Anyone who knows me knows how much I love FIRST Robotics. I talk about it almost always within my first time meeting someone and it has been a passion of mine since I stumbled into it (literally) in 6th grade. Since then, I have been an FLL student, FRC student, FLL judge, FLL referee, FRC field reset, and FRC referee. This year I was honored with the position of FRC Head Referee at the Greater DC Regional! I will admit, after the stressful experience that was refereeing last year’s game, I was very nervous. I wanted to be consistent and by-the-book, but also able to answer any questions and handle any notoriously aggressive coaches.
With the regional having wrapped up yesterday and waking up from a full 12-hours of sleep (no kidding), I would like to say that I succeeded in my mission! My referee team was fantastic (which made my job much easier!), I was able to answer all questions from the students, and actually had no aggressive coach encounters! This year’s game being much more straightforward rules-wise was also a large contributing factor, so I am grateful to the FIRST Game Design Committee for listening to the feedback from previous years and keeping producing exciting and inventive games year after year. Also, gaining understanding of the game dynamics when I refereed the game at the Orlando Regional 2 weeks ago and observing the amazing head referee Jennifer Parsons was a great bolster to my confidence.
It’s not even been one day, but I already look forward to the next FIRST competition I will help out with. Not just for the fun (and exhaustion and excitement and exhaustion), but for the chance to give back to an organization that so greatly changed my life and influenced much of who I am (and who many of my friends are) today. Cheers to a great event and I look forward to refereeing at Championships in a few weeks!