League referees hard to come by
REFEREEING is not a job for everybody, with constant criticism, both on the field and off it, almost part of the contract.
But for the brave few who do decide to pick up the whistle, the rewards often outweigh the negatives.
Tieri youngster Jordan Reinke is a four-year refereeing veteran of the region's junior grades, and has recently taken to running the line in the senior competition.
Reinke is one of a number of local referees who Central Highlands Referees president Malcom Wright said would soon be ready to officiate the A-Grade competition.
"He's keen. Not many kids his age would want to do it," Wright said.
Earlier this year, Reinke joined Wright and close to a dozen more from around the region at the Referees' Professional Update course in Yeppoon.
While no new changes were implemented specifically, Reinke felt there was a good rehashing of officiating fundamentals - namely communication.
The bold 16-year-old said that while he did not claim to be perfect, he always delivered judgment on the game to the best of his ability.
"I do what I can, just play it as I see it," Reinke said.
"It's good fun… and to help out the sport and the players."
Tieri's Jordan Reinke
Reinke is one of the few youngsters taking up the whistle, with often more games being played on the Central Highlands than there are referees available.
"We just don't have enough," Wright said.
"We'll be tight on for games this year."
Wright said he would "love to see the juniors go with the seniors" in some capacity, but considers it an unlikely option because many of the young refereeing ranks also play with their club sides around the Highlands and could not be expected to be at two different venues at the same time.
Another up-and-coming referee looking to make his mark on this year's senior competition is Ethan Arnold.
Wright said Arnold had undergone major surgery last season but returned for his first game back at the Bluff league carnival in February.
"He will definitely be in the middle for us this year," Wright said.
Minimum age to referee is 14 years, male or female, with training provided.
Anyone interested can contact Malcom on 0429 323 449.