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The Sideline Whisperer
 
 
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Chris Roehm
Born in United States. Chris is a grade C1 referee. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County.
You may contact him at 954-610-2799 or [email protected].
 
Sir, may I ask you a question?
Updated on 9/8/2012 8:12:49 PM

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

—Born in Fort Lauderdale 50 years ago. I am a financial planner.

What is you background as a rugby player?

—Began playing in 1982 at UF. I saw a game and said, "I can do that," and was at practice the next Tuesday.

Why did you decide to become a referee?

—The national champion FSU women were playing UF one day and they needed a ref.

Did you have some kind of mentor?

—Martin England got me started but like so many Florida referees, Terry Day taught me to ref and is still my mentor.

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

—In the game mentioned above, I thought it was funny that the women would apologize for making me call a penalty. "Sorry sir, won't happen again."

What was the most memorable screw up?

—There have been a few red cards where I feel like I screwed up for not dealing with the issues sooner.

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

—Bethlehem PA where the whistle froze to my lips.

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

—That is a real mixed bag.

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

—With only a few rare exceptions, the attitude of the players to referees in Florida is very good.

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

—Way more friends

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

—Yes! And only recently, the IRB has released videos that help to interpret the laws. I think I learned the most from watching international referees like Jonathan Kaplan, Steve Walsh, Mauius Jonker, and others on TV.

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

—When both captains thank you after the game for a great match. And when the parent of a high school kid does the same. The least was being away from home when my kids were young.

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

—I got to referee three games in France during the Golden Oldies. And a few times in the Bahamas, does that count?

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

—A great way to stay involved in the game. If you can't play and don't want to coach, think about it.

Any final thoughts or comments about being a rugby referee?

— What Terry Day taught me: The game comes first. The players come second. Referees are third.

 

Code updated: 08/17/2017 19:04

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