A refereeing friend of mine quit his other officiating career this part year.
Shane had been a baseball umpire for several years, working in the Babe Ruth, city men's, and B.C. Junior leagues. He quit, he says, because it was too hard on his body.
I snickered out loud once. "Oh yes," I chuckled. "Standing there behind home plate is hard work. There's all that crouching to do, plus the added hardship of sometimes having to wave your arms like an electrocuted lunatic and say 'HEEEEEEEZE OWWWWWT!'"
Unfortunately for my relationship with Shane – if you're reading this, Shane, I think you're a nice guy – he was in earnest. He gave me a stern lecture about the physical toll umpiring a baseball game can have on a guy. After considering it for a few minutes, I graciously agreed that yes, it's not as simple as the above paragraph suggests.
Nonetheless, baseball umpires, football referees/umpires/line judges, soccer referees, and linesmen et. al. ... they all have it bloody easy compared to those of us who officiate hockey.
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