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  • November 29The Counseling department is holding a Lunch and Learn workshop Wed. Dec. 6 about managing anxiety. Email [email protected] for details.
  • November 29Blue Ridge Virginia Governor's School applications are due Fri. Dec. 8.
  • November 20Auditions for the spring play, Alice in Wonderland, start Dec. 4. See Mr. Edgerton or Ms. Coleman for more information.
  • November 20Seniors! Jostens will be at lunches on Tues. Dec. 5 as a make-up order day for graduation items.
The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat
Keith JJ
College football referees discussing a call at the Texas Bowl in Houston, Texas, December 28, 2006. Photo courtesy of Keith JJ under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

The Life of a Football Referee

Have you ever thought about becoming a football official for high school? Are you familiar with what an official does during a football game?

While you probably know that a referee is responsible for supervising and enforcing the rules of the game, beyond that, it can get complicated. For example, there are several different referee positions on a field during the game. There is a referee who stands behind the offensive line and is the head official on the field. There is an umpire who stands behind the defensive line, as well as a line judge and head linesman who stand on either side of the field to watch the line of scrimmage. Finally, there is a field judge and a side judge who stand 25 yards off the line of scrimmage to watch for any long plays.

If you watch many football games at FCHS, you might actually recognize some of the referees who tend to officiate game after game. They all work in the Piedmont Valley Football Officials Association (PVFOA) and have to undergo annual training on changes in football rules. Here are three of the officials you may recognize, as well as a little on their backgrounds.

Dave Moore

Dave Moore is a referee who stands behind the offensive line, also known as the “white hat,” so-called because the position wears a white hat, while the other referees wear white and black hats. Wearing an all-white hat allows the spectators and players to differentiate the referee from the other officials. This is an important differentiation, because the white hat referee oversees everything relating to the officials and is responsible for maintaining the pace of the game.

Moore has been a football official for 34 years, and says his favorite part of being a referee is “being under the Friday night lights and having fun being with the crew. It is a way to stay close to the sport.” He also said he officiates because he likes sports in general.

Moore prepares himself before a game by re-reading the rule book. During the day, Moore is a Financial Operations Advisory Consultant for Net Smart. “I am a business consultant and basically give people my opinions on finances.”

Emery Wilder

Emery Wilder is a line judge, which means he stands on the home team side of the football field on the line of scrimmage. Wilder has officiated for 11 years now. He said his favorite part of being under the Friday night lights is that “you get to learn more about the game.” He officiates because he enjoys getting “to run around on a football field.” During the day, Wilder is a carpenter at the University of Virginia.

Alfred Wilson

Alfred Wilson is a field judge and stands on the home team side of the football field 25 yards off the line of scrimmage. Wilson has officiated for 21 years. He said his favorite part of refereering is that he “likes to help the kids and talk to the kids,” and noted he started the job after one of his fraternity brothers recommended it.

Wilson notes that he prepares himself for a game by “looking up both the teams and seeing if they run or pass a lot” while watching film from the last game. During the day, Wilson works at the University of Virginia Physician Group as a Corporate Paralegal.

“I review all legal contracts that come through for the doctors, hospital, nurses and clinicians.”

What does it take to be a football referee? For information on the philosophy and requirements of PVFOA, go to their website, or contact recruitment coordinator Carey Drayton at [email protected].

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