JUMP BALL No. 130. By Arlington James
Dominica's basketball fraternity refers to him simply as "Murdock", his christened surname. But officially, he is now Jeffrey Douglas-Murdock, having married one of the young ladies in the Douglas family from Portsmouth some 30+ years ago; he is now a proud Dominican.
"Jeff", affectionately known by his colleagues, holds a Master of Science degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and has been practising law in Dominica since 2011.
A native of Whitewater, Montana, USA, Jeff first visited Dominica in 1987 to take up the United States Peace Corps Director position until 1990.
Before moving to Dominica, Jeff had played basketball with his Whitewater High School Team, where he featured as an all-rounder in Guard, Centre and Forward Positions. And with his jumping ability, he contributed to his team more as a rebounder than a scorer. In his last year in high school, Jeff played on a championship team with his team winning both the conference title and year-end tournament championship.
He also officiated in the City Basketball League in Phillips County, Montana, and in that state's High School Association. He recalls attending intense weekly review sessions as a referee and was certified to officiate at high school games in Montana for the 2006-2007 season.
Murdock got involved in officiating in Dominica in 1994 after joining the Dominica Basketball Officials Association (DBOA) at the invitation of DBOA Referee Bro. Michael, following a DABA game at Trafalgar, where he resided, still resides today.
Murdock, known for his no-nonsense approach to officiating, has 'refereed' possibly hundreds of basketball games at various levels on Dominica.
SCHOOL LEAGUES: He officiated many matches in the Secondary Schools Under-20 Basketball League at the SMA, DGS and Windsor Park.
COMMUNITY LEAGUES: Jeff, also well-known for his reliability and discipline, officiated in several community basketball leagues, including Trafalgar League/Roseau Valley Basketball League and St. Joseph and Soufriere.
NATIONAL (DABA) LEAGUE: Most of Jeff's officiating energies have been channelled into the national basketball league, and to date, Murdock has been in action with the whistle for DABA games at Grand Bay, Lindo Park, Mahaut, Marigot, Massacre (outdoor court and now indoor facility), Pichelin, Portsmouth, Stadium Forecourt, Trafalgar and (old) Windsor Park.
OFFICIATING IN POST-MARIA LEAGUES, TOURNAMENTS: During the immediate post-Hurricane Maria era, Jeff officiated in the Kelver Darroux Basketball League in St. Joseph, the DOC-DABA Business League and the Mackeson All Nation Basketball Championship in St. Joseph. He also officiated in the Kwéyòl Basketball Invitational Championships in 2022.
OFFICIATING COLLEAGUES: Jeff has been officiating in Dominica for close to 30 years now and has 'refereed' in the national league with many colleagues, including Al Monelle, Allan Morris, Arlington James, Augustus Harris, Bernard Lee, Donald Burton, Gary Benjamin, Harold Julien, Leroy Dover, McDonald Bethel, Nick Nicholas, Russell Moreau and Vincent Riviere among many others.
NO NONSENSE: Jeff, being the disciplinarian that he is, is well known to call off a match if one of the teams had not shown up at the scheduled game time, and he sometimes overheard players saying, "Boy, you don't know who refereeing? Murdock, wi."
VICTIM OF PLAYER & FAN-RAGE: Jeff vividly remembers having one of his car tyres punctured, another slashed, and the sides of his car scratched after a school team from the Roseau area had lost an important match in the Schools' League; he was one of the two referees. He also recalls being assaulted by a player from a senior team in the National League, and in another instance, while officiating a national league match, stones were thrown at him on the court.
LOCAL AWARD: Jeff notes that the only award he received for officiating locally is from the Trafalgar Basketball Committee for his contribution to the Trafalgar League some years ago.
PERFORMING COMMUNITY SERVICE: On one occasion, Murdock performed community service to benefit the national basketball league. He reported bringing his swiper to cut the grass around the Lindo Park court where the national league mainly was played, with members of his family chipping in some voluntary labour.
OFFICIATING SOLO: Jeff, driven by self-discipline and his commitment to excellence, recalls officiating several games without a partner because of a no-show by the latter; this occurred in the national league and the Trafalgar League. And on rare occasions, he did three games "solo" in one night, which is a physically demanding, taxing experience.
He also assisted in table-officiating with the scorebook in the Trafalgar League, and on occasions, in partnership with Nick Nicholas, would run the Trafalgar League.
JUMP BALL wishes Jeff all the best in the remainder of his officiating career.