Football (2019)Al Mitchell the quarterback hands off to Al Mitchell the coach. Al Mitchell the coach hands off to Al Mitchell the official.
Mitchell has been a football official since 1990, staying in the game that he played and coached. He has officiated minor league and high school football, the Canada Cup national selects and women's tackle. He has been to the Canadian Bowl that decides the top junior team in the country and to the Vanier Cup that goes to the champion in Canadian university.
“It's so nice being involved,” he said.
This is about more than what Mitchell gets, though. It's what he gives.
He helps to develop certification manuals for officials. He presents clinics to officials in Rosetown, Tisdale, Big River and Outlook. He goes with young officials to football practice and works with them 1-on-1. He shows them positioning and mechanics. He teaches them. He assigns officials to games. He grades them.
Mitchell was chair of Football Canada's rules committee for four years, updating and refining the rule book every year.
If he is not on the field during the game, he is up in the spotter's box. When it's the off-season he talks shop. He listens and learns. Officially speaking, the game never ends. His greatest thrill is seeing 5 men he helped mentor, now working in the CFL.