For the first time in ref history, Justin Meyer will call a basketball game.
It’s big deal in the local community and officiating circuit at large. Justin Meyer, A.K.A. the One-Whistle Warrior, A.K.A. The Sultan of Stripes, A.K.A. His Fairness, will make his highly-anticipated debut in early December as a paid basketball ref.
In class over the weekend, one of the instructors passed around a sign-up sheet to call games in the area youth league he assigns for. Everyone got two back-to-back games, and next week, we will each commit to doing another set for him. Those four games will be enough for me to break even on what I spent to take the course, which is a comfortable way to begin my officiating career.
In all honesty, I don’t feel ready for it at all. But it’s in several weeks, which provides me with plenty of time to become ready through practice on my own and reps I’ll get otherwise. Next class, we were told to bring basketballs and prepare to scrimmage. We will play a real 5-on-5 game, with three students in the class serving as officials. Part of me is excited to play, as that’s always a great perk, but I’m also really looking forward to experiencing the closest thing to calling a real game. I think it will be huge for my development and comfortable level, not only in managing to keep up with the speed of the game, but also working on and nailing my mechanics.
We were also told about school scrimmages we should attend to get practice court time, allowing assigners to see us work in action, and clinics that are supposedly very educational. I plan to attend two of the scrimmages in a couple of weeks, which will be my first chance to ref total strangers. I’m already nervous thinking about it, but between further practice and being a ref for the in-class scrimmage this coming weekend, I believe in myself to be ready to get out there by then.