While Moose Jaw Koseikan Club instructor Vern MacDonald was working as an official this past weekend at the Ontario Open, he had to have the occasional feeling of being watched.
Because that’s exactly what was happening.
Members of the Judo Canada officials committee were keeping a close eye on technique and conduct throughout the weekend as part of their grading for MacDonald’s National ‘C’ referee test.
They must have liked what they saw, as MacDonald passed the test with flying colours and is now certified to work provincial and national level tournaments throughout the country.
“I just went out there and did my usual refereeing, that was pretty much it,” MacDonald said. “It was a long weekend, probably about 13 hours on the mats the first day, but that’s what you have to do to get to this level as an official.”
While MacDonald is now certified to work almost any tournament in the country, he still plans to pick and choose the events he attends.
“Because I don’t fight any more, this is a way to stay active in the competitive side of things and I really enjoy it,” he said. “How much I do depends on work and stuff, but’s nice to have the option.”
MacDonald’s stature as an official could also work well for the club’s high level competitors, as it will also give them another coach on the sidelines if he’s working the same event.
“It’s hard to say what kind of time I’ll have if I’m officiating, but whatever I can do to help them I will,” he said. “If it works out, that would be great for them, too.”
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Nov 29, 2001