Column by Joanie Barry
Barry is a junior radio-television and secondary education double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
As the semester winds down, many of you are probably worried about finding a summer job. It’s not only important to find a job, but it also needs to pay enough money gets you through the school year. One way to lessen the stress of finding a new job at the end of every semester is to get a part-time job during the school year. If you are looking for a job for next year, intramurals might be the option for you. Here are some qualities that we look for as intramural officials.
Coolness under pressure is an essential quality of an intramural official. Officials have to make quick judgments in tough situations. Panicking does not look good to intramural athletes, and it is not unusual for experienced intramural athletes to take advantage of a new, nervous official. That is why it is important to stay steady on the outside even if the official is freaking out on the inside.
It is important to add that while staying calm under pressure is a required trait of all officials, it may need to come from some practice. I certainly can vouch that my freshman year, I was a nervous wreck while officiating. My first officiating experience was fraternity flag football, so I learned quickly how to be calm under pressure.
Physical fitness is also a forgotten but helpful quality of an intramural official. Sports like basketball, soccer and flag football require some serious cardio — especially basketball.
In basketball, officials do not have substitutes. They run the entire game with a whistle in their mouths, which is an added challenge that people take for granted. It is harder to breathe with a whistle in your mouth because you might accidently blow it while running. Do not forget, officials also have to make calls while doing all of this. Physical fitness can help a new official focus better on the game because they are not exhausted.
Lastly, the most important quality for intramural officials is a general appreciation of sports. It does not matter if you have never stepped foot on a soccer field or hit a birdie with a racket. As long as you respect the athletes and the sport, intramurals can be an incredible work-study job. In my three years at intramurals, I have seen some crazy, competitive games. I have grown to appreciate soccer and volleyball in a way that I never did before.
Officials get paid to watch intramurals and meet new friends. The best part about intramurals, in my opinion, is the people. Meeting new, awesome people was my favorite part of the job. Some of my closest friends were made on the intramurals fields. For those of you looking for a job next year, working for intramurals can be a great place to go.
Here is your rule reminder for this week. Metal cleats are not allowed on the softball field. While they may good for preventing wipeouts, they can cause some serious injuries on the field. Make sure you have plastic or rubber cleats, or you can not play. As always, stay safe, and play ball!