I am sitting in the Denver, Colorado airport hydrating with copious amounts of water in preparation for officiating four days of high-caliber lacrosse at the Vail Lacrosse Shootout for the LAREDO 3 event. For those unfamiliar with what a LAREDO is, it stands for: LAcrosse REferee DevelOpment. “Since the late 1980s, the LAREDO program has been providing training for lacrosse officials around the country” (www.uslacrosse.org).
This year, my application to attend the Vail LAREDO 3 was approved and I am looking forward to representing Georgia lacrosse, and my officiating association, GLOA, as well as I can. I am attending this officials development program for two reasons: to improve the quality of my lacrosse officiating, and learn from some of the best officials in the country.
On top of the wealth of experience that LAREDO clinicians and crew chiefs bring to the training, there is an added plus of meeting new friends in stripes. Also, this LAREDO runs in conjunction with the U19 Vail Lacrosse Shootout, which features some of the best players and travel teams from all over North America.
I must admit, I am a little nervous. My game is going to be critiqued and reviewed in-depth by officials who have reffed NCAA semifinal and championship games. That, in and of itself, is very intimidating. Nervousness aside, I am incredibly excited for this opportunity for improvement. This training is going to take my lacrosse officiating to a whole other level, and the critiques and advice I get from the trainers will serve me well for the rest of my officiating career.
So what is on the agenda for today? I am waiting on two new friends in stripes to fly in to the Denver airport. Once we all meet up, we will grab a rental car for the roughly two hour drive to Vail, which I’ve been told is incredibly scenic. Once we reach the Fall Ridge Condos and get settled it is time for classroom training and dinner with all the trainers and trainees.
Tomorrow, pool play games begin for the U19 division, and I cannot wait to see the level of play from these teams. I will keep everyone up-to-date on what is happening out in Vail, and I will be posting my notes from the classroom training and all of the critiques I get on my officiating. I hope you all enjoy the live blogging posts on the Vail LAREDO 3!