There has always been a sizable contingent of teachers within the officiating community. Part of the reason is circumstances; teachers are finished with work and often available to handle the abundance of weekday afternoon games on the calendar. And many teachers are also coaches with backgrounds in sports; it’s quite common for someone who coaches one sport to officiate another.
But while availability certainly matters — just ask any assigner — there is more to it than that. Good teachers bring certain qualities and experiences to the job that transition effectively to the field or court.
In addition to working for the Iowa High School Athletic Association as director of officials, Roger Barr officiated basketball, baseball and football for 28 years. “I think the men and women that teach in our schools and work with students daily are seeing what’s going on and what makes different kids tick,” Barr said. “Sometimes the official that’s on the outside and maybe has an everyday job behind a computer all day doesn’t have that contact one-on-one with students in the classroom.”