Guest Author - Lori Collvins
Ms. Wetzel has been a basketball referee for a while and earned another notch on her whistle when she was promoted to officiate in NCAA Division I games. She has a B.S. in Recreation and Leisure Studies, and another in Physical Education, and a Masters' degree in Athletic Administration and a second in Deaf Education. During the summer of 2002, Marsha went to the referee try-out camp for the Patriot and Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Conferences where she was chosen to be on the staff of both. I questioned Ms. Wetzel at length about her officiating career and her responses are as follows:
QUESTION: How hard are the tryouts for NCAA referee and what are some of the things you have to do to stay on top of things?
ANSWER: I usually attend two to four basketball officiating camps in different states every summer to maintain and improve my officiating skills, develop the network with the fellow officials and make myself visible to the Division I Conference Officials Coordinators. I am also invited and required to attend the Division Is' Patriot League and Atlantic 10 camp to maintain my good standing.
QUESTION: I understand that you were a referee for the NCAA Division III, are you still with that division?
ANSWER: Yes, I am still officiating for the Division III level with the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) for the past five years and high school for 16 years.
QUESTION: Who have you officiated for in the past and who do you currently officiate for?
ANSWER: High School - Central Western New York Girls Basketball Officials (CWGBO), NCAA Division I - Atlantic 10 and Patriot League and NCAA Division III - Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC)
QUESTION: Have you ever gotten really angry when officiating a game?
ANSWER: No. As a referee, it is very important to control emotions and be stable and consistent. I try not to let the emotions of game or players affect my mentality and performance as a referee.
QUESTION: How do you handle problems with coaches or players?
ANSWER: At times, there have been some situations when coaches or players want to talk to me or need an explanation, I would use an interpreter to communicate with them
QUESTION: What was your most memorable moment in officiating?
ANSWER: My first sectional tournament game assignment in Indianapolis, IN and first Division I game at St. Bonaventure. An out-of-court settlement with the ECAC to provide the interpreting service at games, camp and meetings. Many more special moments to come….
QUESTION: What do you think is your greatest asset as a referee?
ANSWER: Not to hear the coaches yell. (laughing) My greatest asset is my ability to predict the next play and potential foul or violation call by my partner(s). I do have great sense of floor mechanics, which is very natural to me. Constant eye contact with my partners is my strength.
QUESTION: What about your greatest weakness?
ANSWER: Sometimes I see something like a foul or violation that has happened in my primary area that I didn't make a call on but my partner did it for me. In my thoughts, "Oh no, I should have made that call". I need to be more assertive with my decision-making on foul or violation calls especially traveling.
QUESTION: Have you had any scary or embarrassing moments?
ANSWER: Oh yea, I have bumped into a cheerleader who stepped over the sideline and I fell on the floor. Luckily I was not hurt. At times I even blew my whistle accidentally and the play stopped. It was a very embarrassing moment.
Follow the links for more!
Marsha Wetzel - Her Point Of View
Marsha Wetzel - What's To Come
Marsha Wetzel - Marsha Wetzel First Deaf Female Referee NCAA Division I - The Beginning