By Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
Officiating has treated Dan Moretski well for the last 25 years.
A former hooper at North Penn and Wilkes, Moretski thought his way to stay involved in the game was coaching. Then his father pushed him to become an official when he was 22.
Moretski, a teacher in the North Penn school district, just completed his 24th season as an official, going from reffing weekend CYO games to working college games (mostly D-II PSAC games and D-III games in the Atlantic East Conference) with some high school games sprinkled in on Friday nights.
Dan Moretski, left, and Dock Mennonite coach Mike Fergus pose together during last year's referee clinic. (Photo Courtesy Dan Moretski)
He hopes to help others find similar success in the profession. It’s why he began the “Beyond The Game” Referee Clinic last season, which he is hosting for the second straight year at Dock Mennonite High School on Friday and Saturday.
“Ultimately why I started doing it was, one, to just help out officials and try to give back to what I learned from all the years that I’ve been officiating,” Moretski said. “But more or less I know I have some connections where I know people will come just to help out or partake in it. Last year was a success. I’m hoping for the same thing this year.”
Before he began officiating, Moretski used to coach with Dock Mennonite boys coach Mike Fergus while Fergus was at North Penn. He helps Fergus with the Dock Mennonite Summer League. Moretski approached Fergus about the idea for the referee clinic last year and was able to hold a successful one-day event, which included lots of positive feedback.
There are 27 referees set to participate in this year’s two-day event at Dock. It begins 5 p.m. on Friday with a meet and greet and presentations before two game sets at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. On Saturday, games go from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are 19 different schools with teams in the event. (See full schedule below)
Officials are able to work on their craft and receive feedback from the college referees and other veteran officials Moretski invited.
“The referees get evaluated through the observers who are there that I’ve handpicked,” Moretski said. “They get advice, get the opportunity to practice what we call three-man officiating and get some pointers.”
Assignors from multiple area high school leagues will get a chance to offer advice and possibly lock down a few more officials for their schedules this winter.
“I think the biggest thing out of this is we’re trying to offer opportunities for officials — new just getting into it or somewhat older,” Moretski said. “It’s almost like an interview process because the assignors are looking at these 27 officials saying, ‘I could use that guy, I could use that girl.’”
Last summer, Moretski brought Final Four official Joe Lindsay, one of the most respected referees in men’s college basketball, to speak to the participants. Lindsay is just one of a number of connections he’s built through his years of refereeing.
The goal is to continue to add more new faces to that fraternity.
“It’s a brotherhood,” Moretski said. “Everybody that I come in contact with, numbers are saved. We’re all trying to help each other out. … Some of my closest friends are referees.”
Friday, July 28
Court 1: Pennsbury vs. North Penn
Court 2: Upper Moreland vs. Upper Dublin
Court 1: Pennsbury vs. Cb South
Court 2: North Penn vs. Upper Dublin
Saturday, July 29
Court 1: Perkiomen Valley vs. Penncrest
Court 2: Owen J Roberts vs. Jenkintown
Court 1: Owen J. Roberts vs. Perkiomen Valley
Court 2: Jenkintown vs. Penncrest
Court 1: West Chester Henderson vs. CB West
Court 2: Pennridge vs. West Chester East
Court 1: West Chester Henderson vs. Pennridge
Court 2: CB West vs. West Chester East
Court 1: Pennsbury vs. West Chester Rustin
Court 2: Harry S. Truman vs. Souderton
Court 1:Pennsbury vs. Harry S. Truman
Court 2: West Chester Rustin vs. Souderton