Photo by Kevin Leclaire – Ultiphotos.com
MLU announced today that 3-year veteran Steve Kreider will be the league’s Head Official for 2016.
Major League Ultimate announced today that they have tapped Steve Kreider, a 3-year veteran referee from the league’s Washington D.C. crew to act as their Head Official for the 2016 season.
A veteran player and coach himself, Kreider has years of experience playing primarily mixed ultimate. After starting a team at the University of Memphis, Kreider moved to the Washington D.C. area, playing with mixed club teams including Alpha Squad 7, Casual Encounters and Death by Jubilee. Kreider has been the coaching since 2011, taking the reigns of the women’s ultimate team at The Catholic University of America, home of Cardinal Stadium and the Washington D.C. Current, as well as the D.C. area women’s club team Silver Line. Focusing mostly on coaching, Kreider continues to play for Black Cans, a masters team in D.C..
Amid a landscape in which officiated ultimate is still a young and constantly evolving game, the position of Head Official is of great importance to the MLU. In this role, Kreider will be responsible for reviewing both how the rules are enforced and how that enforcement affects the competition. The Head Official is responsible for assessing the performance, as well as managing the logistics and training of all the leagues officials. Kreider will also sit on the MLU Rules Committee, the group tasked with reviewing and recommending changes to the league’s rulebook.
An experienced multi-sport referee, Kreider joined the MLU’s officiating core during the league’s first year of operation in 2013, spending two seasons as a member and a third as the coordinating official for the D.C. market. Kreider’s natural progression through the ranks made him an ideal candidate for the top officiating post in the MLU.
“I’ve been officiating for the Current ever since [the league was founded] and took over as coordinating official for the team last year. In my experience of reffing ultimate vs. other sports, the concepts of being a game official are all the same.” said Kreider “You need to be able to manage a game to ensure fairness and safety for everyone. If you’re doing a great job you are able to impact the game quite a bit, yet do so without anyone feeling that impact. This is done by making confident clear calls so that players are able to focus on the game.”
While Kreider considers himself “a purist when it comes to the way I think a game should be played [who] appreciates the nature of self-officiating” he recognizes the need for referees in the professional game.
“I’m also a realist.” said Kreider,”I believe that in order to grow the brand of professional ultimate to new fans you need to ensure that there are as few boundaries as possible to them learning the sport and incorporating a more common method of officiating is the best route.”
If you are interested in joining a MLU officiating crew, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.