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Local referee honored for all-star officating
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Joel Moore - photo by Photo by Jimmy Currier

Joel Moore of Rincon has officiated Georgia high school sports for 28 years. From football to baseball to basketball, Moore has been in the thick of it.

The Georgia Athletic Officials Association honored Moore in August at the GAOA’s first officials conference in Forsyth.

The GAOA presented a plaque to Moore for being the line judge in the 2006 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association’s All-Star Classic.

Moore, who has worked with the Coastal Officials Association for four years and the Albany Officials Association for 24 years prior, has been selected to officiate at this year’s all-star game in Columbus.

As a line judge, Moore focuses on the line of scrimmage and looks for holding and chop block violations.

His most recent local game was the South Effingham-Effingham County clash on Sept. 7.

Moore also marks the ball and determines first downs.

While he referees at night and sometimes during the day, his primary job is being a district manager for Delta Life Insurance Company in Savananh.

Moore said his favorite aspect of officiating is working with young people.

“I enjoy the kids,” he said. “I like to do a  lot of preventive officiating to help the kids. I’ll tell a kid to back up a few yards or remind him to put in his mouth piece. I feel preventive officaiting cuts down on a lot of problems.”

With football season in full force, Moore’s Friday nights are booked. This Friday, he heads to Dublin to officiate the East Laurens-Claxton game.

He is assigned each Monday by the COA for his games on Friday.

High school football isn’t the only football Moore works. He also officates junior varsity, middle school and recreation football.

While Moore enjoys staying busy, he said that several officials are being over-worked because there aren’t enough new recruits.

“We’re a dying breed. We’re not getting  too many young people in,” he said. “It seems like no one wants to do it. You have to have an enjoyment of kids though to do this job.”