Tell us a little about yourself: age, place of birth, current occupation.
—21 years old, born and raised in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, and I am currently a student at the University of Florida.
What is you background as a rugby player?
—Never played a second of rugby as a player.
Why did you decide to become a referee?
—I started my referee career doing soccer for about three years and was easily persuaded to switch sports after taking the entry level referee course. Definitely made the right decision.
Did you have some kind of mentor?
—Numerous people have helped me during my time as a referee. Players, coaches, referee coaches, and especially other referees have all brought different perspectives that have helped me vastly.
Do you remember your first game as a referee? How did it go? Any funny or special memory?
—I remember my first game very well. I did the B side match between UF and LSU on St. Patricks Day. It was definitely a learning experience, but getting thrown to the wolves in my first match has helped me tremendously.
What was the most memorable screw up?
—Memorable for who is the better question.
Which is the one game you most remember of your career?
—The one game I will always remember is taking part in the USA vs. Scotland match in Houston, TX. I was given the opportunity to work the technical zone and be on the pitch for the national anthems before the match with the rest of the referee crew.
How well do players and coaches in Florida know the laws of the game?
—I believe that both players and the coaches are gaining knowledge due to increasing popularity within the game and they strive to learn more about the laws week in and week out to help their teams.
What is your opinion in general of the attitude of players towards the referees in Florida?
—Depends on how good you are doing on the pitch.
As a referee, have you made more friends or foes?
—Friends for sure.
Does being able to watch a game on video help you improve your skills?
—Without a doubt it helps. I can see all aspects of the game from a different perspective and grasp what I need to improve on going forward.
What are the most rewardings aspects of being a referee? And the least?
—The most rewarding aspect of being a referee in my opinion is the camaraderie not just on the pitch but off of the pitch as well. Every time there is a tournament, the referee tent is always enjoyable from 8 AM to 5 PM. The least rewarding would definitely be the heckling from the sidelines and from the pitch. However, this does make you work harder to make sure you are making the correct call throughout the entire match.
If you have had the opportunity to ref a match oversees, how was that experience?
—I have not, but I hope one day I can have that opportunity.
What would you tell a player to encourage him becoming a referee?
—It is a great way to stay involved in the sport, and you can learn a lot from the other side of things.
Any final thoughts or comments about being a rugby referee?