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The Antelope

Refereeing keeps Rasmussen in the game


As seasons change, intramural ref continues to enjoy making calls  

Rachel Arehart

Antelope Staff

As an intramural referee, Keenan Rasmussen blows the whistle at friends and peers alike while trying to remain impartial on the fields and courts of intramural sports.

Rasmussen, a freshman pre-nursing major from St. Edward, said he likes refereeing because he gets to stay involved in sports while having a flexible on-campus job. “I have had a lot of my life revolve around sports and I knew I wanted to stay involved with them while in college,” he said.

Rasmussen currently referees flag football and sand volleyball, of which he said flag football is more stressful, but still his favorite to ref because “the games are usually close and interesting to watch teams make big plays and get those last second wins.”

Flag football and sand volleyball seasons last through Oct. 19, the week of fall break. Flag football is played on the practice fields south of campus, with Co-Rec A and B divisions, Men’s A and B divisions and a Women’s division. There are seven teams in the Co-Rec divisions, 25 Men’s teams, and three Women’s teams.

Sand volleyball is played at the Big Apple Fun Center with teams of four in Co-Rec and Women’s divisions. There are 20 teams in both divisions in a double-elimination tournament bracket.

The fast-paced nature of flag football requires more physical engagement from referees than some sports, including sand volleyball, Rasmussen said.

“For flag football, there is quite a bit of running involved because you must keep up with the players downfield so you will be there and able to make the call from an acceptable position,” Rasmussen continued, “Whereas volleyball takes no physical activity, because you stand at the net and make calls.”

Rasmussen said that all referees are trained over the rules of each sport, but how familiar each referee is with the game correlates with how much additional training a ref might need to be able to call a game.

When it comes to those tricky calls and players’ negative reactions or comments, Rasmussen says he sticks with his gut.

 “We are trained to deal with negative reactions by sticking to your original call.  If you make a call and the team is arguing it, you cannot change it.  You must stick by your call and if necessary consult with your other referees,” Rasmussen said.

 “Sometimes the calls can be iffy, but in the end there’s nothing you can do but just accept it and keep playing,” said Megan Hunke, a senior biology emphasis health science and pre-med major from Holdrege. Hunke was recently accepted into UNMC, but spends some of her scarce free time playing intramurals, including sand volleyball.“I appreciate the students that ref because without them we wouldn’t be able to play,” Hunke said. “We’re all just out here to have fun.”

 As sand volleyball and flag football seasons near their end, Rasmussen said he will transition into refereeing six-on-six indoor volleyball and broomball, which both start the week after fall break and last through the end of November.

Rachel Arehart

Video at the Antelope

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