The 20 Strangest Jobs In Sport

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Everyone plays their part...

1. Sitting on the dubious goals committee

This mysterious body meets every now and again to adjudge whether to award the goal to a craven striker or to chalk it off as an own goal. They are shrouded in secrecy but we understand that the current panel is comprised of former South African Chief Justice Sir Richard Feetham, Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie, and from the private sector Fergal Quinn.

2. The player announcer at the British Open

The distinctively voiced Ivor Robson becomes a household name once a year. He spends from Thursday to Sunday during the British Open getting up and announcing "On the tee (insert players' name)". Through familiarity he has become much beloved. Rightly so, too.

They'll probably get some overly chirpy young person to do it next year. He'll probably think he's a DJ and soon every player's pre-tee shot hat-tip to the crowd will have musical accompaniment.

3. The guy who controls the remote control car that brings on the kicking tee at Stade Francais

This obscenely and quite unnecessarily flashy way of bringing on a kicking tee was always going to find favour among the Stade Francais mob.



4. The injured player who doubles as an extremely biased linesman

Roughly half of his calls will be overruled by the match referee


5. The underage soccer referee who has to call players offside from mathematically impossible angles

He may be forty yards behind the play but he can still see you're offside somehow.


6. NBA Floor Sweat Mopper

Not the most glamorous job in sport, but vital all the same, as the sheer volume of sweat that trails onto the ground during games can make basketball courts dangerous to play on. Needless to say, they were another worthy body of people who Michael Jordan didn't bother to thank during his 2009 Hall of Fame speech.


7. The Selector/Player's Father who has to do umpire over at the far goal because the other team already have someone doing umpire down there.

At underage club games, all involved generally work under the assumption that scores are awarded on the basis of negotiation and compromise between two competing umpires, rather than a straightforward evidence-based judgement by two independently-appointed umpires.


8. The lad who brings on the bucket of sand which kickers used to use in rugby

Like the blacksmith and the print journalist, his job has largely been lost to progress. Some of the shrewder folk who used to carry out this job were quick to adapt to the technical demands of the modern age, and became adept at controlling small pink remote control cars.


9. The guy who chooses the music at the Darts

Your role involves pressing play on the machine that plays 'Chase The Sun' by Planet Funk. You must avoid the temptation to play any other song.


10. Tennis parent

More of a calling than a job really. Your role is to foster in your kid an unhealthy, nay socially crippling, obsession with getting good at tennis. When your kid turns professional, you must quit your job immediately and place everything in your tennis playing offspring's basket. You must not, under any circumstances, ever miss any game they play, competitive or otherwise, ever. You may choose to fire one or two of their coaches. You might opt to take control of their tax affairs but this has been known to lead to medium length jail terms in the past.


11. Personal Chef to Darren Clarke at the US Masters

Darren Clarke brought his own chef to Augusta a few years ago.

Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
12. Social Media Crisis Manager

This job involves monitoring the tweets of your club's playing staff for anything offensive/derogatory/politically charged. Also, if someone tweets something from the club account saying something like "F****** yes!!!. Delighted to beat those f****** p*****, Scum!!!", you should be on hand to immediately apologise and claim the account was hacked. Or else say that the person is no longer working with us.


13. Sitting on the CCCC

Your role consists of watching the Sunday Game, suspending people on the basis of "unfair slow-motion replays", and annoying Mickey Harte and Paul Galvin.


14. The women who walk alongside the Darts players when they walk up to the oche.

You must be an attractive woman who can retain a smile while walking alongside a portly Darts superstar as he receives the acclaim from the hoorays in the crowd.


15. Ryder Cup Captain

This job involves driving around in a golf buggy for three days, frowning and looking serious, talking into walkie talkie and generally pretending you are a vital figure in whatever happens on the golf course.


16. Wayne Rooney's agent

Your role involves telling Manchester United every couple of years that your client wants out.


17. Figure skating judge

More than any other official in any other sport these lads have serious power. The sport is entirely subjective. Brian Gavin can't look at a Joe Canning point and say "I didn't like the way you pucked that over, that doesn't count." Figure skating judges decide what medals get handed out.


18. The Catering People at a Test Match

These people are worked harder than catering people at any other sport. They're certainly worked harder than the fielders who stand at silly mid-off (that's a position in cricket) Lunch and tea are an integral part of a four day cricket match and its up to the catering people to step up.


19. Tournament referee at Wimbledon

This involves buzzing around from court to court in a club blazer, looking anxiously up at the sky.


20. Presenter on Up For The Match

You have to have an ability to laugh at the same, easily telegraphed jokes year and year and appear not to know where obvious and hackneyed anecdotes are going. You have to strike up an immediate rapport with Eddie Keher.









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