Jon Payne, Daryl Pries , and Mike Murphy all have over 20 years of officiating experience. Even with that much time under their belts they say that wearing those black and white stripes isn't as easy as it looks.
"High school athletics is about high school athletics. We're simply a tool for the process. We're checking our egos at the door and this game is about them and not about us."
Technology has made it easier than ever to get certified through the WIAA, but it's more than just learning the rules and how to enforce them. "The rule book is one part of the game. The management of people and understanding mechanics is whole different aspect."
It takes a certain type of person to be an official. There are situations in a game that not just anybody can handle.
"I don't think a lot of spectators realize what goes into what we do. If they did, they probably wouldn't say some of the things they do when we're on the floor." This crew has a motto they stick to when dealing with disgruntled coaches and players that has taken years to perfect.
"I want to be brief when talking to a coach, I want to be respectful, and I want to be professional. There are times when your buttons get pushed and you've just have to do your best to try to maintain."
While they try to be, the officials know they're not perfect. "The teams could have shot 100%, they could have not turned the ball over at all, there could have been no fouls committed in 32 minutes and there's always going to be something we look at and say 'we could have done that better' or 'we could have done that differently.' that's just a game by game thing, and we have to make adjustments just like the players do."
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