Hall of Fame Inductee Patty Daley Fondly Remembers Helping to Grow the Game

On Saturday evening at the Grand Lodge in Cockeysville, Md., Patty Daley will be inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a truly great official/contributor. 

For 30 years, Daley has served in training and leadership of women’s lacrosse officials at the local, district and national levels while also being one of the top officials on the field. 

During her career, she worked four NCAA Division I national semifinal games and 14 NCAA Division III final and semifinal games. She has also served as the lead official for championship games in the ACC, Big East, CAA, CAC, ALC and Ivy League, among others. 

Daley served for many years on the USA Lacrosse Education & Training Committee as well as the organization’s National Convention Committee, and has served as a presenter and rules interpreter at both the USA Lacrosse and IWLCA Conventions for many years. 

She has also served as a frequent clinician at officials’ clinics. Daley was executive director of the Collegiate Women’s Lacrosse Officiating Association (CWLOA) for five years and remains active with the organization as a region coordinator. 

She received the IWLCA’s Presidents Cup Award in 2019 and was previously inducted into USA Lacrosse Greater Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame in 2015.

Ahead of her induction into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Daley sat down with USA Lacrosse’s Paul Ohanian via Zoom to discuss her life in lacrosse. Below is an excerpt of their conversation.

Paul Ohanian: What is it about officiating that you love? 

Patty Daley: Well, I reffed hockey and lacrosse in high school and then college. And then when I became an administrator in the school system, I had to choose. So, I chose to ref lacrosse, mostly because you ran more and you looked up. Even though I loved hockey, you ran less and you looked down. So, I loved the game. I loved reffing the game. I love the athleticism in the game. And at that point, you know, we didn’t allow kids to be as athletic as they could, because they have to stop on the whistle and all those rules that we eventually evolved. But I loved every game I reffed in. And then I became a teacher of the game, which I also love. And just trying to be a great team on the field, just like you were as a player, really appealed to me throughout my career.

Paul Ohanian: Can you talk a little bit about the adjustments you might have to make when you’re officiating at different levels? 

Patty Daley: You know, as a ref, I think you have to approach the game that you’re doing that day. And I always tried to remember that. Like, it wasn’t about just the Final Four game, or a conference final. It was about whatever game you’re assigned that day, how do you approach it the same way and be a great ref on the field and be a great team on the field? Then, I think if you don’t approach it that way, you could get into just working hard on the great game days and not on others. And that’s not fair. So, just as an example, as a club coach, I always knew when an official wasn’t bringing it, but I also knew when they were bringing it. So, I think my approach to the game that I tried to bring to officiating was no matter what game I was assigned that day, be grateful for it, and have a game-on attitude about it and bring your best to the players and the coaches that day.

Paul Ohanian: What is the proudest accomplishment of your career?

Patty Daley: You know, again, I was around really good people. And I was pushed forward by really good people. And I worked great games, I had a great schedule, and I loved it. I loved being on the field. When I left the field, when I got a knee replacement, I left the field to become an Executive Director of the collegiate officials … I felt lucky that they trusted me to do that, where we got them together and really move that organization forward in a positive way. That’s in partnership with USA Lacrosse and the IWLCA and the NCAA rules committee, all of it works together. And one of the things I needed to do is help people understand that we’re partners in the game. We’re parts of the game that work together. There was a time in the game when coaches and officials were out here and not partnering so well. So I think that’s a really important part of the game and maybe an important accomplishment.


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