Matt Spaans refereed a bronze-medal game at the 2019 Canadian Minor Box Lacrosse National Championships. (Photo courtesy Andy Stuart)

Matt Spaans refereed a bronze-medal game at the 2019 Canadian Minor Box Lacrosse National Championships. (Photo courtesy Andy Stuart)

Saanich referee takes the floor at national box lacrosse championships

Matt Spaans is known for ‘consistency in his standard of calls, fairness and professionalism’

Matt Spaans has been a referee with Saanich Tigers Lacrosse for seven years. This year, Spaans, 18, was chosen to represent B.C. and referee at the 2019 Canadian Minor Box Lacrosse National Championships in Langley during August.

During the yearly referee re-certification course, Spaans, a former lacrosse player, marked down that he’d be willing to cover a variety of championship events throughout the year — including the minor nationals.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria lacrosse teams capture gold at provincial championships

Andy Stuart, president of Saanich Lacrosse, explained that Spaans and the prospective referees had to go through an intense evaluation and selection process to be approved as a referee for the championships. The nationals referees are nominated by their head referees and then a committee observes the nominees in action.

As a testament to his skill as a referee, Spaans was assigned to oversee one of the bronze-medal games, Stuart noted proudly.

He also pointed out that Spaans is known for making consistent calls and being a fair and professional referee.

“Being a referee is something that is overlooked and they are often the subject of abuse, but the reality is you can’t play a game without them,” said Stuart. “They’re the unsung heroes.”

READ ALSO: Saanich pee wee lacrosse team takes home the gold at Provincials again

Spaans said he understands that people get worked up about sports, but the scene in Saanich is usually pretty good. However, he once had to kick two coaches out of a game and noted that he’s had games where he should have kicked some parents out for their behaviour.

“People don’t come to cheer for the ref,” he said with a laugh.

The Saanich Lacrosse executives are proud of Spaans for representing Saanich at a national level and hope that other young referees and players will be inspired by his dedication and hard work, said Stuart.

Spaans hopes to become a police officer, but plans to continue refereeing lacrosse for the foreseeable future.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A senior official with Victoria International Airport says the airport is still researching COVID-19 testing regimes but predicts testing and screening will remain part of the aviation industry even after vaccines have rolled out. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria International Airport researching COVID-19 testing options

Senior official predicts ‘screening and testing will be around long after the vaccination rollout’

Construction in Oak Bay is nearly all focused on rebuilding new single-family homes and without secondary suites. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay nears regulation of secondary suites

Preliminary report hints there’s no preferred option

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read