USQ announces its referee of the year for 2016-17: Alex Amodol.
Amodol started off this season with a heavy workload at multiple events. He remained dedicated to officiating and received stellar reviews throughout the year, earning Referee of the Month in October. After traveling cross-country from New Jersey to Peoria, AZ for the West Regional Championship, where he served as the Head Referee during the final match, Amodol still maintained a perfect 5/5 average in his reviews throughout the season, a first for a referee with so many tournaments and reviews in one season.
“Earning Referee of the Year this season is a dream come true,” says Amodol. “I had jokingly set it as my goal when the award was first created, never really imagining that I might actually achieve it. There are a multitude of talented referees in quidditch, and I am truly humbled to have been selected this season. Having had the pleasure of working with several of the other candidates this season, I am honored to have been selected.”
Amodol started playing quidditch in 2012 for the Philadelphia Honey Badgers, and seeing a need for it in his area, decided to try his hand at officiating the following season. “While I had done some intramural refereeing in college, most of my referee experience came in heckling the refs at various sporting events,” he says.
He credits his time working with the International Referee Development Program, alongside Alex Krall and Scott Behler, for giving him a strong foundation in reffing. Amodol’s work this season as a USQ referee field test proctor helped him to take the next step in fine-tuning his skills. “In observing and helping improve other referees, I was able to go back to film of my own reffing and take note of the positive and negative aspects of my own style,” he says.
“While there are several intense games that I have had the pleasure of refereeing in seasons past, my favorite is still without a doubt University of Maryland versus Emerson at World Cup 8,” Amodol says. “The Swiss format created a number of exhilarating matches that season, but that match is one of the most intense I have ever reffed between two teams who by that point I knew very well. My assistant referees (shout out to Bernie Berges, Shannon Moorhead, Aakash Anand, and Amanda Dallas) were locked in and excellent that game, and I still watch the footage from time to time to see exactly how that the reffing played out as an example of when things go right for a referee crew.”
The winner of the Referee of the Year Award is determined based on the number of officiated games in both head referee and lead assistant referee positions; feedback from coaches, other referees, and event directors; and additional contributions to the sport as a referee field test proctor. The Referee of the Year Award comes with a commemorative plaque and a travel stipend for US Quidditch Cup 10. However, as Amodol will be playing for The Warriors in addition to refereeing at nationals, he is not eligible to accept the $1,000 stipend. The stipend will instead go to February Referee of the Month Ricky Nelson, who has accepted this award.
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Sport (Outside of quidditch): Soccer - It’s been a rough stretch, but I've been a Gunner for decades
Favorite Pro-Athlete: Active - Mesut Ozil Ever - Sean Taylor, RIP
Favorite quidditch moment: Double OT vs. Rutgers at MARC this season. Adrenaline is a powerful drug.