Masters of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects


Officiating has become one of the best-kept secrets in sports and many former athletes have developed interest in becoming game officials. The purpose of this study is to provide information and insight to aspiring former athletes who wish to pursue an alternative career path related to athletics. This project uses auto ethnography and incorporates literature about the process of becoming an official, experiences of veteran officials, and how I began my officiating career. In writing about my experiences as a novice basketball referee, I have kept a journal/log in which I document my experiences and reflect upon officiating. In the process of recording and reflecting upon my personal experiences, I have discovered that becoming an official may not be for everyone. As a new referee, it is important to know one’s mechanics, including the rules and regulations of the conference for which you officiate. Conference and referee associations will not choose anyone who is not polished in those areas. When one officiates at the NCAA level, one must adjust to the travel demands of a full-time Division I official. The literature and my experiences suggest it has been difficult to identify and retain qualified women officials. Thus, the NCAA is seeking former women players who wish to officiate basketball games. Most officials who appear on TV tend to be older white males who may or may not have played the game. Many officials end their officiating careers due to disrespect and stress they encounter. Some fans, coaches, and players make it difficult for officials to continue to officiate because of the hostility during and after games. This study is important for those who are interested in becoming officials and will hopefully spark an interest in former college women players who wish to continue a career in sport.


Nancy Spencer

Second Reader

Geoffrey Meek








Sport Administration