Friday, September 4, 2020

For Amy Prescott, being an official is being part of the solution

Amy Prescott has been
officiating games in
Windham for 13 years
and is being honored
as this week's 'Official
of the Week' by The
Windham Eagle newspaper.
By Matt Pascarella
Amy Prescott has been officiating games in Windham for 13 years and she became an official because she was a frustrated parent.
Prescott, who is honored as The Windham Eagle’s Official of the Week,” said that she feels if you’re going to complain, be part of the solution. She felt she could bring the quality of Maine officials up in both the areas of game quality and to help eliminate racism and be a role model for young women.
She started out officiating basketball. One of her town police officers helped her become an official. At the time, volleyball was one of the fastest growing girls’ sports and was also a whistle sport, so she asked to become a volleyball official. Currently, she only officiates high school and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) volleyball.
Prescott is certified to call games at all schools and colleges in the state of Maine.
Officials can be criticized for certain calls or try to be persuaded by coaches to see it their way.
“We honestly have no pony in the game and so the outcome or the winner is of no consequence to us. My goal is to be there for the athletes, their safety, fairness and giving them the best game that I possibly can. That is paramount for me,” said Prescott.
Since the pandemic began, she hasn’t officiated any games.
“I am very concerned,” says Prescott. “We will see what works and what doesn’t work.”
Prescott has questions and expects there will be more guidelines as gameday gets closer. She has purchased masks and electronic whistles. She will be having a discussion with her board members. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has put out a video for officials to prepare them as we head into the Fall season.
For Prescott, safety is the biggest reason she is an official. They have guidelines to follow just like the schools do.“We have changed our protocols to accommodate, keeping social distancing from the teams where possible. The balls will be sanitized, between service changes, we will not be swapping sides unless one side has a distinct advantage, and common sense among other things.”
Her advice to athletes playing during this time is to wear a mask, hand sanitize and wash your hands when you can. Her advice to coaches is to keep the team positive. It’s important they play safe and have patience while everyone figures out how to work through the season.
Prescott’s favorite thing about being an official is she gets to hang out with athletes a bit, enjoy their
accomplishments and she gets excited for them. She also feels their disappointment when they miss a hard-fought rally.
“It's a great sport; for me it's all about the athletes.” She encourages anyone to become an official to be part of the solution.
Prescott has two boys who are both athletes. She played sports in high school, primarily softball. She’s also played wallyball, softball and volleyball in several adult leagues.
She graduated from the University of Southern Maine and currently works as a system server engineer. Obviously she has a deep love of sports. <

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