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.
SACRAMENTO, CA -- A record full field of 148 golfers took part in the inaugural 'Battlefields2Ballfields' tournament held June 19 at Del Paso Country Club.
Under the direction of B2B founder Mike Pereira, his wife Gail, and a hard-working corps of volunteers, the tournament was followed by a three-course dinner, a silent auction of sports memorabilia and then a live auction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mike'l Severe of the Omaha World-Herald and former VP of officiating for the NFL Mike Pereira discuss his new veteran program Battlefields to Ballfields which sponsors service veterans to become referees for various sports.
SACRAMENTO, CA – A project two years in the making, ‘Battlefields To Ballfields’ makes its debut today.
Founded by President and Executive Director Mike Pereira, the new foundation will provide scholarships to veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have selflessly served our country with an opportunity to get integrated back into their community through officiating.
The ranks of sports officials are peppered with many former members of the U.S. military. They officiate kids’ games, all the way up through the pros. Does military experience provide unique training and lessons that translate well to sports officiating? Are there things other officials can learn from their fellow officials with military backgrounds?
Referee magazine went looking for answers by interviewing a number of officials who made the transition, learned some things along the way and shared tips on why and how a military background gives sports officials a special edge.
There are around 300,000-350,000 total high school sports officials in the U.S. but states like Tennessee, Nevada, and Kansas are all reporting a decrease in registered officials. In fact, Oregon saw a 12 percent decrease in the last three years alone.
Factors like low pay, negative environments and a lack of advancement opportunities are discouraging those who are interested in becoming sport officials.
A new pilot program in Los Angeles founded by Fox Sports rules analyst and former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira is generating quite a bit of buzz in its first year. It’s called Battlefields to Ballfields, and the program places United States military veterans in the Los Angeles Officials Unit where veterans get a chance to learn the rules of officiating from experienced referees.
If any coach, player or parent feels inclined to lose their composure and start yelling at football official Thomas Harris, trying to provoke a response, good luck. He has been trained to be cool under pressure.
Thomas Harris made his second appearance as an official during a junior varsity game at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles on Friday, Sept. 30, as part of the pilot program of Mike Pereira’s Battlefields to Ballfields.
The plan is to get veterans involved in officiating and for those who qualify for a B2B scholarship, the foundation will pay for their National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) membership, their uniform, the equipment and their dues for the local association. The foundation will also have an officiating mentor assigned to each veteran and will guide them through the process.