Mark "Buckers" Buckley is heading to Denver in an official capacity. Whilst he's not been appointed as an ambassador or anything, he will be officiating the lacrosse.
Here's his Road to Denver
Q – Where and when did your “Road to Denver” Start?
B - I took my level 1 refereeing course in the summer of 2011 down at Blues. At the time I was wondering how far I could take my refereeing. After a season of half playing/half refereeing I took the advice to become a full time referee if I wanted to stand a chance of going to Denver.
Q – Talk us through the process you’re going through from that point up until when you’re leaving for Denver.
B - Once I decided I wanted to get to the World Champs I quickly got my level 2 course
done and my level 3 assessment. At this point I was a panel referees in the south and all of the zebras were invited to apply for a place as part of the England Referees for the tournament. I quickly realised I was one of the most inexperienced applying, and certainly the youngest. We would be required to have 3 formal assessments, a fitness test and I would need to pass my International Exam (Level 4). I got through all of this and was finally told I had been selected in Dec 2013, while I was away on Honeymoon in Australia.
Q- Was there any point when you didn’t think you’d make it?
B - I was pretty nervous leading up to some of the assessments but they went fairly well each time and I found it hard at times getting enough game time and high quality games being first in the South and then moving back up to the North East. But with a fair bit of travelling and some great tournaments such as the Austrian Lacrosse Open I think I am in a good position to head out there.
Q – Now you’re going, what have you got to do to make sure you get there at top effectiveness, and be able to make your mark on the competition?
B - I had the chance to referee both of England’s friendly games against Durham which
was great experience, I was also assessed during the game which helped me to take as much as I could from them, I certainly learnt a thing or two! I have stayed on top of my fitness to try and make sure I’m in the best shape possible, this will mean I have one less thing to worry about during tight, high pressure games when everyone is getting tired.
Q – What are your goals for the tourney?
B - Well my aim as a referee is to enable the games to take place safely and fairly.
Q - What are you looking forward to most about the tournament?
B - On a personal note I’m excited to see some high level games and to see a lot of new nations taking part in the championships for the first time. It will be great to meet and work with referees from across the world and of course I will be coming home with a ton of stash!
Q – Any plans for after the competition?
B- I will defiantly be having a month or so off Lacrosse before the next season starts and my prep for the Euros in 2 years time.
Q - Thanks for your time Buck, and all the best for the tournament. Any thing you'd like to add?
B - One of the Referees at the World Championships is running an "anonymous" account on Twitter follow it here: @Lacrosse_Zebra
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