This summer I had two different referees pose the question, "Why do you referee?" One was directed at me and the other was generically to a group of refs and I didn't have an answer. It was especially concerning to me because my goal for years was a state badge and I had reached that goal and was getting tired of dealing with some of the nonsense on the field so why did I continue to referee? After some extended reflection I've boiled it down to this. Long Version: I grew up playing AYSO where everyone was a volunteer so when it looked like I would get cut come tryouts my sophomore year in high school, I took the referee class during the summer to stay involved and give back to sport and club that I'd been playing since I was 5. I figured I'd give back better if I knew more and was a better referee so I read a book on reffing on my way to the class. That mentality continued many years later after college when I picked up the whistle again, this time for competitive instead of rec soccer. In my first season, I got an assessment on a line because it was advised for new refs to make sure they were executing what they learned in class. (I think the assessor was surprised because most didn't do that) Out of respect for the game, I became a student; getting more feedback, joining this board, and generally trying to be better. Now, I'm trying to make others better; everyone gets feedback after games, I've volunteered for U12s to work with new referees, and put out feelers to start a referee academy like I participated in Ohio-South. I do this and continue to referee because Short Version: I love the game.