted and just don’t think about,” Angle said. “But it’s a huge part of everybody’s college experience.”
“I think [intramural] is incredible,” Israel said. “It gets students together on campus besides Greek organizations or clubs. People can play together, the refs can learn together—people make friends that way. It’s a pretty competitive atmosphere which is nice, but at the same time it’s not dangerous.”
Intramurals also offer many opportunities aside from officiating in tournaments.
“Intramurals has lots of opportunities,” Angle said. “[You can] do a [graduate assitant] program where you go to a school and work in intramurals while you get a graduate degree.”
Israel feels that intramurals forces refs to be credible and to be leaders. He thinks this will make them better prepared to solve problems in the future in whatever field they go into.
“I’m actually doing Teach For America next year and for the next few years,” he said. “But after that I plan on going back to grad school but being able to go for free and play with intramurals for two or three years. It’s not a bad deal.”
To get involved with SMU’s intramural program stop by the Dedman Fitness Center and talk to assistant director of Intramurals Jack Harper or assistant Intramural manager Michael Sasala.