Officiating Intramurals Leads to Long-Term Career Dream
For many students at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the Campus Recreation office (otherwise known as Campus Rec) allows them to get involved, be active and fulfill their competitive hankerings by participating in intramurals. However, graduate student Seth Hoscheit has found another edge to intramurals that may lead him to an unexpected career.
Seth, a native of New Ulm, Minn., refereed basketball and football games and was an umpire for baseball games in high school. When he transitioned to Minnesota State Mankato as an undergraduate, continuing to officiate allowed him to stay involved in athletics —and helped cover some of his expenses as well.
Seth’s interest in officiating led to a connection with Todd Pfingsten ’89, the director of Campus Rec. Pfingsten’s guidance and mentorship helped Seth grow as a referee. “[He taught me that my] job as an official is to work hard for the players on the court and ensure that they have a fair opportunity every time,” he says. “The job is not about [the officials], it’s about the athletes having an enjoyable experience, and [the officials] are a large part of making sure that games are fun and safe.”
“I have been one of Seth’s mentors the past few years and have thoroughly enjoyed our interactions both on and off the court,” Pfingsten says. “He is a student of the game, is professional, a great communicator with players, coaches and fellow officials, and has a great feel for the game.”
Pfingsten was particularly impressed while watching Seth officiate during a playoff game between St. Clair vs. Madelia this spring. “The two coaches I was sitting with were impressed with how Seth just blended in and didn’t stand out,” he says. “He just managed the game, called what needed to be called and helped the kids have fun.”
The impact mentors such as Pfingsten have had on him over the years led Seth, who is now working on his graduate degree in Sport Management, to reach out to other aspiring officials himself. As the graduate assistant for the Campus Rec office, his job is to recruit, train, schedule, supervise and evaluate all of the officials for all of the intramural team sports, as well as managing some of the scheduling of team sports and individual/dual activities. Seth has also stayed connected with the Mankato Area Officials Association.
Through both of these organizations, Seth is able to work with and evaluate up-and-coming officials. He values the opportunity to work with these new officials and help develop their skills. “It has been fun to watch these young officials get better over the past year,” he says.
Seth also appreciates the connections he has been able to make with the community. Over the past couple of years, he has worked in high school games, college games and youth tournaments, which has allowed him to interact with a wide range of individuals and visit many sporting venues in the area.
As Seth works towards his graduate degree, he wants to continue officiating. Eventually, he would like to work as a referee for basketball and football in a big conference at the Division I or II level. With the help of mentors like Pfingsten, he will continue to improve and chase this dream.