USQ announces our Referees of the Month for October and November 2019
US Quidditch is thrilled to announce the Referees of the Month for October and November 2019: Matt Melton, Michael Aguilera, and Toby March. These three individuals were selected for their outstanding performance as referees this fall. More information on the criteria is available at the end of this article.
Joining the quidditch community at the barely ripe age of 27, Matt "Gramps" Melton missed playing our beloved sport through college and has been making up for lost time ever since. Melton prefers to be involved in as many ways as possible, and can generally be found in his referee shirt when he’s not on the pitch with his team, Boom Train. Melton has reffed throughout the Midwest this season, as well as in New Orleans for the Crescent City Invitational. Next month, he will travel to California with his team to referee and play at the Heroes vs Villains Invitational.
This is Melton’s second time earning this award. He was previously named Referee of the Month in October 2018. This season, Melton became a referee proctor, working to increase the number of referees in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. He has also been a member of the USQ gameplay team for about a year, helping to improve tournament structures and policies. Along with his girlfriend KPack, he also reengineers and sells quidditch equipment as Shooty Hoops Supplies. Magnetic snitch shorts, stackable hoop bases, and 3D printed joints are just a few of things they've worked on so far.
Michael Aguilera began playing quidditch in 2013 for the Long Beach Funky Quaffles. Last season, he took a year off from playing to focus on becoming a head referee and quickly rose through the ranks, displaying excellent control of the pitch. This year, Aguilera joined the Lost Boys Quidditch Club, and has worked as a proctor for both referees and snitches in the West region.
Along with his wife, Alexia Barnes, Aguilera has helped organize eight tournaments over the past two seasons. He was the lead organizer for West Fantasy this past August, which resulted in four head referee certifications and four snitches to make the early season easier on the region. In addition to his tournament director responsibilities, he also served as a referee and snitch proctor. "Quidditch has been a big part of my life as an adult," Aguilera said, "I hope to give back to it as much as it has given to me."
Toby March joined the quidditch community as a member of the Ithaca College Hex, and started reffing in 2012 within the Snow Belt Conference in central New York. Since then, he has significantly expanded his scope of practice by traveling throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe for major tournaments. In addition to officiating over 400 games in the past four years, Toby has also held several volunteer positions for both USQ and Major League Quidditch. When not on the pitch, Toby also officiates flat-track roller derby and does protest infrastructure organizing as a street medic.
This is March’s second time earning this award. He was previously named Referee of the Month in spring 2019. He would like to thank the previous generation of quidditch officials who mentored him at the start of his career, and hopes to have a similar opportunity to pass on knowledge to the referees that have come up after him.
Now in the sixth season of the program, the Referee of the Month award is open to all USQ-certified head referees. Recipients are primarily selected based on referee reviews, which include feedback from coaches, peer referees, tournament directors, and players. The number of games a referee oversees in the month being selected and their overall contributions to the quidditch community as a referee are also taken into account. All these data points are reviewed by the USQ referee team in the gameplay department, who then select recipients of this award. These winners are also eligible for the Referee of the Year award, chosen in March.
Members of USQ’s referee team are eligible to be selected for the award. However, 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 is not eligible for the US Quidditch Cup travel grant.
For questions about the Referee of the Month program, please email email@example.com.