Michael Clark-Polner and Ethan Sturm are November Referees of the Month

USQ announces its referees of the month for November 2017: Michael Clark-Polner and Ethan Sturm. Christian Barnes is also recognized for his work as a Lead Assistant Referee.

US Quidditch is proud to announce the two winners of the Referee of the Month award for November 2017: Michael Clark-Polner and Ethan Sturm.

Clark-Polner has been a head referee since 2012, serving as a non-player official since 2014.  Currently he also serves on the US Quidditch gameplay team and as the head of the rulebook project.  Outside of quidditch, Clark-Polner officiates high school and semi-pro football, primarily as a side judge. "I thank the Referee Team for this award. I'm honored to be the first official to be recognized with this award three times,” Clark- Polner said. He was the February 2016 and February 2015 Referee of the Month. 

Sturm began playing quidditch at World Cup IV in 2010. He first stepped onto the pitch as a referee at World Cup V in 2011, officiating a game that featured the school he currently attended and taking away a goal from Kevin Oelze on an incorrect application of the advantage rule. In the six years since, he's worked to improve not just his knowledge of the advantage rule but all refereeing mechanics, and has had the opportunity to be the head referee for a Northeast Regional Championship final, two US Quidditch Cup quarterfinals and a US Quidditch Cup semi-final. He continues to work to be the best he can and to live up to the officiating virtues his father taught him through years of umpiring baseball together.

This month, the USQ Referee Team would also like to recognize a Lead Assistant Referee, Christian Barnes, on his performance throughout the start of the season. Barnes has received 11 reviews thus far this season, with an extremely impressive average rating of 4.82 out of 5. While the Referee of the Month program is limited to head referees exclusively, US Quidditch commends Barnes on his accomplishments as a referee and thanks him for his hard work this year.

The USQ Referee of the Month program runs throughout the season, selecting six referees who demonstrate a strong commitment to high quality officiating. The winners of the Referee of the Month Award will be eligible for the Referee of the Year award and a US Quidditch Cup travel grant.

Now in the fourth season of the program, the Referee of the Month award is open to all USQ-certified head referees. Recipients are selected based on reviews received by USQ Referee Team. While members of Referee Team are eligible to be selected for the award, any member who is up for discussion as a potential winner is required to recuse themselves from the conversation to avoid potential conflicts of interest. In addition, any Referee Team member who is selected as a Referee of the Month will not be eligible for the US Quidditch Cup travel grant.