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Do you love sports? Would you like to help others love them, too?

If so, you might be a good fit for the Olympus Officials Association, a group that handles officiating for a variety of sporting events in the community, from school games to intramural play.

And whether your passion is football, hoops, volleyball, soccer or any other game, the OOA needs you. Badly.

"It’s got to the point where in some sports we don’t have enough officials to cover them," association vice president Willie Price said last week.

The vagaries of Air Force assignments mean that a good official might be around for a few years then go away, Price said.

Familiarity with a sport helps, but the association can help an official-wannabe’s understanding get to the next level, while helping out the community and making a bit of coin in the process.

New officials often start at about $22 a game, but the rewards aren’t just monetary, Price said.

"Some people say officiating is stressful," he said. "For me, it’s stress relief."

It’s also a good option for those older athletes who still love their respective game, but can’t compete as much anymore, he said.

"It’s just a way of staying with it," Price said.

An official can also be a role model for younger folks and the soothing arbiter when the competition heats up.

Starting off with the association can position a budding official to climb the referee ladder, according to the association. It requires someone who can be in a position of authority and handle that responsibility without being overbearing.

A proper uniform can set an official back about $100, but it can be used for years to come, according to the association.

There’s a reason you love sports. And if you’re no longer playing, why not help others love those sports too?

Now get officiating! That ball was in, ref!

Want to help the community by becoming an official for a variety of on- and off-base sports? Contact Willie Price at the Olympus Officials Association at DSN 226-1182 or 01638-71-7995 for more details.

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