Tell us a little about yourself: age, place of birth, current occupation.
—51 years old, Born in Rhode Island but spent my adult life in Missoula Montana I’ve lived in RI, MA, VA, NC, SC, GA DC, WI, WA, OR, MT and now FL. I teach Sociology and Criminology at Eastern Florida State College and Indian River State College.
What is you background as a rugby player?
—Started playing rugby at the University of Montana in 1986 (as a prop) and quickly fell in love with the game finally moved out to half back for the remainder of my playing days.
Why did you decide to become a referee?
— In 1991 I had a nasty compound spiral fracture of my right lower leg (Tib/Fib) playing in a game in Billings MT.. After 2 surgeries and 16 weeks in a cast and plates& screws in my leg/ankle ut was highly suggested that I don’t play again with the metal in my leg. 4 months later I was able to jog and move and wanted to play…but decided to ref in order to stay close he game. From that momento I never looked back and continued reffing…although I soon went back in to take metal taken out of my leg so I could play again.
Did you have some kind of mentor?
— My mentor was a great English Chap named bill Terrell…got to be mentored by him on the tail end of his career… fabulous even-keeled ref who stressed giving space and enjoying the moment.
Do you remember your first game as a referee? How did it go? Any funny or special memory?
—Just remebering how difficult it was…totaly different perspective of the game.
What was the most memorable screw up?
—Too many to recall one.
Which is the one game you most remember of your career?
—About 1 year after returning to play and ref after my injury I was reffing womens final in Spokane WA Fools Fest… and a player incurred the same injury that I just returned from…(with the foot backwards and all) it made me sick!
How well do players and coaches in Florida know the laws of the game?
—As good/bad as anywhere where else that I’ve ref…I don’t see any difference.
What is your opinion in general of the attitude of players towards the referees in Florida?
—See above…again players, coaches, fans are pretty much the same. At least throughout my expereince…some know the laws, some don’t, some respect the ref, some don’t…it is definately not a Florida thing! It appears to be a little more “dangerous” when reffing sides (players & fans) from Pacific Island nations- I’ve seen some very natsty encounters.
As a referee, have you made more friends or foes?
Does being able to watch a game on video help you improve your skills?
What are the most rewardings aspects of being a referee? And the least?
—Comraderie with other refs…being able to contribute to the game well past my playing days…Least- dealing with the occasional person who completely disrepects you and the effort you put in (very infrequently happens).
If you have had the opportunity to ref a match oversees, how was that experience?
—Fiji- enjoyable and fast,…most are surprised that a yank knows the game well enough to ref!
What would you tell a player to encourage him becoming a referee?
—You can ref effectively a lot longer than you can play… Start now.
Any final thoughts or comments about being a rugby referee?