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Haylee Slaughter (8/27/2012)
Haylee Slaughter
Born in United States. Haylee is a grade 4 referee. She lives in Gainesville, Alachua County.
You may contact her at 352-461-7846 or hayleeslaughter@gmail.com.
Sir, may I ask you a question?
Updated on 8/27/2012 6:19:17 PM

Tell us a little about yourself: age, place of birth, current occupation.

— Born in Ocala, Fla in 1979, assistant manager at Frank Slaughter Insurance Agency

What is you background as a rugby player?

—Played at the University of Florida 2000-2003, for the Raleigh Venom 2002-2006. Second row was my favorite position in 15's but I really enjoyed playing 7's.

Why did you decide to become a referee?

—I plead insanity.

Did you have some kind of mentor?

—Yes, thank you Simon Page.

Do you remember your first game as a referee? How did it go? Any funny or special memory?

—Yes. It went fine I assume, as no one died and I didn't throw my whistle away directly after.

What was the most memorable screw up?

—When I wasn't even seven months into officiating, I got to ref nine minutes of a scrimmage for the Women's National Team. It was so cold, and they were soooo fast. At a line out, the defense came up before the line out was over. I blew the whistle (meekly I'm sure) to penalize them for offsides and put my arm up the wrong way! Before I could switch arms, the offending team had already taken a quick tap and the ball was halfway across the field. At the next dead ball I was yanked by the head coach. It was a tremendous learning experience!

Which is the one game you most remember of your career?

—Probably the most dramatic memory I have of a game is from the collegiate 7's national championships in Texas in Dec 2011. I had the last game of the night on Friday, and it was expected to be one-sided. Well, the underdog was down 7-5 at halftime. Late in the 2nd half, they had a breakaway up the right side of the pitch with a defender right on his heels. When we got to the in-goal, the defender grabbed the player from behind, going for the ball. I remember it in slow motion, how the ball was shining in the lights as they both rolled over; it was a great spectacle for the crowd as he grounded the ball for a try near the corner. I blew the pea right out of my whistle, because I wanted it to reflect the climax of the moment. The underdog won 10-7.

How well do players and coaches in Florida know the laws of the game?

—We have a full spectrum of experience levels here in Florida.

What is your opinion in general of the attitude of players towards the referees in Florida?

—I'd like for all of them to run 80 minutes in a referee's boots.

As a referee, have you made more friends or foes?

—Probably 50-50.

Does being able to watch a game on video help you improve your skills?

— Yes, studying oneself on film is the best way to improve, though it can be quite painful.

What are the most rewardings aspects of being a referee? And the least?

—I get to see the passion and teamwork of the players close up; we are all so alive in those moments. It gives me the opportunity to give back to the Game that's given me so much.

If you have had the opportunity to ref a match oversees, how was that experience?

—It was a wonderful experience, lots of games in the mud and I got to do a men's semifinal between Jamaica and Cayman at the NACRA 7's in Barbados, November of 2011. It rained like twenty inches on the Saturday and our tent was full of muck but the referees banded together and had fun with it.

What would you tell a player to encourage him becoming a referee?

—Accomplish every goal he wants to achieve as a player before committing wholeheartedly to refereeing so he'll have no regrets.

Any final thoughts or comments about being a rugby referee?

—I am very blessed to be in a position to serve the Game as a referee.


Code updated: 08/17/2017 19:04

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