BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There are 550 high school basketball referees in the state of Maine, and just 100 are selected to work the games during tournament week.
Maine State Basketball Commissioner Peter Webb says it's a vigorous training process to become a referee, and the officials selected to work the tournament are nominated by high schools across the state. The Maine Principals' Association then assigns officials to games.
Webb says there are no full-time officials in Maine, but for many, they treat it as such and they take the tournament very seriously.
"They quickly get addicted to it the good ones. It becomes a passion. They thoroughly enjoy it. Among other things, it's a diversion from whatever they do for real work," Webb said.
For the referees, Webb says it's a way of giving back, and also an important community service.
Three officials are assigned to each tournament game, and Webb says the most experienced and well-regarded officials end up working during tournament week.