I am roughly two weeks removed from the Vail LAREDO, and I want to go back! I got to work with great officials from all around the country, and was lucky to have Don Balch and Sean Murphy as the clinicians. Helping Don and Sean were crew chiefs Joe Cronin, Dale Hall, Hank Friedman, and Tim Markham. The crew chiefs did a fantastic job of managing the games, while simultaneously critiquing and advising my fellow campers and myself. Don and Sean put together the following comments after Day 1, which are observations and evaluations things that at least one official did during the games: Vail 2012 LAREDO – General Comments. Feel free to download this document to read at your leisure.
So what was the best thing that I learned at the Vail LAREDO? Camaraderie and helping out your fellow official. I saw firsthand how willing the crew chiefs were to support one another, and it provided a great example to me of how tight-knit the lacrosse officiating community is. One of the crew chiefs suffered from some altitude sickness and had rough time getting through the five games we did on Day 1. He gutted out a fine performance, but my other partner and I could see that he was suffering. After one game the next day, he looked like the walking dead, and he still had another full stop-time game to do in two hours. One of the other crew chiefs had already done two full games, and decided to help his friend out and picked up a third game so he could go back to the condo and rest. It is cool when you hear these stories, but to witness it is even better. That one instance of a ref helping another ref will stay with me throughout my officiating career, and I hope to live up to that example if I am ever called on to help out a fellow official.
Now onto some pictures! (All photos were taking by Clark Bell, and I thank him profusely for his excellent photos)
I hope you all enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed being in Vail. I must say being able to ref surrounded by beautiful mountains, and working with quality officials is currently the highlight of my early officiating career. I would not trade this experience for anything, and I would highly recommend a LAREDO event to any official that wants to improve their game!