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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Intramural officiating teaches future life skills for students

Junior gtgBryce Robinson and senior Sydney Simpson officiate an intramural basketball game. (Photo courtesy of Travis Rawe)

Simon Elfrink

Staff Writer

[email protected]

While many students at Murray State take part in intramural sports, many students also uphold the program through the officiating program. 

As anyone who plays intramurals knows, the referees are almost exclusively student employees. Murray State is held in high esteem for the opportunities students have to gain hands-on experience, and the intramural officiating program embodies that idea. 

Director of Campus Recreation and Wellness Travis Rawe explained the importance of Murray State’s policy of having student officials. 

“Being a student employee is about more than just getting paid every two weeks,” Rawe said. “It’s about learning, developing, gaining valuable work experience and preparing for life after college.”

Rawe, who began working at Murray State in February 2019, said offering programs to promote recreation for the campus community is the primary goal of the wellness program. Over the past year, one of the changes Rawe and the wellness program have made is updating training protocol for student officials. 

“To become an Intramural Sports official, you must attend the training meetings held prior to each sport season,” Rawe said. “The first training is a classroom session to review sport rules, policies and mechanics. The second training is an on-court/field training to review positioning, mechanics and game situations. The last training is live scrimmage games to get game experience before the season starts.”

When asked why Murray State’s wellness program employed students instead of professionals, Rawe said the implementation of students as officials is more valuable to the student body.

“Most student officials are not going to choose a campus recreation career or even continue to officiate after college,” Rawe said. “But they will all leave Murray State with transferable job skills that include effectively communicating, decision making, responsibility, time management, team work, dependability, leadership and many more.”

Among the student officials is junior education major Cameron Little. Little became an official after he spent some time as the athletic director of Hart College. 

“I was already around IMs a bunch,” Little said. “I was playing every sport, and I started looking for a job to make some pocket money, and then they started saying, ‘Hey, we’re looking for refs for this sport and that sport.’” 

Like many beginners, Little started by officiating only the sports he knew. However, before long, Little had his uniform on in every intramural season the University had to offer. 

“My favorite [sport] to do is probably basketball,” Little said. “Even though it’s probably the hardest one, there’s the most action. It goes by the quickest [because] you’re going up and down the court and moving around.” 

Little testified to Rawe’s opinion on experience by explaining how much his time as an official will help him going forward. While Little has no plans to continue officiating beyond college, he knows the involvement will undoubtedly pay off for him in the future. 

“I’m looking to get a job pretty quick after [graduation],” Little said. “I would love to coach alongside that, so being around the sports helps give me some background on each sport.”

Any students who are interested in becoming an official for Murray State intramurals should contact Rawe at [email protected].


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