A referee's regimen Goal: If you're going to officiate at a fast game, says Richard Tamberrino, you've got to be in shape to keep up with the athletes.

Fitness Profile

September 27, 1998|By Nancy Menefee Jackson | Nancy Menefee Jackson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

You might watch Richard Tamberrino and be envious: A longtime referee for school soccer and lacrosse, he's got an exciting vantage point there, running up and down the field.

But think about it: At 45, he's got to keep up with all those high school and college kids. His goal is to get to the goal in time to see the shot.

On the other hand, you could say his fitness regimen earns him money.

Tamberrino began officiating at games in graduate school at the University of Maryland in 1974, when he met his soon-to-be wife, who was a referee. "She said, 'You ought to try this and get yourself in shape and make a couple of dollars.' I guess she wanted to go out on a date and didn't want to pay," recalls Tamberrino.

She had a point about getting in shape, Tamberrino says: At 5-foot-6 and 170 pounds, "I was a little round ball."

Now, he is a wiry 145 pounds, and his officiating experience includes everything from recreational leagues to NCAA playoffs.

Tamberrino, director of research and statistics for the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections, depends on biking, running, aerobics and work with free weights to stay in shape.

A typical week includes 12 miles of running and 15 to 20 miles of cycling. If he doesn't have a game that day, he gets up just before 6 a.m., runs four miles, then comes home and helps get his four kids off to school before heading to work. If he does have a game, he bikes five miles. "It all depends on how my knees are feeling," he says, explaining that the pounding his knees have endured over the years on Astroturf fields is catching up to him.

During the ice storms a few years back, he took up aerobics, again aided by his wife, Jeanne, a gym teacher and aerobics instructor. Now, in bad weather he substitutes 50 minutes of aerobics, including step aerobics.

"I always do it early in the morning," he says. "You have to really make a commitment to get up and do it in the morning, or if you're not a morning person, make an appointment in the afternoon. It's like putting money in the bank; you have to force yourself to save and you have to force yourself to exercise."

Between indoor and outdoor soccer and spring and summer lacrosse, Tamberrino referees just about every week. He avoids greasy foods, tries to eat lots of fruit, and drinks plenty of water, along with 8 to 10 ounces of cranberry juice every day.

Not only does he enjoy sports, earn money and stay fit, but he hopes his emphasis on fitness will spare him from the strokes and heart attacks that make up much of his family's history.

Pub Date: 9/27/98

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