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The Sideline Whisperer
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Ken Handley (11/1/2018)
Cisco Lopez (8/21/2017)
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Richard Hessler (12/11/2014)
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David Hedges (9/3/2012)
Michael Kennedy (9/2/2012)
Jeremy Brown (9/2/2012)
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Cisco Lopez
Born in United States. Cisco is a grade B referee. He lives in Miami, Miami-Dade County.
You may contact him at 305 803 1291 or ciscocisco@ymail.com.
Sir, may I ask you a question?
Updated on 8/21/2017

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

—I'm 22 years old, I live in Miami and I go to university right now.

What is you background as a rugby player?

—I played for two years for Miami Rugby's U-19 Division and after that decided to focus on refereeing.

Why did you decide to become a referee?

—I had gotten injured in my first season, so I decided to learn the laws since I was still new to the game. I ended up getting certified not too long after that and using reffing as rehab to get back to playing. I took to it pretty well and when I was given some development had a lot of fun.

Did you have some kind of mentor?

—I'm young enough that everyone is my mentor really, but in Florida: Terry Day, Terry Haas, Haylee Slaughter, and Gerry Fitz.

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

—It was a U-14 game that I had gone to see my brother play in. The referee never showed up and since I somewhat knew the laws my dad and the coaches urged me to just go for it. I wasn't even certified then but it was fun from start to finish.

What was the most memorable screw up?

—As of right now––and only allegedly-- I was ARing USA v Chile and called an American player in touch when he hadn't. It was close, I was convinced!

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

—Reffing an amateur game in the stadium at the Las Vegas Invitational, there's nothing like being in a stadium!

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

—I think there's always room for improvement, no one should ever think they know everything. Even as referees we need to be reviewing and discussing laws. So that only goes to show what happens when you're not refreshing on law or application.

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

—I think 50/50, some players will have their prejudices but I don't think it's something to be concerned over.

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

—Definitely friends! Even if we disagree from time to time.

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

—Yes! It's great for self review and significantly more accurate than memory.

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

—Having the best seat in the house! There's very little downside to be honest, probably getting abused.

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

—Yeah! I've been here and there in the Caribbean, it was amazing! Such great hospitality!

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

—It's really self-rewarding, if you love the game then the desire to facilitate the best game for 30 players comes easy.

Any final thoughts or comments about being a rugby referee?

—Best decision of my life, I've met so many people and been to so many places because of it!


Code updated: 08/17/2017 19:04

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