Hello lacrosse referees! Spring is “officially” here, which means that hundreds of thousands of people around the world will be gearing up to play lacrosse. As you know, it’s impossible to contest a sanctioned lacrosse game without an official and if you are going to act as an official, it is important that you have the right lacrosse referee gear on hand. Let’s take a look at everything that you will need to call a game properly.
Your Uniform Starts with a Hat
Most leagues require that you wear a hat as part of your referee uniform. The standard referee hat is black with white stripes, and mesh hats may be allowed on warm days or if league rules otherwise allow you to wear them.
Referees Typically Wear Striped Shirts
If you have watched any type of sporting event, you may have heard the referees referred to as “zebras.” This is because they often wear shirts that have black and white stripes on them. However, it is also not uncommon to see an official in a solid black shirt. A referee shirt can either have long or short sleeves depending on the type of weather the game is being played in, and some products are designed to be water repellent.
On those late spring or early summer nights when the air can still get chilly after sundown, a fleece may be an effective alternative to a long-sleeve shirt or jacket. Fleeces are designed to be lightweight and to wick moisture away from the body. This allows you to stay warm regardless of the temperature outside.
Jackets Are Available for Rainy Days
On rare occasions, a lacrosse game will be played in rainy or snowy weather. When they do it makes sense to wear lacrosse referee rain jackets. These jackets tend to come in black or white to match the color of the shirt that an official may wear underneath the jacket. Pullovers are also a consideration, often feature a v-neck design, and may also come with or without a zipper.
Don’t Forget the Pants
Pants are an integral part of lacrosse officiating gear. They are designed to allow maximum movement and comfort while running around after the players. As with the shirts and jackets, pants tend to come in black. Lacrosse referee shorts (white and black) are also a widely accepted, if not preferred, alternative. Certain products may be available in navy or royal blue to better suit your uniform’s overall color scheme.
Many Different Sneaker Products Are Available
As with any job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, it is important to have comfortable shoes. It is also important to have sneakers that are durable and easy to keep clean. While it is understood that you will find scuffs and stains after any game, you still want to look as professional as possible. Clean sneakers make it easier to present yourself properly before games or at special league events.
Those who have knee or back problems will want to look for a product that has soles designed to spread the impact of each step. Finally, those who are officiating games on turf fields will want to be sure to buy lacrosse turf shoes designed to handle that type of surface.
Referees Often Wear Socks as Part of Their Uniform
Socks are not an afterthought for lacrosse referees. Full-length socks are an important component of almost every official’s uniform. They run from the base of the foot to about the thigh, which means that they can work either with pants or with shorts. As with other parts of the referee uniform, they most often come in black but you can easily find a wider variety of color options depending on your needs.
What Other Types of Accessories Do Lacrosse Officials Need?
Red and Yellow Cards
Apparel and footwear are only the start of what an official needs to ensure that he or she is ready to call a game. In lacrosse, players can be given yellow or red cards to signify that they have committed an especially egregious act on the field. Yellow cards are considered a warning that a player could be ejected for repeating a given act. A red card means that a player is ejected and could face a suspension. Typically, two yellow cards result in a red card.
Whistles are Important
The referee’s whistle is another important accessory required for properly overseeing a game. Blowing the whistle can signify the start of a game, end of a quarter (or half), or the fact that a foul has occurred. Whistles can either be carried in a shirt pocket or attached to a lanyard for easy access during the game.
Someone Has to Keep the Time and Score
Lacrosse fields often feature a scoreboard that displays the score of the game as well as how much time remains until it’s over. However, the referee is the one who determines if a quarter, half or game has been completed. He or she is also responsible for keeping track of the score.
Where Will You Keep All of Your Gear?
If you are refereeing a youth, high school or lower level college game, you may be required to bring the ball and any other gear. Fortunately, there are ball and equipment bags that you can use to keep everything in one place. In addition to a ball, you may need to bring goals, cones to mark boundaries, and a measuring tape to ensure that everything is placed correctly on the field.
While the referee isn’t supposed to make him or herself the main attraction of the game, it is essential for players, coaches, and fans to know who is in charge of a given match. Because of this, it is important that you wear head to toe gear that helps highlight you as the authority figure on the field. When you look respectable, it is far more likely that the players on the field will take you seriously and listen to and respect your calls during the game.