The Association of New England Football Officials was established in 1919. We are very excited about turning 100 years old in the year 2019. The birthday is fast approaching, and it is time to plan for our upcoming centennial jubilee. Therefore, an ANEFO Centennial Committee has been appointed by President Don Werner to plan the celebration. Members of the Centennial Committee include: Jim Kearney (Chairman), Bob Marinelli, Richard Gearin, Bill Lowd, Steve Walsh, and Larry Keough. The ANEFO Centennial Committee will have the opportunity to think creatively about the events and activities that could potentially be included in the celebration. The centennial will celebrate 100 years of officiating and kick off a second century of officiating one of America’s greatest sports – high school football. Everyone will be able to take part in the celebration!
It will inevitably be a time to look back at the early days of officiating and at those historic official’s uniforms. There is an interesting article in the New York Times Magazine, November 1, 2013 about the history of the attire of the early football officials. The article is titled Who Made That Referee Shirt. An excerpt for the article states, “In the early days of football, the officials wore white dress shirts, often with a bow tie and usually a beret-type hat,” says Paul Lukas, editor of the Uni Watch blog, which chronicles sartorial trends in sports. “The notion was that a formally dressed gentleman has an air of authority, and that’s what you want in an official.”
The trouble was that some teams also dressed in white, including a group of football players. In 1920, a quarterback passed a ball to a referee named Lloyd Olds, after mistaking his white shirt for a team uniform. The mix-up so bothered Olds, the story goes, that he appealed to a friend — George Moe, proprietor of a sporting goods store — to make an eye-catching shirt that would set him apart from the players. Hence, the switch to our striped shirts.
The fans hated it. When Olds first wore the black-and-white-striped shirt in 1921, he “received plenty of boos from the crowd,” he told an interviewer. And yet the design caught on because it did, in fact, distinguish the referee from the players.
If you have any ideas about the upcoming ANEFO Centennial Celebration, please direct them to the members of Centennial Committee. We are looking forward to the celebration!