As the month of November came to an end, Mason Recreation sent two student Intramural Sports Officials, Andrew Morley and Ian Gagliardi, to Maryland for an Extramural Flag Football tournament. There they joined dozens of students from colleges across the East Coast, all coming together to improve their officiating skills during their 3-day stay.
As they observed the games they too were observed by professionals in this field. “It was a great learning experience,” stated Gagliardi and Morley. “We were given feedback not only at the end of each game, but at the end of each half”. This allowed them to use the advice they received in real-time for the second half of each game.
“There are two parts to officiating,” said Gagliardi, “learning the rules and managing the players.”
While the rules, of course, are specific to each sport, the skills they learned and enhanced made them more vigilant and made it easier for them to distinguish banter between players and potential fights on the field. Most importantly, though, are the interpersonal communication skills they cultivated during the trip.
“At Mason, you train and work with the same team,” Gagliardi continued. However, on this trip they had to quickly adapt and get acquainted with new people for each game. Teamwork with their fellow officials is incredibly important, and this allowed them to gain experience working with many students in various situations.
This experience helped them to make connections with others in their field, but also prepared them to use the communication and management skills they acquired in professions outside of this field. When asked both Ian and Andrew said that if given the chance they would definitely go again, and they recommend the trip for any student official at Mason.
Any student official, aspiring or current, who is able to attend one of these Extramural experiences is sure to have a great time, meet new people, and better their communication skills while honing their officiating abilities.
An article by Juliana Iglesias