Junior Officials in the County working Middle School Basketball Games

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 1:51 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The Middle School basketball season is already underway and if you have attended any middle school games this year you might think some of the officials look like they are still in HIgh School...You could be right.

High School students are taking part in the first IAABO 150 Jr Officials program. The students who took the class are now learning the ropes as they work with Veteran officials in some Middle School games. Julie Goupille of IAABO 150 has been working with the Junior officials and says it was great to see them on the floor.

(Julie Goupille):” The kids need some confidence and need to get out there and blow their whistle. They know the game and know the rules. I had a really sharp group. They caught on quickly. It is going to be a matter of confidence and repetition doing it over and over again. They are going to get it.”

(Eli Mosher):” It really expanded my knowledge on different calls and different rules.”

The Junior Officials are working games with veteran officials who are mentoring them while on the floor. Pedro Rodriguez has worked several games with the Junior officials.

(Pedro Rodriguez):” Make them feel comfortable out there. I remember when I started, this is actually my 20th year, and I was really nervous. It is very nerve wracking.”

Mosher:” I had Pedro by my side, and he was really helpful in leading me what to do. It went very well.”

Eli Mosher was one of the Junior Officials who worked the very first game. Mosher said he has always wanted to be an official and he said he feels more and more comfortable every time out.

Mosher:” Every time it gets easier, and I get more confident in my calls and more comfortable in how I am doing.”

The goal is that the Junior Officials learn the game now and that when they graduate from High School, they continue to be involved in the game to help alleviate the shortage of officials all over the country.

Goupille:” The kids are talking about doing this when they get to college. They will have to take the full certification course, but they are getting their start now. They will be able to do this no matter where they go. They will be able to have a very flexible part time job.”

Rodriguez:” With the shortage of officials in every sport I think it is very important to start at a younger age.”

Mosher and several of the other Juniors will be pulling double duty this winter. They will be playing either JV or Varsity basketball and when they have free time working Middle School games. Mosher says that taking the course helps him see the game differently and he said he already knows that his Wildcat teammates are going to look to him to see if the right call was made.

Mosher:” My teammates have already referred to me as the Referee on the team. They will always look at me to see if it was the right call.”