Jack Mann was a heck of a lacrosse player; in fact he is enshrined in the Fergus Hall of Fame for his exploits; however his greatest contribution to the game came when he became an official.
He had a sparkling career of fairness and leadership that spanned four decades, beginning in 1959 and ending in 1980. No event was too large or too small for Mann. He loved working Tyke games as much as he did the many national finals he handled. He was often the first person asked to handle the big events like the Junior B Founders Cup, the Junior A Minto Cup, Senior B President’s Cup and the Senior A Mann Cup.
He was the first official in Canada awarded the Level 7 Referee Certificate. Officials weren’t offered the national championships on a rotating system, they were selected based on performance and year-after-year Mann was in the mix.
Mann was also a key player in training young officials. He was involved in several referees’ clinics through the 70’s and 80’s and upon his retirement from the floor he became the Head Referee and Supervisor for the Ontario Lacrosse Association.
In 1986 when Canada hosted the World Field Lacrosse Championships, Mann was called upon to be the supervisor of officials. Mr. Mann also contributed greatly to the revitalization of lacrosse in Guelph in the early 70’s when as a member of the executive committee, he once again held the title of Referee-in-Chief training inexperienced youngsters how to “call the game” he loved.
He understood the role of the official and was famous for saying to his protégés “if you want the game played the way you played, then put the equipment back on. You are now a referee and your only job is to ensure the game is played with the rules.”
Mann, also a member of the Guelph Hockey Referees Association, was a builder and mentor to hundreds of young people.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Officials category – on May 4, 2005