2019 NORCECA Champions Cup officials.

By: Michelle Prater

I had the pleasure of officiating the NORCECA Men’s and Women’s Champions Cup in Colorado Springs, Colo., last August, working alongside Americans Hansen Leong and Jung Park in addition to international officials Matt van Raalte , Lourdes Perez, Jaime Maldonado, Serge Theriault, Denny Cespedes and Edgar la Forest.

Our matches ran smoothly, for the most part. But we did face some challenges with the language barrier and technology. For coaches, it was learning how to use the tablets for timeouts, substitutions and challenges . Not every event has tablets for coaches to use. One particular coach was entering the substitutions incorrectly, and we realized he couldn’t see the numbers well and needed a pair of reading glasses.

We as officials needed to adjust to the tablets, too. We don’t use them often, so changing our routine of not going to the scorer for next server requests took time. We also used headsets. The benefits to these technologies are endless, we just need to learn the proper way to use them.

[Working] international events is rare, so it’s always great when we get to see our international friends. The best part is making friends from other parts of the world while officiating, shopping and sightseeing. Thank you to our designated drivers Joel Wyman and Rachael Stringer. Rachael made sure we were on time to our matches while Joel managed our sightseeing adventures. The camaraderie between officials is priceless.