Military seen as hotbed for recruiting sports referees

Military seen as hotbed for recruiting sports referees

June 28, 2017 | By Tod Leonard, San Diego Union-Tribune

Heading for Bend, Ore., for some fishing and golf from his home in Sacramento, Mike Pereira had a long drive ahead of him and plenty of time to think.

Somewhere around Redding, the former director of NFL officiating and current Fox Sports rules commentator says he started to ponder the troubled state of officiating. Too few people are joining the ranks, and the current refs suffer constant abuse and disrespect.

USA Today - Mike Pereira: What makes NFL director of officiating job so tough

USA Today - Mike Pereira: What makes NFL director of officiating job so tough

June 3, 2017 | By Jarrett Bell

Mike Pereira chuckled when asked whether he missed his old job.

"I think I can do without those 80-hour work weeks during the season,” Pereira, who served nine years as the NFL’s director of officiating, told USA TODAY Sports this week.

He left the rigors and, well, perks of overseeing the game officials to become the high-profile rules analyst for Fox in 2010 – and now often second-guesses the officials on national TV.

Battlefields to Ballfields Golf Invitational Benefit

Battlefields to Ballfields Golf Invitational Benefit

The B2B Invitational is a fun-filled 18 holes of championship golf at the famed Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, CA.  Del Paso was the site of the 2015 United States Senior Open Championship, and the world’s finest senior golfers marveled at both the competitiveness and fairness of the 6,702-yard layout.

The tournament date is June 19, 2017, with registration beginning at 10:30 am and a shotgun start at 12 noon.

Registration is $325 per individual golfer and $1,200 per foursome.  18 holes of golf, cart, lunch, dinner and on-course beverages are included.  Dinner and a live auction follow the golf and all proceeds will benefit U.S. armed forces veterans.   For event and registration information, see attached PDF file.

Fox 40 Sacramento: Interview with Mike Pereira

Fox 40 Sacramento: Interview with Mike Pereira

Many veterans face an uphill battle when they return home as they figure out how they will integrate back into society. This is what motivated Mike Pereira to create create the foundation “Battlefields to Ballfields.’’ The Foundation will provide scholarships to veterans who return from defending our country with an opportunity to get integrated back into their community through officiating.

Watch the Interview

The OC Register - New group brings veterans from battlefield to ballfield

The OC Register - New group brings veterans from battlefield to ballfield

March 25, 2017 | By Jonathan Winslow

Photo Credit - Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG: Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team players wait to be announced during the 3rd Annual Veterans Resource Fair at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

MISSION VIEJO — Hundreds gathered at Saddleback College on Saturday, March 25, for the third annual Veterans Resource Fair, which offered both typical and unexpected services for veterans.

The fair included all the usual groups: Patriots and Paws, Veterans of Foreign Wars – who were serving up barbecue to long lines – and more offering help with everything from PTSD to real estate.

One of this year’s standouts was a new group, Battlefields to Ballfields, which sets veterans up with jobs as sports officials and referees at local schools. It pays their costs for the first several years and providing them mentors to sharpen their skills. The program was started by former NFL referee Mike Pereira.

MilitaryTimes - Best for Refs: New nonprofit helps veterans become sports officials

MilitaryTimes - Best for Refs: New nonprofit helps veterans become sports officials

March 22, 2017 | By Kevin Lilley

Read the full article here.

Athletics-minded veterans seeking community involvement, or some extra cash, can receive a significant head start on the path to becoming a sports official thanks to a nonprofit recently started by a former top NFL referee. 

SJ Mercury News: Mark Purdy Column

SJ Mercury News: Mark Purdy Column

By MARK PURDY | mpurdy@bayareanewsgroup.com | March 10, 2017

Purdy: Television's refereeing voice reaches out to soldiers in a worthy mission

The idea is to match vets with officiating whistles--and it just might work

The idea came to Mike Pereira.while he was driving from his home in Sacramento to a friend’s home in Oregon. You might know Pereira as the former NFL zebra and vice-president of officiating who now explains rules to viewers on Fox network broadcasts. But in this case, he was just a guy behind the wheel with time on his hands.

“I drive by myself,” he said by phone this week. “Six and a half hours. I turn off the radio. I was thinking about my life, about the military guys, although I never served myself, thinking about the struggles some of those guys have, how I might be able to serve them. And I was thinking about the struggles that officials are having today, the declining numbers of people signing up to referee and officiate games.