Guest Author - Lori Collvins
Marsha herself played at Gallaudet University from 1983-1985 and she quickly earned the Coach of the Year Award from the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials after just one year of coaching girls varsity basketball at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. So basketball is no stranger in her life. She was also featured as a guest speaker at Gallaudet Alumni Basketball Madness on February 8, 2003. I asked Ms. Wetzel a bit about her personal life and opinions:
QUESTION: Do you like officiating at the college level better than the high school level?
ANSWER: Yes, definitely I like officiating the college level better because of the speed of the game and high level of intensity and skills. I love the officiating challenges at the college level. I feel that the college level meets my level of officiating skills with rich experience.
QUESTION: Are there any referees that you look to as role models?
ANSWER: Don Nester of Indianapolis,Indiana and Dee Kantner of NCAA Division I referee, WNBAs' Officials Development Coordinator and former NBA referee are my role models.
QUESTION: What does your family think of you being a referee?
ANSWER: My deaf parents and grandma are very supportive of my refereeing career. They have been to my officiating games as the world's greatest fans.
QUESTION: What do you do when you are not officiating and have spare time?
ANSWER: I usually work out to stay fit when I am not officiating and enjoy watching NFL and college basketball games to observe the officials' performance and pretend that I am there to officiate these TV games. I also enjoy weightlifting, photography, cycling and traveling.
QUESTION: Who would you say has had the most influence in your career as a referee?
ANSWER: I think my deaf parents, grandma and friends have been great supporters with encouragement to make me continue pursuing my officiating career even though I have faced some discrimination and barriers as a deaf referee.
QUESTION: Do you ever feel like refereeing is stressful enough that you have thought about giving it up?
ANSWER: Not at all. I love refereeing so much and want more games. Sometimes I feel frustrated for not getting enough games, as I should.
QUESTION: Have you ever thought about quitting?
ANSWER: I have thought about quitting when I experienced frequent discriminatory in my 16-year officiating career such as the reduction of games or a lack of the sign language interpreting service to meet my communication needs for the pre-game and halftime conferences and at camps and meetings.
QUESTION: If you were given the choice to referee in any game you wanted to, what would it be?
ANSWER: It would be a big dream to be given this choice. I would definitely want to be given an opportunity to officiate a WNBA and Final Four game!!!!!!
Follow the links for more!
Marsha Wetzel - What's To Come
Marsha Wetzel - Marsha Wetzel First Deaf Female Referee NCAA Division I - The Beginning
Marsha Wetzel - On The Job