For The Love of the Game – Officials and Their Silent Satisfaction

Jim Price, The Eastern Canada Head Clinician for the CLA, a Director of the Ontario Field Referee Association and a referee assignor for Ontario Field Lacrosse, was at a referee/official clinic when to his surprise, he was honored with a bust (3D sculpture of his head). His colleagues came together to recognize his efforts in helping to develop training programs for officials (referees) over the past 34 years.

“It all started when Jim’s apartment was broken into”, says Kevin Caplice, Referee-In-Chief for Ontario Field Lacrosse, “Jim had lost all his contact information so I started sending out e-mails trying to retrieve the information for him and got over 300 responses with thoughts and kind words about Jim and it got me to thinking, we should really give something back to the man who helped to develop the programs that we have all been apart of.”

He came across 3D Portraits and decided a bust may be the perfect way to honor Jim. They snuck around for eight months planning and Jim had no idea. He was totally shocked to be presented with the bust amongst other things such as photos, and even a replacement necklace that was stolen in the break in.

Jim Price has been involved in officiating lacrosse games for over 34 years and realized early on in his career that the development of standards and training programs for referees were greatly needed in North America. Since then Jim has developed and perfected those programs and continues to teach them in Ontario, all over Canada and even internationally. This year Slovakia will be the 21st country that Jim referees in.

1982-Jim started to devise, format, and create manuals, rules, rule books, and standards for developing the Ontario and International referee development programs. His reason: “It doesn’t matter how good the players are, if the ref is bad or untrained, that can ruin a game”

Jim states that it seems to be that American refs are always officiating international games and Canadians should be doing so seeing as we created the game. That’s why he’s adamant about refereeing internationally.

Jim admits that its hard to get people involved, they want their children to play but they don’t think of the efforts made by the refs/officials.  The people who do come to assist in training and development sometimes aren’t even referees so every year they award someone, who’s not a ref, the Yellow Flag award.

Jim says it’s important to recognize these valuable people who volunteer their time to the game. “I was fortunate to meet good people and get them involved and now we have a great development program that’s comparable to those in any of the world.”

Regarding the bust, which was created by a company called 3D Portraits based in Mississauga, Jim says though he’s forever thankful to his colleagues, it makes him a little embarrassed to see it. So, he’s decided to take the bust back to Marius Kulikowski, owner of 3D Portraits, to etch the name of every winner of the Yellow Flag Award for the past eight years (the amount of times the award has been given out) to commemorate those people giving to the game. He claims that most Canadian referee associations shy away from giving awards to officials because they want to avoid competitiveness amongst referees. “If you’re not noticed at all you have done a good job, because you didn’t make your self noticed, the game is for the players.”
Jim feels that all his training and development programs have help standardize the way we officiate in Canada and around the world.  He makes his clinics mandatory-every country has to keep updated, run clinics for new and old refs, rules are changing as player’s progress, they’re getting faster, better, so we have to keep up.   These clinics are necessary.  Jim feels that the game has provided him a healthy lifestyle that affords him a fit body and good shape even at 68. He says he’ll continue to ref as long as his body will let him.
When asked what he’s gained from all of his years dedicated to refereeing Jim said,  “I truly believe that women have a greater grasp of time and men have a knack for getting in trouble, as men we don’t handle time well and being busy keeps you out of trouble. I am eternally grateful to the game of Lacrosse for the people and friends I’ve met but mostly because it’s kept me out of trouble all this time.”

Mentions-Marius Kulikowski, 3D Portraits  www.3dportraits.ca
Field/Lacrosse: Ontario Lacrosse Association
Canadian Lacrosse Association
Federation of International Lacrosse

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