Working as an intramural referee at USD is more than line judging and scorekeeping; it’s having fun and making sure that sports participants have an enjoyable experience.
With over 11 sports and 22 tournaments and events throughout the year, intramural sports are a huge part of student activities at USD, and it takes a large, well-trained staff to make sure everything runs smoothly, Taylor Hartley, a freshman intramural referee, said. The intramural staff consists of 20 referees, 11 supervisors, and two graduate assistants.
Max Morris, a graduate assistant for intramural refereeing, said the staff’s main responsibility is enforcing the rules while keeping people happy.
Aside from officiating and scorekeeping for various sports and activities, the referees are in charge of setting up before games and tearing down after games.
At the beginning of the school year, all referees begin training. They are trained in CPR and First Aid as well as emergency situation training.
As the sports seasons change, referees must also be trained in each sport they officiate. Morris said it’s important for employees to have a good attitude and to learn.
“We don’t expect people to come out of high school and know what they’re doing,” Morris said, “but they have to be willing to learn.”
Throughout the year, the staff is in charge of officiating a wide range of sports, from floor hockey to softball. With each new season, officials must go through training to learn the rules and how to properly officiate each sport.
CarLee Mechles, junior sports management major in her first year of officiation, said she enjoys her job because it benefits her future career.
“My coworkers are really fun and it’s a really good work environment,” she said. “We all have fun and make jokes even though we barely know each other.”
Above the referee staff, supervisors are in charge of checking people in and making sure participants are legal to play. Supervisors also deal with any incidents, like injuries or ejections.
Dylan Kallhoff, a junior, has been an intramural referee since his freshman year and was promoted to supervisor his sophomore year. He said one of the biggest challenges the job presents is dealing with different personalities. Managing 30 staff members can sometimes be a struggle to find ways to address concerns with individuals.
“Everyone is different and takes criticism differently,” Kallhoff said.
Despite a few minor challenges, Kallhoff said he has learned a lot about conflict resolution, effective communication and organization by working as an intramural referee and supervisor.
Harley said the intramural staff works to promote a fun environment for both employees and sports participants.
“Our staff does a great job of making sure we take things seriously but also enjoying our time at work and making sure the players have a good experience,” Hartley said.
The intramural staff runs a Snapchat account, yoteims. They use it to share photos and videos of highlights so students can see what intramurals are all about.
“It helps us get our name out there and helps everyone see what we have to offer,” Kallhoff said.